A SCALPEL WIELDING VILLAIN.
A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT FAILS.
A WHISTLEBLOWER THAT PROTECTS HER PATIENTS – NO MATTER THE COSTS.
A trusted anesthesiologist, Dr. Roxanne Roth, is healing from the loss of her fiancé by consuming her time with work. It doesn’t hurt that her new love interest, Dr. Justin Kirkland, spends almost as much time at the hospital as she does.
Entranced in the throes and complications of new love, Roxanne looks forward to work every day. Her time at the hospital would almost be cathartic if not for Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon, who is quickly amassing a pile of complaints – and bodies.
Despite trying to avoid Webb, Roxanne finds herself working alongside the doctor during a routine, low-risk surgery. Fueled by cocaine and ego, Webb intentionally sabotages the case, leading to the patient dying on the operating table.
Roxanne’s tenuous grip on recovery is shattered with her patient’s death, quickly replaced by anger and a drive for justice. Now Roxanne will do anything to protect her patients from the killer on the other side of the sterile surgical field—before he can silence her as well.
In this gripping, sinister medical thriller, Dr. Shira Shiloah will leave readers wondering about the potential evil lurking behind every surgical mask.
“Authentic characters and a vivid hospital setting enhance a tense medical tale.”
– Kirkus Review
The book opens strongly with an over-the-top characterization of D.K. and his psychotic tendencies. Readers who like their romantic thrillers heavy on the thrills will love to hate this ruthless villain. Unfortunately, he vanishes from the story for several chapters as Roxanne’s dramatic love story with Justin takes center stage. While this slows the pace, romance fans will enjoy the spotlight on Roxanne, a compassionate protagonist who thrives under pressure. Her scenes drive the plot forward as she fights to expose D.K.’s murders.
Shiloah’s experience as a doctor shines in the meticulous details and resonant dialogue. The intense operating room scenes are written with authority. Southerners will recognize and appreciate the famous Memphis landmarks such as the Peabody Hotel, Harahan Bridge, and the giant Bass Pro shop in the Memphis pyramid. Some scenes feel extraneous to the plot and delay the action, but readers who enjoy cheering for strong female protagonists will quickly champion Roxanne. The brutal serial killer is a strong foil for the sweet romance, creating a tantalizing plot for fans who like their happily-ever-after with a dash of medical malice.
Takeaway: This romantic thriller with a medical theme will satisfy readers who like bold female leads and dramas about overcoming the odds.
Great for fans of Kelly Parsons’s Doing Harm, Tess Gerritsen.
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In this debut thriller, a Memphis anesthesiologist suspects a neurosurgeon of intentionally harming—and sometimes killing—patients.
Dr. Roxanne Roth has trained hard to overcome her fear of losing a patient while administering anesthesia. Her fiance, Mark [McKinney], died five years ago during a relatively simple surgery. While she’s had no romantic interest since that tragedy, there’s currently a mutual attraction between her and the resident doctor she works with, Justin Kirkland. But she’s less fond of a surgeon she periodically assists: Dr. D.K. Webb. The medical executive committee has Webb under review after two of his patients had serious postoperative complications, including a stroke. Readers know that Webb has performed surgeries while intoxicated and is a regular cocaine user. When his carelessness leads to a patient’s death, Roxanne believes Webb purposefully made the fatal cut. Her new goal is to see that Webb’s medical license is revoked. Webb, meanwhile, is determined to wield the scalpel and maintain his drug habit. He’s an exceedingly dangerous man whose disturbing behavior soon captures the attention of other medical professionals as well as the authorities. As Webb’s misdeeds escalate, Roxanne attempts to involve the Drug Enforcement Administration, but Webb may find a way to target the anesthesiologist. Shiloah excels at character development. Roxanne, for example, is an empathetic protagonist who feels guilt over a patient’s death, even when it’s unquestionably Webb’s fault. Romance is delightfully complicated: Roxanne can’t help but compare Justin to Mark, and her earlier one-stand night with a co-worker may cause problems for her potential relationship. At the same time, there’s a growing uneasiness surrounding Webb, who seems to enjoy cutting patients and turns progressively creepier. Along with convincing dramatic moments, Shiloah writes astute and occasionally exhilarating hospital scenes that readers unfamiliar with medical jargon will effortlessly follow.
Authentic characters and a vivid hospital setting enhance a tense medical tale.