BRAIN DEAD by Eileen Dreyer


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 Romance author Dreyer (a.k.a Kathleen Korbel) debuts in hardcover with a galloping suspenser featuring a brace of wisecracking sleuths who turn up murder and shady dealings in the medical establishments of a small community. From an Alzheimer research hospital to the ER of a facility about to be HMO-ed, the angel of death has been visiting the elderly before their time. Timmie Parker, mom of a young child and recently divorced, has returned to her old hometown of Puckett, Missouri, to work in the local ER and keep a 24-hour watch on her senile father, the fabled Joe Leary, who's given to majestic bursts of patriotic Irish anthems and selections from Yeats and Joyce. Timmie first meets Dan Murphy, a booze-worn Pulitzer journalist, at a horse show where shots narrowly miss them. Who, Timmie begins to wonder, were the shots aimed at? Was it Landry, a corporate heavy hired to bring big profit-making to Puckett's charitable hospital? Dr. Alex Raymond, the seemingly benevolent head of Restcrest, an Alzheimer hospital? Or were they aimed at some of the other assorted bigwigs present? When the second ex-husband of Timmie's nursing colleagues is ashed by arson, Timmie and Dan combine efforts to dig and delve into malfeasance past and present. Some of the lesser lights in the medical hierarchy get scrutiny: Raymond's partner, a lab geek who examines the brains of the deceased Alzheimer patients; Raymond's chic executive aide; and a gaggle of closemouthed nurses. Before the denouement, Dan's assaulted; Timmie's run off the road; and there are threats and more murders. Timmie will also have her own crisis of love for a beloved parent. In time-honored fashion, all ends with a fire and rough justice. Filled with secrets and betrayals, solid medicine, smart-aleck chat--and likable sleuths. ($50,000 ad/promo; radio satellite tour)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-06-101095-2
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1997


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