Pre-release review of Where Death is a Hunter by Christopher Stookey

Releasing Feb 2015 (I received a complimentary copy of the ebook from the author and what follows is an honest review)

The protagonist, unusually, is an anesthesiologist. And the story begins with a patient, the wife of another doctor in the same hospital, dying on the operation table before the first incision is made. Perfectly healthy woman in for a routine cosmetic surgery – perfectly healthy one minute and dead the next instant. Intrigued? You should be. “Where Death is a Hunter” is a superlative medical thriller that will keep you up all night because you just have to, have to know what happened to Debora Thein (the patient who dies).

The book is a first-person narrative by Dr.Hannah Fatier, our thirty-two year old protagonist. The death in the operating room is blamed on Hannah and there is irrefutable evidence to prove the mistake she committed. Forced to resign from her job, Hannah seeks comfort in her friend and ex-fiance who is a cardiologist. And just when she is picking up the pieces of her life and finds nirvana working at a clinic for the poor, comes the second blow – she gets sued for medical malpractice by the husband of the patient that she allegedly killed. The lawyer assigned to work her case promises to help her settle the case, until they find out something about the patient’s death is very amiss. Will Hannah be exonerated from the wrongful death of the patient? Was it really a mistake in the operating room or something far more sinister than that? The truth is unraveled in the rest of the story and ends brilliantly.

The author is a doctor himself and it shows in the details that have gone into the story. But at the same time, it is not stuffed with too much medical jargon to confuse the reader – it has just enough technical details to make the whole thing very real. I enjoyed reading this cleverly written thriller and am certain it will create ripples when it releases.

Who should read it: Anyone who enjoys a taut thriller – even if you are not overly fond of medical thrillers, you will enjoy this one thoroughly.

What it is not: No cliched cadaver-in-the-morgue scares or such in this one – it stays quite credible from cover to cover.

Overall rating: 5stars

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Review of Disconnect by Alistair Haddow

“We can’t live our life through a screen”

Disconnect is a quirky short story about a college .Disconnectstudent who romanticizes the idea of running out into the free world with the girl he loves. The author has tried to bring out an underlying theme of this generation’s addiction to electronic gadgets and so-called social media. Will, the protagonist and the narrator (the story is a first-person narration) feels bound and suffocated by the amount of time people spend on these tethers. He is hopelessly in love with his girlfriend, Nadia.

Will finally snaps when he and Nadia sit down to watch a movie and end up spending the entire time fixated on their electronic gadgets. He plans a break from everything including school and bounds out the door. He finds Nadia and pleads with her to leave with him. More of a realist, Nadia is reluctant but after some persuasion she relents and the two of them head out into the South African wilderness. They drive without a destination in mind – something that I am sure many people feel like doing in this madness that is the twenty-first century. They find a small Bed and Breakfast and enjoy the free-spirited adventure. But, how long can they keep that up? Doesn’t everyone eventually need money? Funny twist to the ending.

Who should read it: While it might appeal to young-adults and teens, it is a light enough read for anyone.

What it is not: Not your typical short story.

Overall rating: 3stars

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Review of Cry of the soul by Narendra Simone (Reviewed for bookvetter.com)

cryofthesoulCry of the soul is a quick and fun read that gives you a glimpse of the politician-poacher nexus and the horrendous corruption that plagues Africa. It gives a fleeting glimpse of the strange contrast of wild beauty and meaningless cruelty and conflict that defines the continent. The book does have some bit of a “whodunit” mystery to it in a very James-Hadley-Chase-esque kind of a way.
The story is about a CIA agent who is brutally murdered in the jungles of Africa and an FBI agent who sets out to find the killer. The book is a bit short on details, so all you get is a bird’s-eye-view of the great continent and its alluring jungles. Matt, the protagonist, plots to hunt down a notorious poacher who is the main suspect for the CIA agent’s slaying. Will he be able to bring down the poacher who is aided by powerful forces or is there a twist in the tale?

Who should read it: Anyone Looking for a quick and light read – perhaps on a short-haul flight?

What it is not: While a quick read can be fun, avid readers like the details.  Cry of the soul flies a bit on the surface and doesn’t go too deep into any aspects of the story, making it in some ways too simplistic for the sophisticated reader.  Also, while the author has done great research on Africa and its geo-political landscape – I am not sure the hero and his background is very convincing. For instance, since when do FBI agents carry out operations on foreign soil?

Overall rating: twonhalfstars

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