Keep Me Close: An utterly gripping psychological thriller with a shocking twist by Jane Holland – #BookReview – #medicalthrillers

Book Blurb:

Someone is hurting the most vulnerable person in your life, but they can’t tell you who it is. What would you do?

Keep Me Close by Jane HollandWhen shy publisher Kate Kinley finds mysterious bruises on her mother’s arms she assumes the worst. Suffering with early onset dementia, her mother insists that nothing is wrong; it was just a clumsy accident. But was it an accident, or has her mother’s illness made her forget what really happened?

In desperate need of someone she can trust, her isolation and paranoia grow as the closest people in her life become key suspects.

With each heart-stopping revelation, Kate begins to realise that the perpetrator is no longer interested in inflicting bruises; they want blood.

Keep Me Close is a compelling story of gross immorality, a cautionary tale of how easily wicked people can take advantage of the vulnerable elderly people in your life.

His Review:

Caring for a parent with dementia is never easy. Kate has had a number of people taking care of her mother who is rapidly deteriorating. Mysterious bruising and other problems indicate someone is mistreating her. Who would do such a thing to an elderly frail woman?

Keep Me Close by Jane HollandAfter her longtime care giver disappears, Kate is pleased to find Ruby. She is the perfect answer and is given a room in the house to help compensate for the many hours she spends with Kates’ mom. Signs of abuse point to Kate and letters appear under her door claiming she is a terrible person and unworthy.

Kate desperately works to keep her mother at home and under loving care and protection. Her job as a publishing editor is continually at risk because of a uncaring employer and a punk writer. She is assigned to correct the proof for the writer and finds many problems. Conflicts arise as her mother gets worse and her boss threatens to fire her.

Logan is a handsome suitor and Kate allows herself to date two years after her husband’s suicide. She is very tenuous and careful in allowing any relationships because of the loss of not only a husband but her father as well. A solicitor clouds the care issue because he is “her mothers’” solicitor and not hers. This relationship clouds the overall tension and Kate’s good intensions.

The main character is portrayed as a very tenuous personality whose relationships are always under scrutiny by her boss. He is a true self-centered narcissist who does not like women. His response to most of them is smiling wickedness. One would like to accidentally run over him in a dark alley.

CE WilliamsI enjoyed the novel but got a little tired of Kate’s inability to stand up for herself. She also tends to procrastinate in reporting events that scare and concern her. The police are a day or two behind each event. Rather than report the abuse of her mother to the police she hesitates because she feels that they will think she is the perpetrator. Wallowing in self doubt and letting others push her around got a bit tiresome and allowed some interest to wane. 4 stars – CE Williams 

We received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are his honest opinions.

Rosepoint Publishing: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Vigilante Justice Thrillers, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher: Lume Books
ASIN: B096W81Y6Q
Print Length: 326 pages
Publication Date: September 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Keep Me Close [Amazon]
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Jane Holland - authorThe Author: Jane Holland is a Gregory Award-winning poet and bestselling novelist (Twitter @janeholland1). Her psychological thriller GIRL NUMBER ONE hit #1 in the UK Kindle store in 2015 and 2018. Latest novel: KEEP ME CLOSE. Her debut novel KISSING THE PINK was inspired by the Women’s Pro Snooker circuit, where Jane was once a champion player ranked 24th in the world before being banned for life for ‘bringing the game into disrepute’. Since turning from sport to writing, she’s published dozens of novels with major publishing houses under various pseudonyms, including: Betty Walker (Avon Books: World War II saga series ‘The Cornish Girls’) Beth Good (contemporary romcoms), Victoria Lamb (historical fiction and YA fantasy), Elizabeth Moss (historical romance), Hannah Coates (feel-good doggy fiction), and JJ Holland (action thrillers featuring disillusioned peer Aubrey Savage).

She also writes practical writing manuals such as Writing Prompts for Thriller Writers, along with a sister book for Romance Writers, and other non-fiction books, including a new ‘Dreams Journal’ for complex dream interpretation.

Photograph credit: Anand Chhabra

©2021 V Williams – V Williams

Bad Medicine (The Medical Students Book 2) by James B Cohoon–#BookReview – #medicalthrillers

“Another nocebo effect in Room 12.”

Book Blurb:

Bad Medicine by James B CohoonFrom busy hospitals in San Diego to the barren deserts of Arizona, this tension-filled thriller, the second installment of The Medical Students series, follows the life and death challenges, the surprising twists and turns, and the ethical dilemmas of two young doctors in their quest to rid the profession of bad doctors who practice bad medicine resulting in bad outcomes.

Book One, Do No Harm, introduced Torrey Jamison and Matthew Preston. Torrey, with her genius IQ, gained acceptance to Stanford Medical School to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatric neurosurgeon in honor of her little sister, Leia, who died of brain cancer. At Stanford, she met her future husband, Matthew, who pursued medical school for the sole purpose of becoming a prison doctor in order to gain access to—and kill—his father’s murderer who was incarcerated in San Quentin. As their relationship deepened, Torrey was forced to confront the potential value and moral ambiguity of vigilantism.

In this page-turning, stand-alone suspense sequel, Bad Medicine, newlyweds Torrey and Matthew have graduated from medical school and are now new doctors at Kaiser hospital in San Diego. While there, they learn of a friend’s young niece who has fallen victim to a doctor who is running a phony cancer treatment center. Putting their careers and marriage in jeopardy, Dr. Jamison and Dr. Preston agree to help their friend’s family seek the ultimate revenge.

My Review:

While I greatly enjoy medical thrillers, particularly those that impart tidbits of knowledge of the medical field, I must admit to more than once scoffing at scenes in this narrative.

Bad Medicine by James B CohoonTorrey Jamison and Matthew Preston are newlyweds who have taken positions at Kaiser Hospital in San Diego. So far, so good (as my assumption with Kaiser doctors is that they are not particularly well seasoned). Torrey appears to be the brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon in the making, while Matthew is the hard-working nose to the grindstone GP. Matthew measures his responses while Torrey is the brilliant knee-jerk fireball and they both have issues, specifically Matthew who goes totally against his persona to work at San Quentin for the sole purpose of revenge.

However, having fulfilled that act of personal justice, now the wheels have flipped for Torrey and she is head and shoulders into stopping (forever) a doctor who is pulling in major bucks on a phony cancer treatment for children with terminal brain tumors.

I just wasn’t able to swallow that these two medical  residents would risk everything to devote any “extra” time they had to investigating the doctor and his phony practice. The author went for dramatic effect but pushed too unrealistic. The “nocebo effect” wasn’t something I was familiar with and the lack of medical attention afforded the casualty was callous. I couldn’t understand the flip in their moral codes or the choices made as persons of the profession to “do no harm” and found the writing style a bit awkward.

I didn’t read Book 1, but found this standalone a little too improbable. The pacing was a bit slow for me. There will be those who enjoy medical thrillers with twists and they will enjoy but perhaps it just wasn’t the book for me.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Vigilante Justice
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
ASIN: B097S4ZFK2
Print Length: 248 pages
Publication Date: June 30, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley 

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble 

 

James B Cohoon - authorThe Author: James Cohoon was the president of a Los Angeles based law firm until his early retirement in 2014. As a civil litigation lawyer for over 30 years, he frequently lectured and published legal articles. His daily work included writing legal briefs for judges and other lawyers which were, in essence, ‘stories’ to fit the facts of his hundreds of legal cases. He resides in California with his high-school sweetheart, Rozanne, with whom he has two children–Kristin, a lawyer who is presently a stay-at-home mother, and Travis, a doctor who is just starting a cardiology fellowship.

Besides playing with his grandsons–Everett and Beckett–James enjoys sighting Orca whales from the San Juan Islands shoreline, playing bridge, and mowing the lawn.

Do No Harm (The Medical Students, Book 1) is his debut novel. Book 2 in the series is in the works.

©2021 V Williams V Williams

Reading Ireland Month 2021 – My March Reading List and Cathy’s Irish Celebration!

Beginning March 2nd I’m participating in the Begorrathon–#readingirelandmonth2021 this year (as I did last) and have put together a list of the books I’ll be reviewing along with their links to Amazon and hope that you’ll join us!

Reading Ireland Month 2021

The books may be about Ireland, have an Irish protagonist, or be written either by an Irish author or author with Irish roots. Most books on my list were previously released. In the States, we normally celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades, pub specials, and corned beef and cabbage. Last year the celebrations were cancelled due to the pandemic and has this year as well.

Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the fifth annual celebration of all things Irish, in the company of her partner, Niall of The Fluff is Raging.   

You may want to check Cathy’s website to see her theme schedule. Additionally, she will feature film reviews, poems, music, interviews, and giveaways. (I am hoping to provide a soda bread recipe and possibly another poem written by my grandfather.) She has a monster list of 100 books you can peruse and a collection of recommendations. Connect with Cathy on Facebook and be sure to use her hashtags #readingirelandmonth21 and #begorrathon21.

Have you found a favorite Irish podcaster yet? I still recommend the Celtfather, Marc Gunn, at the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast. I’ll add in another poem written by my grandfather, Patrick J Rose (aka Stanley McShane) who (as far as we can tell) hailed from Cork.

So here is my schedule of my books so far (subject, of course, to constant revision):

1.      The Shortest Day by Cólm Toíbin – Literary Short Stories – March 2 – a CE review

2.      The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue – Audiobook – #1 Best Seller in Medical Fiction – March 4

3.      Murder in an Irish Cottage (An Irish Village Mystery Book 7) by Carlene O’Connor – Ghost Mysteries to be reviewed on Friday, March 5

4.      Normal People by Sally Rooney – Audiobook review on March 11

5.      First Love by Steven Henry (An Erin O’Reilly K-9 Mysteries Book 10) Police Procedurals, Review on March 16

6.      Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent-Psychological Fiction, Audiobook review on Thursday, March 18

7.      Last Port of Call by Jean Grainger – Book 1 of The Queenstown Series, Review on March 19

8.      The Hearts of Invisible Furies by John Boyne – Family Sagas, Audiobook review on March 25

I’m excited about the books again this year that includes new authors (to me), as well as several I’ve previously reviewed (Carlene O’Connor, Steven Henry, Jean Grainger).

Have you read any of the above? Which ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts or recommendations!

©2021 V Williams

Unnatural (Erica Rosen MD Trilogy Book 1) by Deven Greene – A #BookReview – #medicalthriller

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Unnatural by Deven GreeneDr. Erica Rosen is perplexed when she sees a young Chinese girl with blue eyes in her San Francisco pediatrics clinic. The girl’s mother, Ting, is secretive, and Erica suspects she has entered the country illegally. Later, Erica encounters Ting’s son and discovers he has an unusual mutation. Erica learns that Ting’s children underwent embryonic stem cell gene editing as part of a secret Chinese government-run program.

The Chinese government wants to murder Ting’s son to prevent others from learning about his unusual mutation and the secret gene-editing program. At Ting’s urging, Erica heads to China to expose the program and rescue the infant Ting was forced to leave behind, all while attempting to evade the watchful eye of the Chinese government. 

His Review:

Could world sports dominance be an offshoot of gene manipulation? Deven Greene explores the concept in this spell-binding tale of international intrigue and romance! This book sweeps you away into a world of excessive national pride and the attempt at world domination in the sports’ world. Adolph Hitlers’ attempts at creating world class athletes to dominate the Olympics were tame compared to this tale.

Unnatural by Deven GreeneTing, a diminutive Asian female and her son/daughter Wing Shu are in the room for a physical exam for kindergarten. Dr. Erica Rosen is struck by the impossible; this Chinese child has blue eyes! This is genetically impossible! A lack of any health history or history of vaccinations begins a very engaging tale of genetics, gene manipulation and seemingly science fictional intrigue. Read the first chapter and you are hooked by this book.

Deven has simplified some of the scientific jargon to make it understandable for someone who has not had genetics classes. Gene splicing and correction of DNA (Desoxyribonucleic Acid) family traits that cause diseases or maladies in later life are replaced with gene sequences that do not have these traits! Imagine the way a child would look with more muscle mass, stronger bones, perfect complexion and optimum height and weight. Add a body extremely adept at utilizing oxygen and nutrients. The ability to run long distances without fatigue! The possibilities are endless and mind-blowing!

China is a country with a large system of facial recognition cameras in most major cities and a cadre of police and governmental officials tasked with controlling the population and eliminating dissidents. With technology utilized throughout the country to control the population and their opportunities for advancement, how can a foreigner get into the country and explore the newest technology. A very difficult task indeed for a non-native visitor.

Dr. Rosen undertakes the task of visiting China to find a missing child and unravel the ongoing research into gene technology. Once in country she learns quickly that you cannot trust anyone. People loyal to the communist regime will go to any lengths to protect the technology and states’ secrets. Can a lost child be rescued and the state secrets be unraveled? This read demands time set aside as the action is fast paced, well plotted and very engaging. 5 Stars – CE Williams

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from NetGalley. These are my honest opinions.

Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Crime Thrillers, Suspense Thrillers, Genetic Engineering Science Fiction eBooks

  • ISBN-10 : 1684336082
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1684336081
  • ASIN : B08Q35H24G

Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Print Length: 292 pages
Publication Date: January 7, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Unnatural [Amazon]
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The Author: Fiction writer Deven Greene lives in the San Francisco Bay area. Ever since childhood, the author has been interested in science. After working as a biochemist, Deven went back to school and became a pathologist. When writing fiction, the author usually incorporates elements of medicine or science. Deven has penned several short stories. Unnatural, Erica Rosen MD Trilogy Book 1 is the first novel the author has published. The two sequels are in the works.

©2021 CE Williams – V Williams the CE and I

Deadly Weapon (Jake Wolfe Book 5) by Mark Nolan – a #BookReview #thrillerbooks

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”—Carl Jung

Book Blurb:

Deadly WeaponIn Alaska, a lethal threat is unearthed from the frozen ground. Near Maui, a shipwrecked submarine holds a frightening secret, and on the California coast, war veteran Jake Wolfe races against time to uncover a conspiracy.

When a master plan emerges that has the potential not only to threaten Jake’s city, but to kill off targeted populations around the world, Jake embarks on a desperate search-and-destroy mission in order to protect the lives of everyone he knows and cares for. His target? A group of rogue operatives planning mass murder.

With assassins on his trail, and the clock ticking, Jake must trace the path that will finally bring him face-to-face with the psychopathic genius who wants to remake the world.

Deadly Weapon is part of a series, but may be read as a stand-alone novel.

My Thoughts

This is Book 5 of the Jake Wolfe series and how many have I read? ALL OF THEM. I just love the duo of Jake and Cody—well, Cody maybe a little more—but these two are beyond engaging. Intelligent, fast, cunning, capable, but tender and hot at the same time—and that’s just the dog! There is something overwhelming in the attraction of Jake—perhaps that “animal magnetism.” (snicker, snicker)

In this series entry, Jake’s Alaskan holiday is interrupted by a call to action and he’s swept up and away to a mission not wholly successful…it will continue back home in the Bay Area of California. He is living gratis in Sausalito on the yacht Far Niente thanks to a buddy across the pond for a year. Damn, I get such pangs when he gets to describing the Pacific, that wonderful all pervading salt water open ocean air atmosphere. “He felt the need for some vitamin sea.”

Anyway, it’s a nasty consortium of people (working towards a one-world totalitarian oligarachy) bent on eliminating certain populations around the globe. The mission will be undertaken in fits and starts as they gain intel. Jake (Jukebox) is a Marine combat veteran, but not out of the “above top secret” classification that has pulled him in before on classified missions. Highly trained, athletic, weapons ready, and deadly, he takes Cody without question of his orders.

“Sometimes I think the hardest part of war is coming home.”

So much intelligence here, both in weapons, locations, and personnel, it’s scary—hard to separate fact from fiction except that this narrative barrels through heart-stopping action (okay—some over-the-top action even) that has you groaning at the odds and cheering at the accomplishments. (Reference to the U-505 submarine on display at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago—I’ve seen it—OMG!) Page-turning, non-stop action that includes many of his previous Marine buddies (also back to civilian life), including his best buddy Terrell Hayes (Grinds), SFPD Homicide Detective. This plot is just a little close to current global events and difficult to put down.

Deadly WeaponThe author’s writing style has evolved, relaxed a bit in Book 5, becoming more graphic, letting that ole testosterone fly, and having Jake speaking more brazenly—irreverent—and I blinked several times, but even so, the well-plotted novel is descriptive, immersive, and prose laden. There is the thread of a romance between Jake and Sarah, a veterinarian, but it weaves that thread carefully through the outline, allows the plot to naturally progress to a conclusion that has you craving Book 6.

Yes, it’s a series, and you don’t have to start at Book 1, this can work as a standalone, but you’d be missing out on a lot of fun. You’ll have no problem getting to know these series characters and fall in love with that dog as well. Full of suspense, take your blood pressure medication, as this action-thriller will have you hanging by a nail. Wildly entertaining, tales with fascinating bits of information slipped in before you realize you are learning something, wonderful strong studly characters (man and dog). This one is for you and it’s out now.

(Links to my reviews for series books 1-4 below in the author bio.) 

FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author. These are my honest thoughts.

His Thoughts

Clandestine operations are not for the faint of heart. Jake Wolfe is never really on vacation. His summer getaway is interrupted by a frantic call and a helicopter taking him to a remote Inuit village. Salmon fishing and an escape with his wartime K-9 survivor dog Cody, is curtailed. Can they stop a diabolical group of billionaires from getting their hands on an active strain of the deadly 1918-19 flu virus? They have dug up a body containing the virus buried in an old Inuit graveyard.

Controlling the world population through germ warfare has been attempted throughout history. The number of potential fatalities from this flu strain is staggering to consider. Can the perpetrators be stopped before developing a massive biological weapon? Mark Nolan examines this issue with his usual masterful storytelling capability. I would never want to be in Jakes’ or his dogs’ shoes.

Cody, a decorated war dog and hero, accompanies Jake on most elements of the case. His tracking and identification capabilities are integral to solving most cases. Time is always a key factor in stopping those who would do great harm to our nation. Cody has the rank of sergeant in the Marine Corp while Jake is a corporal. Cody will warm up to anyone given instructions to do so. Casual petting without being invited to do so can result in loss of body parts.

This is my second book by Mark Nolan and I enjoy his writing style, although he portrays the world as a place with few hidden safe spots. Jake continually looks for reasons why the Feds and his handler can locate him so quickly, which adds spice to the stories. CE Williams

I find the use of some of the weapons to be extremely graphic and frightening. As a normal citizen I’d rather not know some of these facts. I find the stories engaging, although I lost a little sleep over this novel. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys Action-Thrillers. 5 stars CE Williams

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars 5 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Medical Thrillers, Financial Thrillers, Sea Adventures Fiction
ASIN : B08BFCV7GR
Print Length: 308 pages
Publication Date: August 31, 2020
Source: Author Request

Title Link: Amazon

Mark Nolan - authorThe Author: Mark Nolan was born near the sea shore and has enjoyed boating, fishing, scuba diving and exploring in Florida, Mexico, California, Hawaii, etc. If you like dogs, boats, ocean beaches, and action movies … you’ll probably enjoy reading Mark’s books.

Mark’s books in order: 1. Dead Lawyers Don’t Lie. 2. Vigilante Assassin. 3. Killer Lawyer. 4. San Diego Dead. 5. Deadly Weapon. 6. Key West Dead.

Subscribe to Mark Nolan’s reader newsletter for updates, specials, and to be notified when a new book is available. Please visit marknolan.com.

©2020 CE Williams – V Williams V Williams