The Seclusion Room

by | Apr 18, 2008 | Book Reviews

“… Well organized and even classically plotted, with a locked-room mystery. It is a neat puzzle, with some especially authentic backgrounds. One wonders how much autobiography is in it. The figure of Dr. Redden is unusually well-drawn.”
~ The New York Times

“This well-written asylum novel has a fine wit about it … Everything awful that can happen in a mental hospital happens, but that in no way takes from the charm an hilarity of this remarkably adept first novel.”
~ Gallery Books Column

4 Stars – Call(s) to mind the Golden Age … the scene for a possible, though impossible, murder in this Edgar-caliber first novel, most notable for a hospital setting that is funny, believable, and disturbing. Dr. Abe Redden, a moody and likeable psychiatrist, is a new detective to watch.”
~ Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

“… unusual, fast-moving who-dunit … Neuman has done an excellent job of describing the fallabilities, strengths and vagaries of both patients and staff. Your worst suspicions about a psychiatric hospital may be confirmed: some of the staff needs help as much or more than the patients… an entertaining story whose insights about people will stay with you past the last page.”
~ Houston Chronicle

“incisive… the creation of an intriguing and totally sympathetic hero, psychiatrist Abraham Redden.”
~ New Republic

“Don’t miss. Tip-top … a fast, sometimes pointed murder mystery…”
~ Ademoiselle

“The Seclusion Room has some very funny-sad moments of black humor to make one wonder who is sane – or crazy – in this world in which we live.”
~ Washington Post

“Neuman has this gritty atmosphere down very well, writing with compassion and black humor.”
~ Publisher’s weekly

“For once a psychiatric institution is presented in all its hilarious, fearful awfulness without the romanticization of insanity or the glib anti-establishment rabble-rousing that has characterized recent asylum fiction… a remarkable job. Mystery readers will not be disappointed by the intricate detection here, but a lot of non-mystery readers might well want to go with the mystery form this once – for sad Dr. Redden’s downbeat charm and for non-sensational, no – axe – to – grind look behind asylum walls and minds.”
~ Kirkus Reviews

“Fine Reading. It;’s sensitive, lightly humorous and dignified…”
~ Beaumont Texas Journal

“… piercing and funny.”
~ The Buffalo News

“… amusing tale of murder an mystery… The reader will be entertained to the very last sentence.”
~The United Press

“… laughs are uncontrollable… a masterpiece … good therapy for all readers who might sit back and laugh with shear enjoyment as the holy symbol of psychiatry comes tumbling down.”
~ The Jackson Sun

“The author of this unassuming but vastly satisfying and off-beat contribution to detective fiction is a practicing psychiatrist who writes as if to the typewriter born. It is a wryly funny, trenchantly observant book.”
~ The Louisville Courier-Journal

“… ingenious and witty first novel… All sorts of awful and entertaining portraits of doctors and patients at times reminiscent of the early Evelyn Waugh… Funny, gripping and entirely convincing, this thoroughly professional job is not just a promising debut, it’s a fully fashioned arrival and a splendid one.”
~ The Irish Times

“… here is one for a rainy day: a jolly black – comedy–thriller, light as gossamer.”
~ Oxford Mail

“…a very amusing comedy thriller…”
~ Evening News, Bolton Lancashire

“… amusing episodes and interesting insights into life inside a mental hospital.”
~ Oxford Times

“While the book’s humor rings chillingly true, it also presents an honest and touching portrait of life in an asylum.”
~ Manchester Evening News

“… an unusually interesting tale of the modern psychiatric institution.”
~ Coventry Evening Telegraph

“Mr. Neuman is himself a psychiatrist, and one of the most remarkable things about his outstanding book is the sensitivity and taste with which he handles the bizarre world of his characters.”
~ Daily Telegraph

“Crackerjack yarn with plenty of tension.”
~ Current Crime

“… in addition to describing an entertaining mystery, he presents a convincing portrayal of real people and their problems.”
~ South Wales Argus

Purchase The Seclusion Room here…