THE LADIES OF THE VALE by Andrew Puckett


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Cardiology patients (especially those with donor organ cards) at St. Chad's Hospital near Birmingham, England, are dying at a rate that seems unwarranted to Nursing Sister Jo Farewell. And so she undertakes some statistical analysis--the results of which send her to the police, over the objections of the administrator Ann Whittington. The police can't help, but National Health Service Investigator Tom Jones (Terminus, 1991, etc.) soon arrives on Jo's doorstep. Under the guise of seeking economies, he scrutinizes hospital records and personnel, finally confirming Jo's suspicions that a murderer is at large. Pinpointing the method used and the likeliest culprit brings forth a stream of eye-glazing medical and computer jargon. Religious fanaticism, gangster revenge, and the sale of body parts to the highest bidder all contribue to the bizarrely over-the-top plotting. A charmless heroine and a flat-footed style are no help in this exercise in tedium.

Pub Date: July 21st, 1995
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's