All in the Mind, By Alastair Campbell

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The willing suspension of disbelief is more vital than usual for readers of this debut novel, since it purports to be an intense and sensitive psychological drama but is written by a man generally seen as a bully and a brute.

Campbell's interior life must be more complex than he lets on, because his mixed-up psychotherapist character, Martin Sturrock, and his bizarre and wretched patients, are tenderly drawn and compelling.

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about Campbell's elegant, thought-provoking prose is that it makes you forget that it is written by him.

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