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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 21 March 2012
I found this a fast-paced, thrilling novel!
Kincaid, a journalist based in London, is not enamoured with the medical profession since his daughter, Kerry, was left severely disabled following a routine minor operation. He returns to Newcastle to visit his daughter and ailing father, just after a high-profile operation to reconstruct a woman's face is interrupted by the sudden death of her scalpel-wielding surgeon. Although paraded as a successful operation, Kincaid starts to have his doubts, which are shared by one of the nurses, Eve, who works at the showcase hospital and was involved in the nursing care of the patient. Kincaid joins forces with Dr. Tolkien, a local GP, who develops serious doubts about the supposedly improved level of healthcare being dispensed in the area when a higher than expected number of his patients start to die. Their efforts attract the unwelcome attention of the "powers that be" at the heart of a chilling and ruthless conspiracy and Kincaid, Tolkien and Eve find themselves in a desperate race to find and expose the truth - but at what cost?
Having worked as a practitioner in the NHS, I found myself thinking the unthinkable - that the plot was not that improbable, given the current financial climate and the unfortunate reality of health rationing within the NHS! Limited resources and advances in technology greatly influence both clinical management and delivery of health care, and decisions are, unfortunately, not always taken by the clinicians! I find it interesting that this was originally written two decades ago - how much more relevant is this possible nightmare scenario now than before??? The characters were well developed and credible and the suspense and tension were maintained throughout the story. I was totally unprepared, however, for the ending!
A disturbing and fascinating read, to be recommended!
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I should warn you that although this was first published in 1992 in a normal book format you would expect the text to be 'clean', however there are slightly more than above average mistakes here. So saying though, ultimately this shouldn't make much difference to your enjoyment.

James Kincaid is an investigative journalist and taking some well deserved rest he has popped back to Newcastle to see his dad and his severely mentally handicapped daughter. Hearing rumours about an operation being botched after the head surgeon keeled over and died in the midst of it, Kincaid decides to do some sniffing around. The rumour is the patient was left blinded, but is this true? At the same time the hospital where it happened, College Hospital, is at the forefront of a pilot program for a new improved health service.

With a new Health Minister the NHS seems to be able to improve dramatically with computerisation and a more central control. It seems on the surface to be more efficient, and cheaper, providing the best service for patients, whilst being less of a burden on the tax holder. But how can this be possible? As Kincaid, and a GP become more and more suspicious they put their lives in danger, and the heat is on.

Why does the name of an old supposedly defunct political group crop up, and where did the new minister come from? With rumours that we could be looking at a new potential Prime Minister the race is on for the shocking truth to be uncovered, but are Kincaid and the GP able to provide proof to blow open a startling truth of what is happening?

This is quite fast paced, and it has to be admitted to some extent quite believable. I got this while it was on promo, so the errors in the text wasn't a major worry. As I have said, this is still easily readable, there are just on occasion mistakes in the text.
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on 12 August 2012
I loved this book right up to the end. I got really involved with the characters, the writing was fast and the plot scarily plausible. What ruined it for me was the ending. I know life isn't tidy, but I expect fiction to be. I found it to be disappointing. Up to the last page the book was heading for 5 stars. Will I read more by this author? Almost certainly, as long as this ploy isn't repeated.
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on 25 March 2012
Ken McClure seems to have a knack of producing very chilling yet eminently plausible medical thrillers. Although this book was written 20 years ago, it stands the test of time very well.
Other reviewers have given a very good synopsis of the storyline so I won't repeat that but just add that it is well paced with a good set of characters. Having now read over half of Ken McClure's books, I thought I had got used to his not-so-happy endings but I have to say the last page still took me by surprise!
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on 10 July 2012
A new group has taken over the management of a regional health authority and they make a big deal of promoting just how they are setting out to improve the care that is being given to the local people. Kincaid, a journalist has had the chance to see for himself just what a transformation they have made; but following a number of deaths, he realises that something is not quite right and the more that he investigates, the more concerned he becomes at what is actually going on.

This a really superb story; very well written, a truly intelligent plot, a good pace throughout with some extremely well developed characters. The technical information is woven into the story in such a way as to make it easy to follow and understand.

I really enjoyed reading this story, and found myself totally engrossed in it throughout. This is one of those books that is really hard to put down, and I think that it would be extremely easy to read it all the way through without stopping, despite the length of the novel. I don't believe that I have read anything by this author before, but if this is an example of the kind of writing he produces, I will definitely be looking for more.

It might be suitable for younger teenagers with some parental guidance; it raises some important moral questions that are well worth discussing with them.
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on 10 March 2016
It took me a while to get in to this. At first i found it rather dated and the writing a bit stilted. Chapter endings seemed in funny places and there were a lot of errors that should have been picked up by a half decent proof reader.
However, the plot drew me in until I actually couldn ' t put it down. The end is left hanging; in some stories this would be fine but i felt this one needed closure as the final few pages were quite disturbing.
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on 23 August 2012
this is a very thought provoking book. It took a bit for the story to really get going. The chapters up to about half way through, are more background and fleshing out the characters.
while this was enjoyable and made you connect with the characters more than perhaps you would otherwise you did start to wonder when things where going to come together. Having said that l dont think the book would have worked without this background work.

Although this book was obviously written quite a while ago late 80's/90's l suspect it still can give you shivers at time. Its the realization that it could just about be possible. Maybe not in quite the way it happens here, but the idealism is still around, and still undercover but still possible.
Being someone who would no doubt be in a high risk group, it can give you shivers.

the ending was unexpected and gave much to think / talk about....
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on 16 October 2012
I read this book on holiday and managed to finish it in two days. Not that it is a simple read but because it is actually a compelling read. It is fast paced, the medical issues are dealt with nicely and professionally and the characters are believable. In all a very well written book. I too was amazed at the end as it simply set the reader up for the sequel and I have read in many places that there is in fact a sequel which I will be reading. I got the book for free admittedly but would have happily paid for it
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on 8 July 2012
REQUIEM By Ken McClure has to be one of his best books, with a storyline as fresh and incredible as if it were written in 2012 I was surprised to see the original publishing date of 1992, but as in many of Kens books he manages to predict medical change to an almost eerie degree, as always his characters are perfectly defined.
I've now read a great many of Ken McClures books and to be honest love them all.
As others may have mentioned I was completely surprised by the ending.
Brilliant book. Highly Recommended.
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on 21 July 2012
I Really liked this Kindle read, it gets straight to the point, telling the story - fast paced, but keeping interest the whole way through.
This is the type of book you could finish in one or two sittings, because you want to know what happens next and you aren't disappointed by the story. A basic, but very good and quite thought provoking read, I'd definitely recommend it.
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