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Acquired Motives: A Dr. Silvia Strange Novel    by Sarah Lovett order for
Acquired Motives
by Sarah Lovett
Order:  USA  Can
Pocket, 2003 (1998)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Acquired Motives is the second in Sarah Lovett's series about Dr. Sylvia Strange. I would suggest reading this series in sequence, though each book can also stand alone. Violent sex offenders are slipping through the cracks in the judicial system and are being horribly murdered. Retribution? Psychologist Dr. Strange seems to think so and is drawn into the schemes of the killers.

Lovett's descriptive powers are awesome. Rather than using long, flowery phrases to describe a scene, she gives us short, powerful sentences that immediately bring all the senses to work. She lofts the reader into the action. I am intrigued by the psychology in the series. The protagonist is a psychologist for the State of New Mexico and also has a small private practice. One of my granddaughters will soon go back to college into a Masters/Doctorate program, with five years of hard study ahead of her. Ultimate goal? Psychologist. I can't see her involved in the crime element that enmeshes Dr. Sylvia Strange, but can see her more clearly now in her own practice.

Lovett's characterizations are faultless. Believable people inhabit her books. Although many of them have deep psychological problems, they still ring true. Scary, but true. The final pages of Acquired Motives race at break neck speed to a conclusion. I think I forgot to breathe several times. I have read four Dr. Sylvia Strange books now and am sorry that there is just one to go. Order the whole series at once and settle down for some electrifying reading. You won't be sorry. Scared, maybe. But not sorry.

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