Next book

SANGUINITY POINT

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

Categories:
Next book

MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Categories:
Next book

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Categories:
Close Quickview