Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons
Release Date - February 2014
St. Martins Press
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
Doing Harm, Kelly Parsons' debut novel, is just about as packed with medical expertise as one could imagine. While many things do not phase me, blood is one that does make me squeamish, and the medical detail in this medical suspense had me cringing more than once. At times, and this could be because of that squeamishness, I found the medical detail was almost too much.
The story itself is gripping. Steve Mitchell, father of two, loving husband, and surgical resident is under suspicion after a patient dies. He wants to become a surgeon at University Hospital and tries his hardest to show them just how devoted he is to his patients. Things begin to change when Steve takes performs a surgical procedure despite being told to wait. That's just the beginning of his problems. When more patients Steve expected to recover suddenly die, all eyes turn to Steve, and he becomes suspicious that someone he knows is killing his patients and making it look like he's responsible. That killer threatens not only Steve's dream job but also the family he loves. To keep from losing it all, Steve enters into a cat and mouse game where lives are on the line.
There is no doubt that the author knows his stuff. The medical detail in Doing Harm is exquisite, though as previously stated almost too detailed for this reader. The mystery itself is the part that kept me hooked. I wanted to see how Steve got out of the entire mess. That in itself was surprising because Steve is not a likeable character, at least to me. Yet, even though I could care less about him, I still became intrigued with his family, his job, and the situation from which he had to escape.