A fast-paced medical thriller not entirely sabotaged by theatrically overwrought prose.



A publicly disgraced doctor attempts to piece together a new career and finds himself inadvertently drawn into the world of organized crime. 

Dr. Benjamin Snow has a promising future; armed with an impressive academic pedigree, he’s a pediatric fellow at a prestigious Houston hospital. However, his dreams are suddenly shattered when Mr. Tepal, distraught over the hopeless condition of his “brain-dead child,” puts a gun to Benjamin’s head and orders that that he pull the boy off life support. Benjamin obliges and, in the aftermath, is cruelly hounded by sensationalist media who dub him “Young Doctor Death.” He loses his fellowship as a result of the negative publicity, though it’s never clear why anyone would hold him responsible under such extraordinary duress. (An aggressive police detective questions him zealously, confusingly accusing him of hoplophobia, a “morbid fear of firearms,” for not grabbing Mr. Tepal’s gun.) Benjamin is professionally banished to a job in Purgatory, Texas—Palmieri (The Art of Forgetting, 2013) displays an impressive breadth of literary talents in this medical thriller, but nuance isn’t one of them. Benjamin is bewildered by his new employer’s extraordinary financial success, especially given the poverty of its surrounding area. He becomes concerned about the relentless focus on profit at the practice and discovers that a nurse turned up dead after accusing one of its cardiologists of performing unnecessary surgeries. But when two of his colleagues suddenly die—and Benjamin stumbles on evidence of doctors’ connections to the drug trafficking underworld—he fearfully wonders what exactly he signed up for. The author packs the story with all the right ingredients: artfully crafted suspense, a morally complex protagonist, and a generous portion of action skillfully described. However, those virtues are often undermined by hokey or soap opera–ish melodrama. At one point, Benjamin’s boss, Dr. Soto-Prinz, brandishing a “Spanish conquistador dagger,” menacingly orders him to eat charcuterie, a clumsy way of revealing his despotic character. The novel remains an enjoyably easy read as long as one doesn't take it too seriously. 

A fast-paced medical thriller not entirely sabotaged by theatrically overwrought prose.

Pub Date: Dec. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-973537-23-6

Page Count: 402

Publisher: Self

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2020

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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