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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Review: Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry


Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4 cups

Blurb (from Abingdon Press):


When her comatose husband died in the ICU while on life support, the whispers about Dr. Elena Gardner began. Another death during her training puts her under suspicion. When the pattern is repeated in the hospital where she is attempting to start over, the whispers turn into a shout: “mercy killing.” What is the dark secret that keeps Allison’s lips sealed when she should be defending herself?

Despite her move to a new city, the midnight phone calls that started after her husband’s death follow Elena. Who is the woman who sobs out, “I know what you did?” What does she mean by “You’ll pay?” And what can Elena do to prevent it?


Two physicians, widowers themselves, offer support, telling Elena they know what she is going through after the death of her husband. But do they? And is it safe to trust either of them with her secret? 


 I just finished reading this book about half an hour ago and I must say I was impressed. Before I did the request for this book at NetGalley I asked myself a million questions about it. I was afraid this was some ER/House M.D. medical drama. I am really sorry I believed that. While it is a medical drama, it's also a mystery novel.

At the center of this novel is Elena Gardner. She is a few weeks before she completes her residency and will be able to start her own practice. Her husband, Mark, died a few months before due to a stroke, after being for two weeks in a coma. She's a very complex character. She's a very good doctor and she knows how to interact with both patients and their families. I also liked that she admitted her mistakes, when she made them. I think that in makes her look more...let's say human. Instead of the "I can never get it wrong" attitude that some doctors have, she realized she did a mistake and she accepted it. I liked that very much.

You can also tell that she really loved her husband and that his death was something that was really hard for her to deal with. She's almost scared to move on with her life, feeling that "her sense of security died with her husband".

Her "shoulder to cry on" is David. They met in the resident school and they've been very good friends ever since. He's the one that knows her better than anyone and the person she goes to when she needs an advice, a friendly face or just someone to eat dinner with. He also has very strong  feelings for her, but I think he waited for a sign that she was ready for his feelings. I think her decision to accept to move to Dainger was his sign and he finally tells her how he feels.

I really liked how the author managed to keep the mystery up until the last 30 pages or so of the book. I really didn't guess who the killer/stalker was. I liked that a lot and also the fact that it wasn't predictable to me.

What I didn't particularly like was the fact that the novel was a little slow at first. It didn't really bother me, I was just anxious I guess.

I liked the book and the author's writing style. And since I learned it's the third book in the series Prescription for Trouble I think I'll go hunting for the other books to read them.


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