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Doing Harm

By Kelly Parsons

Doing Harm
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2014,
    368 pages.

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There are currently 38 reader reviews for Doing Harm
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Nancy (02/12/14)

Great read
This book quickly pulls you into the drama and suspense of the story and is a difficult one to put down. Looking forward to more to come from this author, who shows much promise.
Robert S. (Henderson, NV) (12/20/13)

A Flawed Doctor
In "Doing Harm" author Kelly Parsons delivers a powerful, tight and compelling novel that is populated with believable and vibrant characters whose lives, during a six week period, are unalterably transformed by their actions and the actions of others. Set in a prominent teaching hospital and in the suburban neighborhoods in which the hospital residents and physicians reside, this is a story of physician ego, depravity and vulnerability which are played out at the expense of patients whose well being and even lives are compromised by the doctors who are entrusted with their care.

The book has many strengths. First, the story moves at an incredible pace with an electric energy and is conveyed with wonderfully descriptive prose that moves the reader's senses. In fact, the reader is torn between turning the pages as quickly as possible, devouring the plot's twists and turns, and more slowly absorbing the pictures and scenes that the author creates with his thoughtful words.

The author has also structured the story for maximum effect. Initially, the reader is lulled into a calmness as the author conveys the normalcy and promise of the protagonist's family and professional relationships and career. Suddenly, the character's comfortable life is shattered with magnified impact that is created by the juxtaposition between stability and chaos.

The final attribute of the book to be highlighted is the effective manner in which the author, who is a physician, provides depth and believability to the plot by weaving through the story information about the institutional and political workings of teaching hospitals, the hierarchical relationships among the hospital doctors of varying rank and status, operating room protocol and various medical conditions and procedures. So often when a novelist sets his story on a stage about which he has substantial first hand technical and professional knowledge, the writing clearly divides between the "background information" and the prose, interrupting the flow of the story. In this book, however, the technical information is an integral part of the writing and seamlessly adds to the story.

"Doing Harm" is not great literature, but it is a very good book that this reader highly recommends to general book clubs and mystery/ thriller book clubs.
Laura M. (Roswell, NM) (12/18/13)

Doing Harm
This was a great book. It had just enough medical terminology in it to make it real without having so much that it would lose the average reader. The characters were believable and the plot kept me reading to see what was going to happen next. Very enjoyable.
Laurie B. (Jacksonville, FL) (12/08/13)

kept my interest
This is one of the more realistic medical thrillers that I've read. The premise and plot are original. The author's writing style is engaging. I did find many grammatical/spelling errors--don't know if this is because it is a pre-publication copy, but hope they correct them before mass publication because the errors will do the book a disservice. I'd like to read more by this author and hope he writes more novels
Nancy M. (Hillsborough, CA) (11/26/13)

Doing Harm
I do not usually read books known as "thrillers" but I sure am glad I read this one. I was immediately drawn into this story of a resident surgeon practicing at an illustrious east coast hospital, hoping to be invited onto it's permanent staff when he finally finishes his residency. The physician author knowingly illustrates the trials and tribulations of such a resident, interesting in and of itself, while he uncovers the incidents and protagonist out to keep him from attaining his goal. I was taught me so much about the inner workings of surgery, most of which I hope I never experience, while thoroughly enjoying a compelling novel with a truly unexpected ending.
Elly, (Roswell, NM) (11/22/13)

Compelling Debut Novel
While unexpected life events prevented my delving into this page-turning work, once started, it was impossible to set aside. "Doing Harm" does not release its hold on your attention until the last word, with unexpected twists popping up at each frantic turn of the page. It is well written with strong character development and filled with heart-pounding suspense. Considering the question on the book's cover, "What Would You Do?", I shiver to even contemplate being in our protagonist's position. I have recommended this novel to more than several and am certain that Dr. Parsons has found a second career. Kudos to this debut author...I look forward to more of his work.
Janice C. (Hayward, CA) (11/20/13)

Doing Harm
I enjoyed this book a lot. Great book for a train ride. I just won't be going to the hospital for awhile.
Jan K. (San Francisco, CA) (11/20/13)

Clandestine Hospital Happenings
I have a background in medical malpractice so I love reading medical thrillers. Doing Harm frames the experiences of an ambitious resident physician supervising another resident and a brilliant medical student. The narrative moves quickly with the first event to establish the medical mishap theme occurring early in the novel. Doing Harm deals with unfortunate accidents common to hospitals and the author's background provides good detail into medical procedures and hospital protocol, such as the Morbidity and Mortality conference. The grief often felt by physicians who commit medical errors is authentic. The novel is suspenseful and will hold the readers interest as they wonder who or what is manipulating these deathly events. Readers who enjoy Harlan Coben will enjoy Doing Harm - in fact Coben provides a positive blurb - "compelling and gripping…"

I recently finished a similar book, Monday Mornings, by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This novel follows the work of several surgeons practicing in a hospital and provides plenty of drama without the mystery.

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