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Dont kill me Im only the therapistNine Livesby Bernice Rubens247pp Little BrownIn his pioneering book Against Therapy 1988 the former psychotherapist Jeffrey Masson tried to come to terms with having wasted years of life in what he had come to believe was a corrupt and wicked profession He called for therapys abolition claiming The structure of psychotherapy is such that no matter how kindly a person is when that person becomes a therapist he or she is engaged in acts that are bound to diminish the dignity autonomy and freedom of the person who comes for help Donald Dorricks the anti-hero of Bernice Rubenss new novel Nine Lives would probably be in broad agreement with Jeffrey Masson Except Dorrickss answer to the problem of psychotherapists is rather simpler than Mr Massons he just kills them Donald Dorricks is the perfect English murderer as defined in George Orwells famous essay Decline of the English Murder a little man of the professional class living an intensely respectable life somewhere in the suburbs Donald is an accountant He lives with his wife Verine in some nameless quiet street in London Or rather he lived with his wife Verine in some nameless quiet street in London By the time we get to meet him in Nine Lives Donald is serving a life sentence in a maximum-security prison for the murder of 10 innocent people - nine of them psychotherapists the 10th a dentist was a mistake Donald reveals in his diary how he kills these poor individuals - choosing them at random booking a consultation or a therapy session and arriving dressed up in a variety of disguises He tries a beard a bowler hat and a vicars outfit from a theatrical costumier He also goes out killing while dressed in his wifes clothes but apparently shes used to him cross-dressing so she doesnt notice She knows about this little hobby of mine and she gladly gives me
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