Author: Darden North

Publisher: Sartoris Literary Group

ISBN: 978-0-9889474-7-4

This thriller is full of oddities, but in the positive sense. I often said to myself, “Sure, why not?” when they popped up, as the author takes us from the Iraq War battlefields to Mississippi. Even that’s an oddity. Iraq is not needed. Except for a few regional meals, the rest of the book could take place anywhere in the U.S., so Mississippi is not needed either.

The plot is simple: good (blanks) discover bad (blank) among their midst. There are thrillers where (blank) is cop or lawyer, but here (blank) is filled in with doctor. Nevertheless, the book is fun and maybe just what you need for your summer reading. I finished it over the Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer in the U.S. but officially a time to honor our war dead.

Another oddity: Major Brad Cummins, an Air Force surgeon, is nominally the main character. The story begins with his failing to save GI Giles while saving an Iraqi instead, both wounded in the same IED explosion. Good and bad nurses and docs meet up in that battlefield operating room. But Brad turns out to be mentally challenged (his twin brother sounds like the better half of the egg, but he becomes a victim—one of the first of many). Dr. Diana Bratton, nominally the protagonist’s love interest, comes into the story late back in the U.S., but is more essential to the plot.

I didn’t need the Iraqi terrorist. You can safely ignore him. He only provides a contrived twist as the reader is misdirected to think that all the violence is about him. He’s also a stereotype. This book is not about terrorism and efforts to deal with it, although I’m terrified to think some of this stuff is going on in my local hospital.

The nurses are a nice touch. Elizabeth Cossar and Stacy Lane are nurses in that same battlefield operating center. The first has Cummins’ back, although he often seems too dumb to know it, and some mystery surrounds her as the story unwinds. Stacy Lane, GI Giles’ love interest, is manipulated by both the Iraqi and a bad doctor, in different ways.

Another oddity: This is not a medical thriller, but a conventional thriller about some medical professionals. There are a few technical terms and Michael Jackson’s favorite sleep-aid plays a role, but you’ll find enough action and suspense to forget what kind of work these people do. Or, you’ll want to forget—NIMBY, please.

The final oddity: In spite of the ones mentioned above, I liked the book. Most people will get past the oddities. Bratton and Cossar are strong, intelligent, and interesting women. The men in this story suffer in comparison, especially Cummins. This is Diana Bratton’s story, in fact. She can be my surgeon any day.

Follow Here To Purchase Wiggle Room

Check Out Some Great Deals On