Romantic suspense author Karen Rose creates a chilling, fast-paced thriller in You Can’t Hide. Dr. Tess Ciccotelli, a well-known Chicago psychiatrist, has testified in many criminal cases for the Chicago State Attorney’s Office, as well as having a successful private practice of her own.
Tess’s life becomes one of suspense and danger when some of her patients start showing up dead. One patient, Cynthia Adams, jumped from her apartment balcony to a brutal death on the concrete below. Aiden Reagan, a Chicago detective, and his partner, Murphy, investigate Adams’ death, which appears to be an open-and-shut suicide case. Adams had long suffered from the effects of sexual abuse in her younger years and mourned her younger sister’s suicide for several years. Adams was under Tess’s care at the time of her death.
Aiden is not a fan of Dr. Tess Ciccotelli. Tess testified in a high-profile murder case that the defendant was mentally insane and could not be responsible for his actions. The murderer was sent to a cushy mental institution rather than being behind bars, which is where Aiden believes he belongs. Aiden is not alone in the Chicago P.D. regarding his feelings about Tess and her testimony in that case.
Aiden and his partner realize that Adams’ death was not a suicide. Instead, someone developed an elaborate plan to slowly but surely drive her to the brink of insanity – and to her own demise. Photographs, voice recordings, telephone calls, flowers, and drugs, including PCP, were used by the perpetrator, ultimately leading Adams to jump off the balcony of her apartment building. Somehow, the perpetrator has compromised Tess’s confidential patient files and has learned the “weaknesses” of her patients – and in turn knows exactly what will push her patients over the edge.
Fortunately for Tess, Aiden and Murphy eventually believe that she is innocent and a victim, although the perpetrator is doing everything that he or she can to make the murders look like Tess’s doing. When word gets out that Tess’s patients are dying under bizarre circumstances, many convicted prisoners start filing appeals on their own cases in which Tess testified against them in court. While her practice and life are turning into a shambles, old court cases are resurfacing, much to the displeasure of the Chicago State Attorney’s office. The pressure on Tess increases; while she wants to protect her patients’ privacy at all costs, there is mounting danger that is threatening Tess herself.
While Aiden now believes that Tess is innocent, he has difficulty ignoring the fact that he finds Tess to be an extremely attractive woman (here enters the “romantic suspense” element of the novel). This is a stand-alone novel, but fans of Rose’s books will see some familiar characters make an appearance in You Can’t Hide. The author keeps the novel “on track” despite its length, although it still might have been shorter.