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The psychoanalyst – John Katzenbach

The Psychoanalyst” is a book written by John Katzenbach in 2002. Here is the story of a doctor who is threatened through a mysterious letter, which tells him to commit suicide or totally ruin his life. But it can only be saved if you discover the real author of that writing. It is a work full of suspense, mystery and intrigue, where revenge is present.
Characters from The Psychoanalyst

The main character in the story is Doctor Frederick Starks, a psychoanalyst who receives a mysterious letter. We also find other secondary characters like Rumplestiltskin, the supposed author of the mysterious letter; Virgil, is an assistant to the author of the letter, she is very attractive and attractive; Merlin is also another aide, posing as the lawyer for the raped patient. We also find Richard Lively, who is the protagonist’s new identity; Roger Zimmerman, who was a former patient of the psychoanalyst, and was posing as Rumplestiltskin.


Summary of the work

Here is the story of a psychoanalyst named Frederick Starks after receiving a very threatening letter, in which he says that he must kill himself, or else within 15 days he will slowly assassinate his entire family. So this doctor had to find out in a short time the identity of who wrote that letter.

It all begins when Doctor Frederick Starks turned 43 and receives a letter congratulating him, but at the same time it represents the beginning of his misfortune. The man who wrote this letter is a psychopath who says that this Doctor ruined his life, so he has set out to ruin his.

In the letter they tell the psychoanalyst that killing him was not a challenge, so he asks him to commit suicide. But if he could discover the real author of the letter, he could be saved within 15 days, but he must also publish it in a newspaper. If he did not succeed, he must commit suicide, because if he did not, the author of the letter who called himself Rumplestiltskin, would kill every family member of the doctor.

At night Doctor Starks started calling each of his relatives, with whom he had not had much contact recently, so he felt somewhat uncomfortable, and some of them did not even remember him, and it seemed very strange that he located them. after so long. By calling them, he sought to know if anything unusual was happening to certify if the threats in the letter were true.

In one of those calls, a nephew told him that he was in serious trouble and could not attend to it. But he insisted and the nephew ended up telling him that his 14-year-old daughter had received threats. From that moment he realized that everything was serious.

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Some time later the protagonist received a visit from a woman named Virgil, who was very attractive and was Rumplestiltskin’s assistant, who tells him that he will take him directly to hell and give him some key clues. From that moment things began to happen that would ruin the protagonist’s life slowly. First one of the psychoanalyst’s patients named Roger Zimmerman committed suicide, and left a letter blaming him for his death. This causes problems with the law and with family members.

Another strange thing that happened was that the money in his bank accounts, where all his savings were, had disappeared. He also receives a complaint from one of his patients who accuses him of rape. When he meets with the patient’s lawyer whom he allegedly raped, he realized that he was another ally of the author of his letter, named Merlin. Other than that, the woman who accused him was Virgil.

Some time later, the psychoanalyst publishes in the newspaper in which he communicates to the author of the letter that he won the game, so he supposedly drowned in the sea, and left his clothes on the shore. This news was made known to all. After his death, this doctor had to change his identity, and his name was changed to Richard Lively, who was a homeless man with HIV, but did not disclose it. But he wanted revenge on the one who had ruined his life.

However, as time passed, Rumplestiltskin learns that the psychoanalyst is alive, as Richard Lively published in the newspaper, somewhat threateningly and suggesting that he would start a game. He investigates and discovers that Virgil and Merlin were Rumplestiltskin’s two brothers, and Dr. Lewis had adopted all three of them.

He confessed that he raised Mr. R as an expert killer. Dr. Lewis commits suicide in the presence of Dr. Starks, but before he shows him a book where he would find all the answers and tells him that it is best for him to die, so that Rumplestiltskin has more reasons to murder Ricky.

Dr. Lewis indicated a book to find Merlin and Virgil, who was working as an actress in an agency, when they manage to see each other, she was shocked to see him and he tells her that he already knows everything about Merlin, Rumplestiltskin and her. When Mr. R learns that they all met, he gets angry, so Richard plans to have a meeting with him at his old country house.

Richard Lively hid in the rubble and grabbed the man, who turned out to be his patient Roger Zimmerman, who had killed himself. They argued and Ricky shot him, before Rumplestiltskin knew it. The doctor calls an ambulance and his sisters to take him away. He told them that the game was over, and that they should pay him monthly for his consultations, since his career had been destroyed.

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They also had to place the properties that had been taken from him in the name of Richard Lively, and if they did not, he would dedicate himself to ending their lives. In this way, Ricky was now the one who would threaten the three brothers. He decided to change his life, he went to live for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with the name of Richard Lively. After a year he returned to the United States and sent a bottle of wine to Merlin, and he gave Virgil some white lilies along with a note that said “I still think of you” Doctor S.

Analysis of the work

“The Psychoanalyst” is a book that shows us a story full of mysteries and intrigues from start to finish. So the reader will try to decipher the author’s message and put together the plot puzzle pieces. It is a psychological work that leads us to many questions, and makes us think that there will be a second part of this book.
The central character ends up being the menacer and the person in charge of ruining the lives of those who ruined the oosuya, that is, the story is reversed. Which generates an atmosphere of tension, where the reader feels involved in first discovering the true author of the letter and its purpose.

Quotes from the book

“Poetry is not my forte, he gave yes” this phrase is part of the letter that Rumplestiltskin sent to Dr. Frederick Starks at the beginning of the book.
“Happy fifty-third birthday, Mr. Starks. I welcome you on the first day of his death ”was how the threatening letter that Ricky Starks received on his birthday from Mr. R. began.
“We all fear that they will kill us, not knowing that it is much worse that they destroy us.”
“Revenge serves to cleanse both the heart and the soul.”
“What I was is not what I am now, and what I am now is not yet what I can become.”
“No one really says what they mean, that is what life teaches you, but everything would be better if more people learned it.”
“No one really apologizes, they always say it but it’s never really true.”