Tag Archives: medical fiction

Review: Heart Failure, by Richard L. Mabry

Heart Failure, by Richard L. MabryHeart Failure, by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. (Thomas Nelson, 2013)

Dr. Carrie Markham’s freshly-healed heart is broken when her new fiancé turns out to be a man on the run, living under an assumed identity. Adam tells her his testimony put a powerful man in jail, but the man’s friends have been hunting him ever since.

Can she believe him? Does she want to? Or is it possible that the attacks are really directed at Carrie herself? Something’s definitely suspicious in the clinic where she works. Or is a former patient – or the family of a patient who died – holding a grudge?

Heart Failure is an intriguing mystery, with a nice play on the “heart” angle: Carrie is a heart doctor, her romance with Adam is an affair of the heart, and the courage of her heart may fail in the face of the unexpected danger.

An interesting sub-plot looks at a form of survivor guilt: Carrie can’t stop blaming herself for her husband’s heart-related death. It wasn’t foreseeable, but this is her field. Couldn’t she have noticed?

I enjoyed the novel. The one thing that bothered me was Adam’s insistence of sneaking through back alleys to Carrie’s house, so he wouldn’t lead his enemies to her. The enemies (are they his, or hers?) know where she works and could easily follow her home at any time.

Dr. Richard L. Mabry writes medical romantic suspense, and you can learn more about him and his books at rmabry.com. You can read the opening chapters of Heart Failure here.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

Review: Stress Test, by Richard Mabry

Stress Test cover artStress Test, by Richard Mabry (Thomas Nelson, 2013)

On his final night of hospital duty before taking up a less stressful medical teaching position that might allow him to marry and settle down, Dr. Matt Newman is kidnapped and barely escapes with his life. Waking up as a patient with a head injury is bad enough, but as he’s trying to piece together what happened to him, his car is found… with a dead body lying on top of Matt’s own wallet.

Suddenly the police think he’s a villain instead of a victim, his prospective fiancée cuts him off, and his new boss can’t finish the hiring process. And there’s still someone out there who wants him dead.

Matt is a likeable man doing his best to figure out what’s going on and to stay alive. His lawyer, Sandra Murray, just broke off a relationship with another doctor because he didn’t share her faith. Matt’s faith has been on hold for quite a while, but there’s something about the attack and false accusations that get him praying again. Sandra and Matt sense a growing attraction that they need to resist until he’s cleared of charges—or arrested.

Most scenes are from Matt’s or Sandra’s point of view, but we also see what’s going on with Matt’s enemies, even though we’re not really sure who’s calling the shots. And there are shots being called, sometimes literally. Matt’s the victim of a complex conspiracy that isn’t fully clear until the story ends.

Stress Test reads like a medical tv drama, with enough facts to flavour the atmosphere but not to bog down the story. I found the opening abduction scene intense enough to not read at bedtime, but the rest of the book carries more of a “mystery” suspense level than that of a thriller.

Award-winning author Richard Mabry is a retired M.D. and his knowledge adds a layer of realism to the hospital scenes—whether Matt is working or being a patient. You can learn more about Richard Mabry and his novels at his website, and you can read a preview of Stress Test at the Thomas Nelson site (scroll down the page). To read an interview with Richard Mabry, visit A Christian Writer’s World.

[Review copy provided free from the publisher through the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze® book review bloggers program in exchange for an unbiased review.]

Review: Medical Error, by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

Medical Error, by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. (Abingdon Press, 2010)

Dr. Anna McIntyre is a respected ER surgeon in a Dallas hospital—until she becomes the victim of identity theft. Someone is prescribing narcotics under her ID, maxing out her credit cards, and more. And when her team loses a patient through what looks like medical error, she may be in for a malpractice suit too.

The hospital gives her a two-week “vacation” while their legal experts scramble. Faced with hostile investigators, Anna decides to find the truth and clear her own name. Following up on the autopsy of her dead patient introduces her to Dr. Nick Valentine, and attractive pathologist who wants to help—and soon wants to be more than friends.

Medical Error is a fast read that kept me awake past my bedtime to finish it. And that doesn’t happen often. I liked Anna, Nick and the others, and was sure I’d spotted the villain early on. Naturally, I was wrong.

The novel includes enough medical details for realism, but not enough to make my eyes glaze over. And it’s certainly got me thinking about identity theft and precautions I should take.

Medical Error was a finalist in the 2011 Carol Awards. You can read a sample chapter of Medical Error and learn more about Richard Mabry and his books.

This is the second novel in the Prescription for Trouble series. Different main characters let each title stand alone. I’ll definitely be checking out the other two. Dr. Mabry has also written the non-fiction Tender Scar

[Book from my personal library. Amazon link is an affiliate link from the author’s website, with no benefit to me.]