Doing Harm – bookreview

It is always great to discover an exciting new writer, and we have found one in Kelly Parsons, the author of Doing Harm.

Doing Harm is a mystery which takes place at at the fictitious  University Hospital in Boston. The hero of the story is the highly skilled surgeon Doctor Steve Mitchell.  He is a brash overly-confident man on his way to becoming a professor in the medical school (which is obviously supposed to be Harvard).

Dr. Mitchell has it all.  Surgical skills, the respect of his fellow doctors and  a wonderful wife and family. Then things start to go wrong. He botches the operation on one patient and even other patients whose surgeries seemed to go well start having severe complications. Is he losing his edge, or is someone in the hospital actually trying to kill people? Is he being set up or just incompetent?

What makes this book excellent is that its author is a doctor himself. Kelly Parsons is a board-certified urologist with degrees from Sanford University, the University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins. His detailed description of operations are riveting.  The  scariest parts of the book are the insights into how many things in a hospital are capable of killing you.  Very slight errors or omissions by surgeons, nurses, orderlies or even medical students can kill you as fast as if you were hit by a bus.

The author has chosen to make the hero somewhat unlikeable at times. When things go wrong, Doctor Mitchell’s immediate concern is much more about how it will impact his career than what will happen to the patients or their families.

In reading this book we are reminded of the late Michael Crichton. There are so many best selling books by Michael Crichton that people tend to forget that he also started his career as a medical doctor.

Doing Harm is highly recommended, and we look forward to Kelly Parsons’ next novel.

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