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A MEDICAL THRILLER WITH SOCIAL COMMENTARY...
on 18 June 2008
This novel sees the return of New York City medical examiner, Laurie Montgomery, and NYPD homicide detective, Lou Saldano, to whom I was first introduced in the author's medical mystery thriller, "Blindsight". This pretty much follows the formula in that book.
Here, young, reasonably healthy adults enter the hospital for seemingly routine minor surgery and end up dying while hospitalized. Our intrepid medical examiner senses that there is something wrong afoot, as she takes notice of this but cannot initially ascertain what the problem is. As the death toll mounts up, Laurie knows that the law of probability is against these deaths being accidental. She thinks that there is a serial killer afoot, but she does not know how or why. More galling to her is the fact that no one seems to share her concerns initially, although she does confide her concerns to Detective Saldano. Unfortunately, his hands are tied, because the medical examiner's office is not classifying these deaths as homicides.
Set against the backdrop of this medical conundrum is the personal angst Laurie is suffering because of the reluctance of Jack Stapleton, her long term significant other and fellow medical examiner, to commit to marrying her and having children. Since Laurie is forty three and her biological clock is in countdown mode, she won't take no for an answer this time. Consequently, she and Jack seem to be going their separate ways, and Laurie meets up with a another doctor, one who is in a successful private practice and seems smitten by Laurie.
The author weaves a fine plot, even though the author's cookie-cutter characters and limp dialogue leave something to be desired. The reader will know who the killer is relatively early, but why the killings are taking place is what is at the heart of this book. Still, the clever plot will keep the reader eagerly turning the pages of this book. Although though the discerning reader will probably solve the mystery long before Laurie and Lou do so, the plot will still keep the reader turning the pages of this entertaining, quick read. The book is also a social commentary on the evils inherent in managed health care.