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Doing Harm

by Kelly Parsons

Doing Harm
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2014
    368 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Jean G. (Rockford, IL) (11/09/13)

No Harm Taken
A 40 year career in the medical field made this book a natural choice and I was not disappointed in its authenticity. Although it held my interest, as it will everyone liking medical intrigue, I at first felt it an almost too uncomplicated read, with little literary value. But as the plot starts to twist and turn I no longer cared. And why not have a genuinely good read occasionally?
The story spans less than 2 months in the life of a highly regarded chief resident surgeon. Technology of the 21st century appears to take a much too relevant role in the care of living, breathing humans. Its capabilities are endless for "doing harm" . This may incite some talk for book clubs. Slight letdown in the ending which also might be for discussion but still a great read.
Patricia S. (New Canaan, CT) (11/06/13)

Cat and Mouse Game
Life seemed to be going well for Steve, a chief surgical resident at University Hospital, his wife Sally and their 2 daughters. He loved being in control-that's why he became a surgeon-but suddenly his life starts escalating downward-out of control. Who or what is responsible for the deadly mistakes at the hospital-doctors' recklessness, bad luck or a manipulative psychopath. A first novel by a doctor, the medical information is accurate, the book tightly written, and the tension rises despite part of the plot being disclosed halfway. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in one day, a month after I had shoulder replacement surgery. It's suspenseful to the last page.
Lori L. (La Porte, IN) (11/06/13)

Doing Harm
This medical thriller takes the reader inside the world of chief surgical resident Steven Mitchell at University Hospital. Steven has the stereotypical arrogance of the gifted surgeon, which leads him to make some questionable decisions both medically and personally (flying solo on a difficult surgery when instructed to wait for help, defying hospital protocol, hacking, and cheating on his wife with a beautiful medical student). While he is not a very likeable character, as a reader you can certainly empathize with the predicament he finds himself in. More character development and less plot contrivances would have made this a better thriller. Readers who enjoy ER and Grey's Anatomy will likely enjoy this book.
Barbara P. (Hixson, TN) (11/05/13)

For his first novel, I really enjoyed this medical thriller. Once started, I was unable to put it down. I don't think that his medical and technical knowledge was too much for the average reader. His writing flowed very well. I would recommend this novel for anyone interested in this genre. He may very well take over where Robin Cook leaves off.
Nancy K. (Toledo, OH) (11/05/13)

Doing Harm
This is a top notch medical thriller. Think of Robin Cook and John Grisham put together. It's exciting reading- one of those books you don't want to put down! The author is a surgeon so he knows what he is writing about. Yes, there is "blood and guts" but if you like to read about hospitals and mysterious murders, this is the book for you.

If I had one comment or caution to make, it would be that the first-time author included too much for one book. Perhaps he is hoping to write a series and use the different "threads of the story" in the next books. I will look for him to see if there is a next one. Book Clubs will love this book and also anyone who likes to watch the medical shows on TV.
Deborah D. (Old Forge, NY) (11/05/13)

a rollercoaster ride
Like the carnival ride this book starts out slow building toward the wild ride. I wanted the action to start a bit sooner but once it did it was a heck of a ride. Lots of twists and turns indeed a thrilling read.
Hazel R. (North Eastham, MA) (11/04/13)

Fast Paced, but Disappointing
Kelly Parsons probably has a future in writing thrillers, if this book is any indication, but to be a true success, he might want to consider some character and plot development. Steve Mitchell, MD, the protagonist, is not a likeable character. He pays little attention to rules and authority (electronic hacking and privacy, defying senior MD orders) and cheats on his pregnant wife, even though there is absolutely no justification for this, other than the stress of the job and the intensity of work relationships when under stress.

Did Dr. Mitchell do what you would have done to thwart the serial killer? Unlikely. Unlikely that a moral, educated, family person would use such poor judgement. Dr. Mitchell should have confessed to his wife, and have involved hospital security, human resources and the police department in the mysterious deaths of patients. From there, an undercover strategy could have been developed that would be as interesting and fast paced, as the one used in the book.
Laura P. (Atlanta, GA) (11/04/13)

Medical Malpractice
Dr. Steve Mitchell has the world by the tail until, overconfident, he makes some serious mistakes that play into the plans of a killer working his hospital. The book's strengths: Author Kelly Parsons, a doctor, knows what he's talking about , so the medicine is convincing, and he really puts you inside of the main character's head. The weaknesses: Sometimes the technical medical language seems almost gratuitous - like he's showing off, and the head he puts you inside has some pretty unattractive thought patterns. Steve is not a very good guy. The writing is good, the story well-told -- but this falls into the "good on an airplane" category, not great literature.

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