Daily Mail

THE INSTITUTIO­N by Helen Fields

(Avon £14.99, 432 pp)


iN The world’s highest-security prison hospital Tara Cameron, a heavily pregnant nurse, is brutally murdered and her baby is skilfully extracted from her body — alive. A ransom demand in cryptocurr­ency follows. Doctors believe that the baby can only survive a maximum of five days and so the clock is ticking.

Forensic profiler Dr Connie Woolwine volunteers to pose as a therapist and allow herself to be locked up in a ward of the hospital, among some of the most dangerous and disturbed men on the planet, to see if she can unmask who killed Tara and recover the newborn.

inevitably, things do not go entirely to plan. The inhabitant­s of the ward are deeply suspicious of their new staff member, and Dr Connie’s cover story starts to fray as her courage is tested by being confined with both dangerous patients and an equally threatenin­g staff.

it shows Fields at her compelling best as a mistress of suspense and tension.

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