Posted in Medical Thriller, Spotlight on April 21, 2015

Blood on the Bayou is the second book in this series set in the Big Easy by author D.J. Donaldson. The first book is Cajun Nights and the third book is No Mardi Gras for the Dead.

 

blood on the bayou

Synopsis

Hefty and quirky New Orleans Chief Medical Examiner Andy Broussard loves fine wine, gourmet food, and Louis L’Amour novels almost as much as he hates murderers. In a city as hedonistic and dangerous as it is wonderful, Andy connects the mystery dots in ways that amaze and irritate the less gifted. Fresh out of her PhD program, the sumptuous and shapely criminal psychologist Kit Franklyn regularly fends off suitors and felons, and what she lacks in experience, she makes up for in cleverness. Together, the two are unbeatable at investigating crime, corruption, and more

Something terrible is roaming the French Quarter, leaving mutilated bodies in its wake. Andy and Kit are called to investigate who—or what—is lurking in the darkness. Fueled by their desire to catch this monster, they concentrate on identifying the killer responsible for ripping out victim’s throats. As they start to close in, it becomes clear the wounds couldn’t have been forged by a human… but what about a werewolf? Has the infamous Loup Garou finally descended on the Big Easy?

Written in his unique style, Donaldson’s Blood on the Bayou combines hard-hitting, action-packed prose with brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics and the sultry flavor of New Orleans. The result is a gripping mystery involving murder and some supernatural flare in the creole heartland.

 

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About the Author

DJ Donaldson ImageD.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter

 

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Posted in Guest Post, Medical Thriller on December 23, 2014

I have featured author D.J. Donaldson on StoreyBook Reviews a few times in the past.  His books are intriguing and if you like Medical Thrillers, might be right up your alley!

Cajun Nights - D.J. Donaldson

CAJUN NIGHTS AND THE CHARACTERS WITHIN:

THE MANY LIVES OF A TV SERIES THAT NEVER WAS

by D.J. Donaldson

 

LIFE #1

Cajun Nights was my first novel featuring New Orleans medical examiner, Andy Broussard, and his suicide/death investigator, Kit Franklyn.  A few weeks after the book was published, I got a call from my agent with the surprising news that, “There’s been a flurry of movie and TV interest in your book.”  I’d never considered that such a thing was possible. So that was one of the best phone calls I ever had.

Subsequently, a production company headed by the former director of programming at CBS took an option on the series, planning to shape it into a TV show.  As perhaps some of you know, this phase of things is known as “development hell”, because it takes a very long time to make anything happen. So a year went by with no news.  I figure, okay, the thing is dead.  But, the producers renewed their option for another year, which meant I got paid again.  It wasn’t a lot of money, but with that check, I’d made more money from the two option years than the advance I was given on the book by the publisher.

So more time goes by with no news.  Now, I’m not even thinking about it anymore. Then, while I was attending a scientific meeting in Dallas, I got a call from the agent in Hollywood who was handling the dramatic rights.  CBS had agreed to pay for a pilot screenplay. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but if this guy had tracked me down in Dallas just to tell me that, it must be a big deal.  And guess what… I got another check as an advance on the screenplay even though I wasn’t gonna write it.  I was beginning to love the agent who created that contract.

They chose as a writer someone who’d had several movies produced.  That may seem like something not worth mentioning, but I’d read an article once that said it was possible to have a career as a screenwriter and never have anything produced.  (Yeah, I don’t quite get that either, but it sure seemed like the writer we had, was the better kind.) With her experience and success, I was sure we’d get a great screenplay.

A few months later, a package arrives in the mail.  IT’S THE SCREENPLAY.  I’m so excited, I quickly skim the enclosed letter from the producers: “Read this over and tell us three things you don’t like about it.”  That’s ridiculous, I’m gonna love it.  After all, it was written by a pro.

Well, I hated all of it.  The writer didn’t seem to “get” the relationship between Andy and Kit.  I couldn’t believe it.  The books show that non-romantic love is possible between an unrelated man and woman of greatly differing ages. Though he can’t admit it, Broussard loves Kit like the daughter he never had.  Kit loves Broussard like a father, even though she has a father.  How do I boil all the things I hate down to just three items? Somehow I manage and send my reply back.

As it turned out, the producers didn’t really care about any of my thoughts.  Was I upset?  Not really, because I figured they know TV, I don’t.  And… surprise, when they gave the script to CBS, I got another check.  Now I definitely love my agent.

The producers are sure the script will be approved and we’ll soon be shooting a pilot.  They invite me to watch them film in New Orleans.  They say they’ll even find a bit part for me.  They predict that the series will run for ten years. And they should know. Their show, Cagney and Lacey, ran for seven seasons. Now I’m excited.

But… later, I get another call.  CBS didn’t like the script. And they didn’t want to see a rewrite with the same story. The producers asked me if I had any ideas.  The screenplay was based on the second book in the series. When I got this call I was sitting at my desk looking at the rough draft of book number three.  I pitched them the story and they said, “Send us a copy by overnight mail.”  This was back before manuscripts could be sent by e-mail. (I know, I can hardly remember those days myself.)

So another screenplay was written, which didn’t fare any better than the first. Thus life #1 of my hoped-for TV series went to a quiet demise.

LIFE #2

A few years later, while I was at the Kentucky book fair promoting book number five in the series, a young blonde fellow bought a book.  We spoke for a few minutes and he moved on.  Later, back in Memphis, I get a call from this guy.  He wants to option the series for TV.  I tell him about my earlier experience with the other producers, who failed, but he’s unfazed.  We strike a deal.  There’s talk about John Goodman playing Broussard.  John Goodman… he lives in New Orleans and he’d be a great fit.  I love it.

Within a few weeks the producer calls to say he’s on his way to Memphis and could I meet him and John Goodman’s “best friend,” at the Peabody Hotel.  (The Peabody lobby is where William Faulkner and his mistress used to have drinks.)  The meeting takes place and I give the best friend a copy of the latest book, which he assures us, will be in John Goodman’s hands within twenty-four hours. That was the last time I ever heard from him or the producer.  So I guess the deal is off.

LIFE #3

In my primary occupation, I taught medical and dental students microscopic anatomy.  One day I get a call from a former dental student.  He’s now a part-time actor who’s been in a couple of notable films.  He says that he and a long-time Hollywood promoter have formed a production company and are looking for material. He remembers that I wrote a few novels and wonders what I’ve been doing since he last saw me. I talk about my work and send him some books.

Very soon thereafter he calls me again and says he and his partner “are on fire over these forensic books.”  They believe the series would make a great TV SERIES.  He asks me who I’d like to play Broussard.  I tell him I’ve always believed Wilford Brimley would be perfect.  Incredibly, my former student says that his partner had lunch with Wilford just last week.  He’s sure they can get him to sign on.  With an actor of Wilford’s stature attached to the project, we’ll surely get a deal.

Was all this talk about Brimley just smoke?  No.  Because they actually got him on board.  And what’s even better, my former student and his partner were working with another producer who had a development deal with the Sci-Fi network.  They planned to present my series to the network three weeks hence, focusing on the real and apparent paranormal aspects of the first two books.

On presentation day at the Sci-Fi Network my student calls me just before they go in.  I wait anxiously the rest of the day to hear how it went.  Years later, I’m still waiting.  The only contact I’ve had since presentation day is a big envelope from the producer who had the development deal.  In the envelope is a bunch of stuff I wrote for the presentation along with a note from the producer that says, “Sorry we couldn’t have worked longer on this together.”

LESSON LEARNED

Early in the machinations of the first development deal, I used to caution myself not to spend any time thinking about how great it would be if every week I could watch my characters living and breathing on a TV show.  My thinking was that if I kept a tight rein on my expectations, it’d be much easier on my psyche if things didn’t work out.

But then I realized I was missing out on the excitement of the possibility.  Why not let my mind run with it?  Then, even if none of the deals came to fruition I would still have the pleasure of being part of a great endeavor.  So that’s what I did.  And now, even though I never played that bit part in a pilot and I’ve never seen John Goodman or Wilford Brimley bring Broussard to life, I sure had a lot of fun along the way.

(By the way, if you’re a TV/film producer, the rights are available.)

About the Author

DJ Donaldson ImageD.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter

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Posted in Guest Post, Medical Thriller on December 5, 2014

So I know the situation with the Ebola scare is over (or so I hope) but I wanted to share these thoughts from author D.J. Donaldson.

 

Outbreak… Breakdown

A Forensic/Medical Author’s Take on Ebola and the CDC

 

My book, Louisiana Fever, involves the spread of a bleeding disease known as Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever. This is a real disease that, like its close relative, Ebola, is caused by an infectious virus.  And having researched this thoroughly (and having come from a forensic/health background) I feel compelled to weigh in on the Ebola outbreak.

When I was plotting Louisiana Fever, I figured I ought to have a character in the book that was once an infectious disease specialist at the CDC.  It seemed like a logical idea because the CDC is this country’s unquestioned champion against virulent organisms, an organization staffed with experts that know every nuance of tropical viruses and how they can be controlled.

To make sure my writing about the CDC would have an authentic ring to it, I asked the public relations office of the CDC if I might be given a tour of the place.  “Sorry,” I was told.  “We don’t give tours.”  Considering how many dangerous viruses are stored in the various labs there, that seemed like a good policy, even to me.  So there would be no tour.  But then I heard from someone in my department at the U. of Tennessee Medical Center that one of our former graduate students now worked at the CDC.  I began to wonder if this connection might work to my advantage.

And it certainly did.  The former student was now a virology section chief. A SECTION CHIEF…. Holy cow! This could be my way in.  But would the man be generous by nature and sympathetic to writers?  He proved to be both of those.

On the day of my visit, I reported to the security office as instructed.  There, I had to wait until my host came to escort me into the bowels of the place… no wandering around on my own with a visitor’s badge.  That day I saw the hot zone in action and spoke with experts in many fields of virology, even spent some time with the world expert on porcine retroviruses.  At the end of my visit—including all the cumbersome clinical protocols I had to engage in both before and during said visit—I not only left feeling more educated, but actually more safe and secure that no tropical virus would ever be a threat to this country… not with the meticulous, detail-oriented, security conscious, microbe fighters at the CDC watching out for us.

So, it’s with much regret and… yes, even a little fear, that I witnessed the head of the CDC recently assuring us that the Ebola virus is very difficult to transmit and that we know exactly how to control it.  Instead of (what looked like) his clumsy attempts to soothe an ignorant and paranoid public, the CDC head should have given a blunt assessment, educated everyone like adults, and encouraged them to exercise precaution. Then, seemingly in answer, two nurses who cared for the index patient from Liberia become Ebola positive.  And the CDC clears one of those nurses to take a commercial airline flight, even though she was in the early stages of Ebola infection…depressing.  From a medical professional standpoint, this was practically criminal negligence. At present, the disease is not transmitted by air (“airborne”), but any scientist worth his/her salt cannot account for mutations the virus may undergo.  This is why the job of the CDC is to contain harmful microbes, issue protocols to protect the public against them and ultimately eradicate them… period.  It is not to be PR professionals for television cameras and fostering carelessness.

I’m still convinced that the combined knowledge and brainpower of the CDC staff will be a major impediment to any virus taking over this country.  But Ebola probably has some tricks we haven’t seen yet. That means we may lose a few more battles before we can declare that this particular threat is behind us.

Meanwhile, how is development of that Ebola vaccine coming?

 

About the Author

DJ Donaldson ImageD.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology. His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter

 

Where to buy Louisiana Fever: Astor + Blue * Amazon * B&N * iTunes * Kobo

Louisiana Fever

 

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Posted in Medical Thriller, Spotlight on December 2, 2014

Cajun Nights is the first book in this series set in the Big Easy by author D.J. Donaldson.  The second book is Blood on the Bayou and the third book is No Mardi Gras for the Dead.

Cajun Nights - D.J. Donaldson

 

Synopsis

Young and vibrant New Orleans criminal psychologist Kit Franklyn has just been assigned her most challenging case yet—a collection of victims with type O blood who drove an antiquated car, humming a nursery rhyme right before committing murder and then suicide. Welcoming the help of her jovial boss, chief medical examiner Andy Broussard, the two set out to solve the case devising strictly scientific possibilities. Not once do they consider the involvement of black magic until an ancient Cajun sorcerer’s curse surfaces—“Beware the songs you loved in youth.”

Written in his unique style, Donaldson’s Cajun Nights combines hard-hitting, action-packed prose with brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics and the sultry flavor of New Orleans. The result is a gripping mystery involving murder and some occult flare in the creole heartland.

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amazon buybn buy

 

About the Author

DJ Donaldson ImageD.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter

 

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Medical Thriller on August 25, 2014

deadly errors

Synopsis

A comatose man is given a fatal dose of insulin in the emergency room, even though he isn’t diabetic. An ulcer patient dies of shock after receiving a transfusion of the wrong blood type. A recovering heart patient receives a double dose of medication and suffers a fatal heart attack.

Brain surgeon Dr. Tyler Matthews suspects that something is seriously wrong with the hospital’s new “Med-InDx” computerized medical record system. But he doesn’t suspect that there’s something murderously wrong with it.

As Matthews begins to peel back the layers of deception that cover the deadly errors, he crosses powerful corporate interests who aren’t about to let their multi-billion dollar medical record profits evaporate. Now a target, Matthews finds himself trapped in a maze of deadly conspiracy, with his career, his marriage, and his very life on the line.

Once again, Wyler blends his unparalleled expertise as a world class surgeon with his uncanny knack for suspense to create a true “best-of-breed” medical thriller. Deadly Errors is a lightning-quick action procedural that is destined to win new fans to the medical thriller genre.

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Excerpt

November, three months later, Seattle, Washington

Trauma Room Three, Maynard Medical Center Emergency Department

“Is this how you found him?” Robin Beck, the doctor on call, asked the paramedic as she quickly ran the back of her fingers over Tyrell Washington’s skin. Warm, dry. No fever, no clamminess. Black male. Age estimated in the mid-sixties. Half open eyes going no where. Findings that immediately funneled the diagnosis into the neurologic bin.

“Exactly as is. Unresponsive, pupils mid position and roving, normal sinus rhythm. Vital signs within normal limits. They’re charted on the intake sheet.” Breathing hard, the paramedic pulled the white plastic fracture board from under the patient, unofficially consummating the transfer of medical responsibility from Medic One to Maynard Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

“History?” Beck glanced at the heart monitor as that the nurse pasted the last pad to the man’s chest. Heart rate a bit too fast. Was his coma cardiac in origin?

A respiratory therapist poked his head through the door. “You call for respiratory therapy?”

She held up a “hold-on” palm to the paramedic, told the RT, “We’re going to have to intubate this man. Hang in here with me ‘til anesthesia gets here.”

The tech nodded. “You called them yet?”

“Haven’t had time. It’s your job now.” Without waiting for an answer she rose up on tip toes and called over the paramedic’s head to a second nurse plugging a fresh line into a plastic IV bag, “Glenda, get on the horn to imaging and tell them we need a STAT CT scan.” Better order it now. The scan’s status would be the first question out of the neurologist’s mouth when asked to see the patient. Nervously fingering the bell of her stethoscope, she turned to the paramedic. “I need some history. What have you got?”

“Nada.” He shook his head. “Zilch. Wife’s hysterical, can’t give us much more than she found him like this.” He nodded at the patient. “And, yeah, he’s been a patient here before.”

A phlebotomist jogged into the room, gripping the handle of a square metal basket filled with glass tube Vacutainers with different colored rubber stopper, sheathed needles, and alcohol sponges. “You call for some labs?”

“Affirmative. I want a standard admission draw including a tox screen.” A screen blood test for coma producing drugs. Then to the paramedic, “Did the wife call 911 immediately?”

He shrugged, pushed their van stretcher over so his partner standing just outside the door could remove it from the cramped room. “Far as I know.” He paused a beat. “You need me for anything else?”

“That’s it? Can’t you give me something else to work with?” She figured that under these circumstances a hysterical wife was of little help in giving her the information needed to start formulating a list of possible diagnoses.

His eyes flashed irritation. “This was a scoop and scoot. Alright? Now, if you don’t need me for anything else…”

She waved him off. “Yeah, yeah, thanks.” She wasn’t going to get anything more from him now. At least knowing the patient had been treated here before was some help.

She turned to monitor. Blood pressure and pulse stable. For the moment.

She called over to the lead nurse. “We got to get some history on him. I’m going to take a look at his medical records.

At the work station, Beck typed Tyrell Washington’s social security number into the computerized electronic medical record. A moment later the “front page” appeared on the screen. Quickly, she scanned it for any illness he might have that could cause his present coma. And found it. Tyrell must be diabetic. His medication list showed daily injections of a combination of regular and long-lasting insulin. Odds were he was now suffering a ketogenic crisis caused by lack of insulin.

Armed with this information, Robin Beck hurried to the admitting desk where Mrs. Washington was updating insurance information with a clerk.

“Mrs. Washington, I’m doctor Beck… has your husband received any insulin today?”

Brow wrinkled, the wife’s questioning eyes met her. “No. Why?”

Suspicions confirmed, Beck said, “Thank you, Mrs. Washington. I’ll be right back to talk to you further.” Already calculating Tyrell’s insulin dose, Beck hurried back to Trauma Room 3.

“I want 15 units of NPH insulin and I want it now.” She figured, Let him start metabolizing glucose for an hour before titrating his blood sugar into an ideal level. For now she’d hold off calling for a neurology consult until assessing Washington’s response to treatment.

“Mama, what’s happened to Papa?”

Erma Washington stopped wringing her hands and rocking back and forth on the threadbare waiting room chair. Serena, her oldest daughter crouched directly in front of her. She’d called Serena – the most responsible of her three children – immediately after hanging up the phone with 911.

“I don’t know, baby… I just don’t know.” Her mind seemed blank, wiped out by the horror of what life would be like without Tyrell.

Her daughter reached out and took hold of both her hands. “Have the doctors told you anything yet?”

“No baby, nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“No, wait…” Amazed that she’d completely forgotten. “A lady doctor came, asked had Papa been given insulin today.”

Insulin? Why’d she ask such a thing, Mama? Papa doesn’t take insulin!”

In November 1999, the Institute of Medicine concluded a study entitled, To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System. It focused attention on the issue of medical errors and patient safety by reporting that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals each year from preventable medical errors. This makes medical errors this country’s eighth leading cause of death — higher than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. About 7,000 people per year were estimated (at that time) to die from medication errors alone. In spite of efforts by health care providers to decrease the rate of these preventable errors, they are still a cause of morbidity and mortality.

How can you, as a consumer, limit your risk of becoming the victim of an error? Numerous studies have shown errors to be lower when using computerized medical records. Does your doctor use a computerized system? Also, errors occur more commonly during “hand offs,” when care is passed between providers. Examples are: a change of shift for hospitalized patients, or when doctors refer a patient to a specialist. Always make sure your personal health information is passed accurately between providers. You might consider keeping a copy of vital information such as your prescription drugs and thier dosages. Always be sure to check prescriptions when accepting medications from pharmacies, especially if receiving generic drugs. If a pill doesn’t look familiar, verify with the pharmacist the does and drug. Although errors are unlikely to be reduced to zero, consumer vigilance by lower the rate to more acceptable levels.

 

About the Author

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

Website

Giveaway

1 Print Copy of Deadly Errors by Allen Wyler.  Open to US & Canada residents only.

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Posted in Medical Thriller, Spotlight on July 26, 2014

SWCF_cvr

Synopsis

“D.J. Donaldson is superb at spinning medical fact into gripping suspense.  With his in-depth knowledge of science and medicine, he is one of very few authors who can write with convincing authority.” — Tess Gerritsen, NY Times best-selling author of the Rizzoli & Isles novels

Andy Broussard, the plump and proud New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food.  Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, the two make a powerful, although improbable, mystery solving duo.

Strange lesions found in the brain of a dead man have forensic pathologist Broussard stumped.  Even more baffling are the corpse’s fingerprints.  They belong to Ronald Cicero, a lifer at Angola State Prison… an inmate the warden insists is still there.  Broussard sends psychologist Kit Franklyn to find out who is locked up in Cicero’s cell.  But an astonishing discovery at the jail and an attempt on her life almost has Kit sleeping with the crawfish in a bayou swamp. And Broussard, making a brilliant deduction about another murder, may soon be digging his own grave.

D.J. Donaldson’s brilliant first-hand knowledge of forensics, combined with a sultry flavor of New Orleans, equals a series that provides “sheer pulse-pounding reading excitement” (The Clarion Ledger) and “genuinely heart-stopping suspense” (Publisher’s Weekly).  With ingenuity and authentic detail, Donaldson presents a first class forensic procedural within an irresistibly delectable mystery.

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About the Author

D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology.  His entire academic career was spent at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center, where he published dozens of papers on wound-healing and where he taught microscopic anatomy to thousands of medical and dental students.

He is also the author of seven published forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two West Highland terriers. In the spring of most years he simply cannot stop buying new flowers and other plants for the couple’s prized backyard garden.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads * Twitter

donaldson-1

 

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Posted in 4 1/2 paws, excerpt, Medical Thriller, Review, Thriller on July 17, 2014

The New Reality banner

 

The New Reality 2

 

Title: The New Reality
Author: Stephen Martino
Publisher: Light Messages
Pages: 333
Genre: Thriller
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

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Synopsis

After a deadly retrovirus is inadvertently released upon the planet in 2080, no country is financially prepared to deal with such a disaster. Only the acclaimed neuroscientist, Alex Pella, and NIH expert, Marissa Ambrosia, have the audacity to lead a search for the cure while simultaneously fending off a foreign elite military unit sent to stop them. Guided by an ancient code concealed within the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the scientists must traverse ancient lands and attempt to solve a biblical riddle in order to save humanity from its eminent destruction.

Drawing from both our nation’s politically charged environment and the worldwide economic crisis, The New Reality follows Alex Pella on a journey that projects a frightening path for human existence in the twenty-first century.

Thoughts about the book from the author

THE NEW REALITY is the first book in a projected trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist Stephen Martino. With his mixture of medicine, politics, biblical riddles, and futuristic science, Martino joins such masters of the medical thriller genre as Dan Brown, Michael Crichton, and Robin Cook.

Martino says he wrote THE NEW REALITY “more than just to entertain the reader. I really wanted to create a novel with substance, like (Brown’s) THE DA VINCI CODE or (Crichton’s) JURASSIC PARK. These books not only tell a fantastic story, but they also make the reader think.”

In THE NEW REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic manipulation, gene therapy, unprecedented economic debt, and the rise of big government, combining them with more esoteric subjects such as the Bible Code and the mysteries hidden in the Book of Revelation.

The Bible Code, Martino explains, does exist and was discovered by Dr. Eli Rips, a mathematician in quantum physics. The code has been confirmed by mathematicians at Yale, Harvard, and Hebrew University, as well as by peer-reviewed mathematical journals and the Pentagon. The code, Martino continues, is found in the original Hebrew version of the first five books of the Old Testament, called the Torah, and only in its untranslated, Hebrew form.

All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE NEW REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential consequences we face as a nation if they are not properly addressed today.”

Excerpt

“Off to work again?” Suzan asked, both half-kidding and annoyed.

Her husband seemed oblivious to the question. Because he labored three weeks of double shifts and returned home from work only four hours prior, she thought he was going to at least have the rest of the this day off. Clearly that was not the case. With so many of his coworkers getting sick, it left only a handful of dedicated employees to man the local factory.

“They’re working you straight into the grave,” Suzan added. “They only care about money and not their employees. I don’t know why you let them do this to you. Look at you.” She pointed the dishtowel towards him. “You are an old man and your body can’t do this anymore.”

She was right. Berk was going to be 65 next month and his youthful vitality had been quickly dwindling over the past few years. As arthritis in his back and neck set in, he could do less physical activity, causing him to gain weight. No longer a strapping young man, he had acquired a large gut and two extra chins in the process. Berk’s jet-black hair had also grayed precipitously since putting in all these extra hours at work.

“You worry too much,” he cajoled with a cherub-like grin.

In fact, Berk had been the one doing most of the worrying. He was concerned not only for himself but also for his friends and family in this small town of Yakakoy. Located in western Turkey just off the Aegean Sea, the town’s sole means of sustenance was its local factory. With fewer healthy employees remaining, it left only a handful of people to keep the business alive.

“If I didn’t do the worrying, who would?” Suzan scoffed, while washing the pots in the sink.

Suzan was a sturdy woman, full of life. Accustomed to the hard work of living on a farm as a child, she had grown strong both physically and mentally. Though fifty years of age, she still retained her youthful glow and joked about marrying such an old man. She always responded that he was young when she married him, and now look what happened.

Berk tried to leave without his wife noticing, but she held out her cheek, expecting a kiss before his departure.

“I have to be at the factory,” he curtly responded, while attempting to open the door.

“Oh, no honey. You’re not leaving until you give your wife her proper goodbye.”

Suzan grabbed Berk’s wrist. To her surprise it felt warm and clammy, almost as if she were holding a wet snake. She then realized how red her husband’s face appeared. It was as if he fell asleep in a tanning bed and forgot to wake up for a day.

Berk looked down, not knowing what to say to his wife. They both had witnessed at least half their town come down with the same condition. Whenever someone developed these symptoms, they were immediately whisked away, never to be seen again. Over the past six months Yakakoy had slowly dwindled down to a fraction of its original population. Berk hoped that if he continued working no one would notice his declining health. Failure was not an option for him, and the last thing he ever wanted was to be forced to leave his dear wife and town.

“They’re not going to take you away, honey!” Suzan blurted with authority. “They will have to get through me first. Now you go upstairs and get some rest. You probably just have a fever from working too hard. I’ll tell the factory that you sprained your ankle and will be there in the morning.”

Berk knew excuses would not suffice. If anyone missed work or was late, the town police would immediately come to the house. With so many people in Yakakoy becoming mysteriously sick, the Turkish government had become adamant about removing anyone from the town with signs of The Disease.

The Disease is what the people called it. Since its appearance almost a year ago, it first spread quickly through Greece and Turkey, afflicting more of its population than either government cared to divulge. Scientists could give it no other name. No pathological organism for this new scourge could be found. Neither bacteria, virus, protozoa nor other infectious agent was ever discovered. Even rare pathogens such as prions, similar to those causing mad cow disease, were investigated but without any success.

Now as new victims began cropping up all over the world, humanity lay helpless at the mercy of The Disease. Without knowing the cause of this scourge or having any idea about the mode of its dissemination, humanity stood at the precipice of mass extinction. To prevent global chaos, there remained a total media blackout on the situation. All the general population of the world knew was that The Disease had been mostly confined to Turkey and Greece. Those that understood the truth were forced to secrecy.

Review

If you like your books to be futuristic, a little sci-fi, a tough of romance, a smattering of religion and some medical twists thrown in, then this is the book for you!

It’s the year 2080 and The Disease is killing many people and the race is on to find the cure.  New Reality is a large corporation that has lent money to many countries who do nothing but spend it unwisely (sound familiar?!).  As the story unfolds you will come to love some characters and hate others…and well maybe just not understand some either.  There are a few story lines that all tie together at the end leaving me wondering if this is the first in a trilogy what else can go wrong?!  Oh wait, I think I know but can’t say too much without giving away the ending.

I felt like the author did an amazing job of revealing just enough of the science and technology to make it believable (it is 60+ years in the future after all) but kept the characters like people you would run into walking down the street.  There will be times that you wonder why some of the characters put up with the actions of others…but all is revealed in the end and there are a few surprises too.  Many I was not expecting!

We enjoyed this book and give it 4 1/2 paws.

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About the Author

Stephen MartinoStephen Martino holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a neurologist in New Jersey. When he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to educate the local community and healthcare professionals on the signs, symptoms and treatment of stroke. THE NEW REALITY is his first novel.

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Posted in excerpt, Medical Thriller, Spotlight on July 12, 2014

deadly errors

Synopsis

A comatose man is given a fatal dose of insulin in the emergency room, even though he isn’t diabetic.  An ulcer patient dies of shock after receiving a transfusion of the wrong blood type.  A recovering heart patient receives a double dose of medication and suffers a fatal heart attack.

Brain surgeon Dr. Tyler Matthews suspects that something is seriously wrong with the hospital’s new “Med-InDx” computerized medical record system. But he doesn’t suspect that there’s something murderously wrong with it.

As Matthews begins to peel back the layers of deception that cover the deadly errors, he crosses powerful corporate interests who aren’t about to let their multi-billion dollar medical record profits evaporate. Now a target, Matthews finds himself trapped in a maze of deadly conspiracy, with his career, his marriage, and his very life on the line.

Once again, Wyler blends his unparalleled expertise as a world class surgeon with his uncanny knack for suspense to create a true “best-of-breed” medical thriller. Deadly Errors is a lightning-quick action procedural that is destined to win new fans to the medical thriller genre.

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Excerpt

November, three months later, Seattle, Washington

Trauma Room Three, Maynard Medical Center Emergency Department

“Is this how you found him?” Robin Beck, the doctor on call, asked the paramedic as she quickly ran the back of her fingers over Tyrell Washington’s skin. Warm, dry. No fever, no clamminess. Black male. Age estimated in the mid-sixties. Half open eyes going no where. Findings that immediately funneled the diagnosis into the neurologic bin.

“Exactly as is. Unresponsive, pupils mid position and roving, normal sinus rhythm. Vital signs within normal limits. They’re charted on the intake sheet.” Breathing hard, the paramedic pulled the white plastic fracture board from under the patient, unofficially consummating the transfer of medical responsibility from Medic One to Maynard Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

“History?” Beck glanced at the heart monitor as that the nurse pasted the last pad to the man’s chest. Heart rate a bit too fast. Was his coma cardiac in origin?

A respiratory therapist poked his head through the door. “You call for respiratory therapy?”

She held up a “hold-on” palm to the paramedic, told the RT, “We’re going to have to intubate this man. Hang in here with me ‘til anesthesia gets here.”

The tech nodded. “You called them yet?”

“Haven’t had time. It’s your job now.” Without waiting for an answer she rose up on tip toes and called over the paramedic’s head to a second nurse plugging a fresh line into a plastic IV bag, “Glenda, get on the horn to imaging and tell them we need a STAT CT scan.” Better order it now. The scan’s status would be the first question out of the neurologist’s mouth when asked to see the patient. Nervously fingering the bell of her stethoscope, she turned to the paramedic. “I need some history. What have you got?”

“Nada.” He shook his head. “Zilch. Wife’s hysterical, can’t give us much more than she found him like this.” He nodded at the patient. “And, yeah, he’s been a patient here before.”

A phlebotomist jogged into the room, gripping the handle of a square metal basket filled with glass tube Vacutainers with different colored rubber stopper, sheathed needles, and alcohol sponges. “You call for some labs?”

“Affirmative. I want a standard admission draw including a tox screen.” A screen blood test for coma producing drugs. Then to the paramedic, “Did the wife call 911 immediately?”

He shrugged, pushed their van stretcher over so his partner standing just outside the door could remove it from the cramped room. “Far as I know.” He paused a beat. “You need me for anything else?”

“That’s it? Can’t you give me something else to work with?” She figured that under these circumstances a hysterical wife was of little help in giving her the information needed to start formulating a list of possible diagnoses.

His eyes flashed irritation. “This was a scoop and scoot. Alright? Now, if you don’t need me for anything else…”

She waved him off. “Yeah, yeah, thanks.” She wasn’t going to get anything more from him now. At least knowing the patient had been treated here before was some help.

She turned to monitor. Blood pressure and pulse stable. For the moment.

She called over to the lead nurse. “We got to get some history on him. I’m going to take a look at his medical records.

At the work station, Beck typed Tyrell Washington’s social security number into the computerized electronic medical record. A moment later the “front page” appeared on the screen. Quickly, she scanned it for any illness he might have that could cause his present coma. And found it. Tyrell must be diabetic. His medication list showed daily injections of a combination of regular and long-lasting insulin. Odds were he was now suffering a ketogenic crisis caused by lack of insulin.

Armed with this information, Robin Beck hurried to the admitting desk where Mrs. Washington was updating insurance information with a clerk.

“Mrs. Washington, I’m doctor Beck… has your husband received any insulin today?”

Brow wrinkled, the wife’s questioning eyes met her. “No. Why?”

Suspicions confirmed, Beck said, “Thank you, Mrs. Washington. I’ll be right back to talk to you further.” Already calculating Tyrell’s insulin dose, Beck hurried back to Trauma Room 3.

“I want 15 units of NPH insulin and I want it now.” She figured, Let him start metabolizing glucose for an hour before titrating his blood sugar into an ideal level. For now she’d hold off calling for a neurology consult until assessing Washington’s response to treatment.

“Mama, what’s happened to Papa?”

Erma Washington stopped wringing her hands and rocking back and forth on the threadbare waiting room chair. Serena, her oldest daughter crouched directly in front of her. She’d called Serena – the most responsible of her three children – immediately after hanging up the phone with 911.

“I don’t know, baby… I just don’t know.” Her mind seemed blank, wiped out by the horror of what life would be like without Tyrell.

Her daughter reached out and took hold of both her hands. “Have the doctors told you anything yet?”

“No baby, nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“No, wait…” Amazed that she’d completely forgotten. “A lady doctor came, asked had Papa been given insulin today.”

Insulin? Why’d she ask such a thing, Mama? Papa doesn’t take insulin!”

In November 1999, the Institute of Medicine concluded a study entitled, To Err Is Human: Building A Safer Health System. It focused attention on the issue of medical errors and patient safety by reporting that as many as 44,000 to 98,000 people die in hospitals each year from preventable medical errors. This makes medical errors this country’s eighth leading cause of death — higher than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS. About 7,000 people per year were estimated (at that time) to die from medication errors alone. In spite of efforts by health care providers to decrease the rate of these preventable errors, they are still a cause of morbidity and mortality.

How can you, as a consumer, limit your risk of becoming the victim of an error? Numerous studies have shown errors to be lower when using computerized medical records. Does your doctor use a computerized system? Also, errors occur more commonly during “hand offs,” when care is passed between providers. Examples are: a change of shift for hospitalized patients, or when doctors refer a patient to a specialist. Always make sure your personal health information is passed accurately between providers. You might consider keeping a copy of vital information such as your prescription drugs and thier dosages. Always be sure to check prescriptions when accepting medications from pharmacies, especially if receiving generic drugs. If a pill doesn’t look familiar, verify with the pharmacist the does and drug. Although errors are unlikely to be reduced to zero, consumer vigilance by lower the rate to more acceptable levels.

 

 About the Author

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

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Posted in Blog tour, Medical Thriller, mystery, suspense on January 14, 2014

The-Cured

Title: The Cured

Author: David Wind & Terese Ramin

Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Publisher: Smashwords

Pages: 274

Language: English

ISBN-13: 978-1-48178-874-8

Synopsis

When over 4000 people world-wide died after taking a cure for cancer, the drug was recalled. But the questions kept coming. Was it contamination? Was it sabotage? Or,was it outright murder by an insane research scientist in retaliation against the pharmaceutical giant he worked for and to avenge the death of his wife?

And everyone wanted Doctor Donald Brockman! The lawyers wanted answers; the FDA wanted answers and, Homeland Security wanted the doctor!

When the 911 code flashed across her beeper, Doctor Kira Brockman went cold. The one thing she had been dreading had happened and her life as she knew it had been changed, and the change was for the worst!

The wrong people had found her father!

She knew she had very little time to get out of the hospital, to find her brother and to run before Homeland Security and the FBI found them, and they were not the only ones: the lawyers who were in the midst of a huge class action suit against the international pharmaceutical manufacturing giant who had sold the cancer cure wanted her and the evidence she had as well as the lethal security team from the drug company who was trying to stop Kira Brockman from disclosing the evidence only she could get—evidence that would save her father—and they would use any means necessary to stop her.

And so begins a heart stopping cross country race to save her father’s life and prove he was not responsible for the deaths of 4000 people—The Cured—who had survived cancer because of his medication and then inexplicitly died from the very cure he’d created.

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

The Third Week of August

Eleven A.M., Princeton, New Jersey

Donald R. Brockman MD, PhD, finished the half Windsor knot and centered the burgundy tie neatly between the peaks of his shirt collar. Nervousness radiated from every pore. Today was critical for the chief research scientist of Luxow Pharmaceutical oncology division. He’d never been a whistle blower before, but in ten minutes he would drive to Philadelphia where two opposing teams of lawyers waited to take his deposition for what might prove the most horrific international product liability case the world had ever seen.

The original plan for his testimony had changed at the last minute; the only thing of which he was certain was that today would either see him a free man or a marked man. The attorneys suing Luxow had assured him once his testimony was on record he would be safe. They guaranteed there was nothing the huge international conglomerate could do to him, other than try to discredit him.

Even from the world-insulated confines of his laboratory, Dr. Brockman had seen too much of human nature to believe them.

Turning from the mirror, he went to the dresser and looked at the arrangement of photographs. His late wife smiled at him from the frame on the left. God, how I miss you. Has it really been five years?

The center picture brought to memory the shower clean scent of strawberry hair; it framed a face that was a mirror of his wife’s, only younger. Twenty-three-year-old Kira Brockman had her mother’s gentle beauty and inquisitive blue eyes. She also had the iron core that had brought him to choose to testify today.

To the right of Kira, his son, Michael, smiled happily. The picture had been taken six years ago when Michael was a seven-year-old bundle of kinetic energy. A surprise baby ten years younger than Kira, he’d been happy then. Diagnosed at two with Asperger’s Syndrome, Michael had depended on his mother to be his link to the world. Irene had worked with him daily, teaching him not only how to communicate, but how to be in a world in which he was markedly different.  At four, when his IQ had been off the charts, she’d helped him learn how to focus his energies, make use of his intelligence. When she’d died, he’d stopped talking and retreated into a private world that nothing could induce him to leave. The doctors Donald had consulted said Michael suffered from post-traumatic stress. But how could a seven year old suffer from PTSD? It was a question Donald had asked himself hundreds of times. He only hoped the day would come when Michael could be happy again.

Brockman pushed off the overwhelming sadness thinking of his son brought on, and retrieved his jacket from the bed. He put it on, readjusted the cell phone on his belt, went down the carpeted stairs to the living room, and glanced at the clock. Ten-fifty-nine—time to leave if he was to make his two o’clock appointment.

The dull metal sound of a car door closing drew his attention to the living room window. He crossed to look between the drawn drapes. Two vehicles were at the curb. The sight shook him hard. Apprehension turned into fear when Bill Thorndyke, head of security for Luxow, got out of the first car.

He’d been found out.

On the heels of realization, fear became a thought-clearing, strangely calming anger. With all the clandestine planning devoted to setting up his testimony, Donald Brockman had known discovery was inevitable. Luxow would have moved heaven and earth to learn his identity. They could not allow him to testify. Exposure was an unacceptable risk for a drug company on the verge of the biggest breakthrough in cancer treatment the world had ever seen.

The doorbell rang. Brockman backed away from the window into the foyer, and looked around. There were only two ways in or out of the house and this one was compromised. He started to turn toward the kitchen, only to pause when a noise came from that door, too. Trapped. He took a quick breath. With no way out there was only one thing left to do.

“Be ready,” he whispered and took out his cell phone. Pressing speed dial, he raised the phone to his ear.  He waited for the prompt, then pressed the pound key, entered three digits, and closed the phone as the front door burst open. Turning, he faced Bill Thorndyke and a second man. The head of security stepped in close, took the phone, and slipped it into his pocket.

“Don’t make us use force, Doctor.” He nodded at the two men who came through the kitchen. They flanked Brockman on either side. “Let’s go,” Thorndyke ordered.

“You won’t get away with this. They’re expecting me at the deposition.”

Thorndyke’s smile exposed tobacco yellowed teeth. “You won’t make the deposition.” Turning to the man next to him he said, “Check the house. Get the computer,” making Brockman thankful once again he’d decided to hide the files in the manner he had.

Maneuvered outside by the men on either side of him, he took a last, desperate look around, hoping someone, anyone would be there. But, it was almost mid-day in the commuter suburb. The street was deserted.

Behind him, Thorndyke stepped out of the house and closed the door. Brockman swiveled his head to look at the other man. Something in Thorndyke’s flat-eyed gaze made his blood run cold. It was now or never.

Facing forward, he took a half step and stumbled, pulled free of the men holding his arms, then shot forward into a run. He made it six steps before one of the security men took his legs out from under him in a rolling football tackle. His head slammed the cement walkway with a loud crack. Onrushing darkness claimed him.

“God damn it!” Thorndyke snapped. He looked around to make sure there were no witnesses. “Get him into the car, fast!” he ordered, staring at the small pool of blackish blood left on the concrete sidewalk. “Shit!”

About the Authors

David-WindDavid Wind is the author of 34 Novels. He began writing in 1979 and has published novels of suspense, adventure, science fiction, historical fiction and romance.

David’s novel, Angels In Mourning, won the reader’s choice Book Award from thebookawards.com. It is available as an Ebook and Trade Paper.

David’s thrillers are The Hyte Maneuver, (a Literary guild alternate selection), As Peace Lay Dying, and Conspiracy of Mirrors which were originally written under the pen name David Milton. For the mystery/suspense novels, And Down will Come Baby, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and Shadows, David worked with his wife Bonnie Faber

Co-Op, is a mainstream novel about the lives of people inhabiting a New York City cooperative apartment building.

Queen of Knights, a medieval fantasy, and The Others were stories of fantasy and science fiction.

In 1988, David was honored by science fiction writer and Hugo Award Grand Master Andre Norton, who, after reading Queen of Knights, asked David to write a short story for inclusion in her Andre Norton’s Tales From The Witch World 2 Anthology Series.

David also wrote the novelization of the 7 day ABC miniseries, The Last Days Of Pompeii.

David lives in Chestnut Ridge, NY, with his wife Bonnie and their sub-standard poodle, Alfie.

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Terese-RaminTerese Ramin is the award winning author of 10 novels of romance, romantic suspense, adventure, paranormal romance, and thrillers available in the U.S. and worldwide.

Her shorter works have been published in anthologies, including the charitable collaborations Bewitched, Bothered, & BeVampyred (to benefit the International Red Cross) and The Sound and the Furry (to benefit the International Fund for Animal Welfare – IFAW). Her work has been translated and published in Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, and Portuguese.

Among her many writing achievements Terese has been awarded RWA Golden Heart Award and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award.

She lives in Michigan with her husband.

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Posted in 4 paws, Medical Thriller, Review, suspense on December 20, 2013

 

Catastrophic

 

Synopsis

College phenom running back Tyler Bentley is the ultimate success story. The son of a single mother from a wayward stretch of highway in Western Wyoming, he heads to Midwestern football powerhouse Ohio Tech and
becomes a star, MVP of the Centennial Bowl, runner-up to the Heisman Trophy.

He is also the ultimate fall from grace story when a freak play occurs, leaving his knee shattered.

Seeing an opportunity, the SynTronic medical corporation convinces Tyler to use their newly-designed KnightRunner knee replacement, promising him that he’ll be back on the field long before the upcoming season. Everything they promise comes true up until the product malfunctions, costing Tyler his career and his leg.

Now, leaning on the help of his one-time teacher Shane Laszlo, Tyler must take his battle from the gridiron to the courtroom. Laszlo, an Ohio Tech alum himself just a year removed from law school, has his own score to settle with SynTronic, an incident occurring years before with repercussions far greater than the loss of a limb.

Together, they will go into the biggest case Ohio has ever seen…

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Review

What a good suspense novel pitting a big corporation against a rookie lawyer and the rising football star that loses out because of their product. While you know that right will win out in the end, the journey to get there is very twisted!  You root for some of the characters and want to strangle the big corporation lawyers and staff, they epitomize evil.  The story is very engaging because it is something that could actually happen in our world today and we have seen many stories in the press of large corporations being sued for failing products.

We give this story 4 paws and recommend it next time you are looking for a medical suspense/thriller novel!

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About the author

I originally hale from the Midwest, growing up in the heart of farm country, and still consider it, along with West Tennessee, my co-home. Between the two, I have a firm belief that football is the greatest of all past-times, sweet tea is really the only acceptable beverage for any occasion, there is not an event on earth that either gym shorts or boots can’t be worn to, and that Dairy Queen is the best restaurant on the planet. Further, southern accents are a highly likeable feature on most everybody, English bulldogs sit atop the critter hierarchy, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Saturday night spent catfishing at the lake.

Since leaving the Midwest I’ve been to college in New England, grad school in the Rockies, and lived in over a dozen different cities ranging from DC to Honolulu along the way. Each and every one of these experiences has shaped who I am at this point, a fact I hope is expressed in my writing. I have developed enormous affinity for locales and people of every size and shape, and even if I never figure out a way to properly convey them on paper, I am very much grateful for their presence in my life.

To sum it up, I asked a very good friend recently how they would describe me for something like this. Their response: “Plagued by realism and trained by experiences/education to be a pessimist, you somehow remain above all else an active dreamer.” While I can’t say those are the exact words I would choose, I can’t say they’re wrong. I travel, live in different places, try new foods, meet all kinds of different people, and above all else stay curious to a fault.

Here’s hoping it continues to provide us all with some pretty good stories.

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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