There are many ways to die in a hospital…being sick is only one of them. Chief resident Steve Mitchell is the quintessential surgeon: ambitious, intelligent, confident. Charged with molding a group of medical trainees into doctors, and in line for a coveted job, Steve's future is bright. But then a patient mysteriously dies, and it quickly becomes clear that a killer is on the loose in his hospital. A killer set on playing a deadly game with Steve. A killer holding information that could ruin his career and marriage. Now, alone and under a cloud of suspicion, Steve must discover a way to outsmart his opponent and save the killer's next victim before the cycle repeats itself again and again…. A chilling and compelling thriller that also takes you into the hospital and details the politics and hierarchy among doctors, as well as the life-and-death decisions that are made by flawed human beings, Kelly Parsons' Doing Harm marks the gripping debut of a major fiction career.
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The author of this medical mystery is an actual board-certified urologist . As a result of his background, the medical procedures are all very graphic and realistic, and hospital protocol probably exactly what you would expect. The plot isn't a completely new idea, and the writing style is much like Robin Cook or Michael Palmer. There are some good tense moments of suspense which could have really built up as the story progressed- unfortunately, it takes a big fall. I never liked or cared about what happened to our main character, as he was made out to be a thick-headed, arrogant, and weak individual.
I love medical thrillers, and am willing to suspend some realism, however could not get past how our main character becomes immature and ridiculous when faced with his situation. He is supposed to be self-assured, intelligent, smart, an extremely quick learner, and admired by all who know him. It doesn't follow that we should believe the decisions he makes.
Chief Resident Steve Mitchell, is on track to take on a big job at University Hospital. When his patients begin to die, his glowing reputation quickly declines, and instead of being promoted, he may lose his job. There are a lot of ways to die in a hospital- natural causes from the original injury or accident, infection, doctor error, etc. Although his patient's deaths are seemingly the result of something that was likely unavoidable, the real reason is---gasp!--- murder.
This "smart" Chief Resident is finally made aware of who the murderer is, and is being blackmailed by this person due to another matter which could ruin his career. The murderer makes him aware that more deaths will occur, and here is where the unbelievable part starts----he decides to just stay silent to avoid losing his marriage and job!!----- He does take some lame steps to try and figure out what to do by telling a co-worker about what is going on. As the storyline becomes more bizarre, the co-worker simply believes his story (no proof required) and says he will figure out what to do. He won't tell this Chief Resident what steps he is taking, as it may be too dangerous for him to know--and wouldn't you know it, the co-worker is also murdered (but of course, it is made to look like something else)
So now what to do? What did the co-worker find out? Chief Resident figures out a code from prior conversations with helpful co-worker, follows it up and is given more secret codes to unravel before he can finally figure out a way to trap the murderer at his/her own game. Why all the secret codes? No reason.
I'll stop here because after reading this story I was completely frustrated, and writing a review about it makes me even more so! I feel like people are entitled to know more before possibly wasting a credit - wish I had known!
This is the first book I ever reviewed where I felt compelled to include a big spoiler alert.