“Another nocebo effect in Room 12.”
From 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.
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.
Torrey 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
Genre: Medical Thrillers, Vigilante Justice
Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Print Length: 248 pages
Publication Date: June 30, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
The 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