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review 2017-02-09 10:10
Under the Knife
Under the Knife: A Novel - Kelly Parsons

By:  Kelly Parsons

ISBN: 9781250033338

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 2/7/2017 

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars 


Real life board-certified urologist and novelist, Kelly Parsons, returns following his gripping debut, Doing Harm, (2014), with his latest medical (psychological) thriller, UNDER THE KNIFE.

When a good doctor makes a mistake. A patient dies. The grieving husband takes revenge into his own hands with extreme, sinister, and terrifying measures.

Told from four POVs:

Biotechnology tycoon Morgan Finney has nothing to lose; however, since his wife Jenny’s death, his rage had grown and threatened to consume him. Grief crashed over him without warning. He was drowning in it. He would take justice into his own hands. However, he is sure Jenny would not approve.

He had grown rich from being absolutely certain about things. He had not slept in days and was exhausted. Her death was the action, and cosmic disequilibrium the reaction. Jenny had worked with deaf children in college and had delighted in the cochlear implant concept.

Flash forward a year later.

Dr. Rita Wu, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of California, was strapped to an operating-room table. Naked. She had no clue how she has gotten here. Then she starts hearing voices in her head. There is someone talking to her. The voice in her head is Finney?

The voice is telling her what she has to do. What the heck?There is no way she can operate with this voice in her head. She will go mad. A nightmare. There was no stopping the panic. She was terrified. She wished she could reach out to Spencer.

Dr. Spencer Cameron. He has not gotten over Rita. They had been broken up a year ago. He is stalking his ex-girlfriend. He likes to keep tabs on her. He still loves her.

Sebastian is the mystery man. He had taken a job. Finney had provided him with the dossiers and videos of the early test subjects. Those unlucky enough to have been the first to receive the implants. The device.

Rita had removed Jenny's ruptured appendix. There were complications and she died. Finney tells her his wife, Jenny died because of her. She also had been pregnant.

Finney was going to kill her. He would make her suffer. He would rob her of something precious. The way he had been robbed.

Between madness, insanity, and the unspeakable. This cannot be happening. What kind of sick joke?

No way out. The embedding. Complex commands. Demands.
This grieving, unbalance, crazy husband of a former patient had trapped her, in an elaborate and perfectly executed– setup? What did he want from her?

Terrifying and chilling, the author, keeps you on the edge of your seat with his heart-pounding suspense thriller and a race against time. From sinister medical technology, and human experimentation. Corruption. Murder. A psychopath. Guilt. Revenge.

Character-driven with non-stop action and intensity. Loved Rita and Spencer. For fans of medical thrillers, Michael Palmer’s Trauma and the TV series, Pure Genius. If you have not read his first book, Doing Harm, highly recommend.

I also listened to the audio version, and Nancy Wu delivered an outstanding performance.

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Under-the-Knife
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review 2014-07-23 15:18
Doing Harm - Kelly Parsons

“Like a good CSI episode.” That’s how one of my friends described this book. I agree with him. The writing was capable, informative, and overall entertaining. However, the plot was entirely predictable and the female characters had no umph.



What got me to read this book was Stephen King’s quote, “Best…medial thriller I've read in 25 years. Terrifying OR scenes, characters with real texture.” This reminds me why Gabrielle Zevin’s character A.J. Fikry called these blurbs “the blood diamonds of the book industry”. First, 25 years is a long time frame; this book was okay, but I hope it isn’t the standard for medical thrillers. Second, “character with real texture” is a push. The main character, maybe. All the others? They are pretty thin, especially the women (both in development and author’s male-oriented description).



Surgery wise, this book is great. I love going into the operating room scenes with this author. The terminology is lush with detail, bringing us right into the blood and guts without pulling punches. The author makes no amends for the plethora of medical terms, and I’m grateful for it. I have my doubts about letting a Chief Resident have this much reign in a hospital, but I’m willing to disbelieve.



I have a quote to replace King’s: “the most predictable book I’ve read this year”. I opened the book, I knew how it would end. I think I set a record. The author laid out every stereotype possible and fulfilled each one. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a lot of fun and I was entertained, but no guesswork was involved.



Bottom line: if you enjoy medical thrillers, this one utilizes accurate terminology in an entertaining manner. Don’t expect any shockers and you’ll be quite satisfied.



Weird Al has been popular this week, so here’s a bonus surgery GIF:




Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for sending this book over for review. It was fun, especially the OR parts.

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review 2014-04-11 17:06
Doing Harm
Doing Harm (Audio) - Kelly Parsons


By Kelly Parsons 

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Publication Date: February 4, 2014

ISBN-10: 1427236291

ISBN-13: 978-1427236296

Format:  Audio

My Rating:  5 Stars 


A medical thriller, which kept me listening, on the edge of my seat, until the end of the epilogue and closing interview with the author. A gripping debut novel for a major fiction career for Parsons!


The audiobook narrator, Robert Petkoff, was a solid reader with a soothing voice, and his performance of some of the patients - a total riot with his sarcastic tones and character private thoughts. Would highly recommend the audiobook, as a narrator can make or break a book, and in this case, Petkoff had it on the mark.


Kelly Parsons, author and board certified urologist definitely knows the medical jargon, and apparently gets the writer and mystery thriller diagnosis on the money, with DOING HARM. (Will keep you second guessing hospitals and doctors, for sure).


The main character Dr. Steve Mitchell, senior surgical resident at a prestigious Boston University Hospital loves power and control, is ambitious, cocky, and as most residents, overworked and sleep deprived. He is married to a smart and intelligent wife, Sally, who gave up her high powered job to stay home with the two young daughters, and finds out she is pregnant soon after the book begins.


Two strong powerful women characters - protagonist (Sally) and antagonist (Gigi) –both interacting with the main character Steve, who finds himself in the middle of a nightmare from hell, and is unsure how to escape and save his reputation and family.


With an array of medical complications, botched surgery and deaths coming one after another – all pointing towards him, the competent and powerful doctor, begins to second guess himself, especially with the lethal dosage of potassium, which seem to be ordered by no other than himself.


As his patients begin dying, Steve realizes that the deaths are not accidents, and he has to stop the deaths before his professional future is irrevocably destroyed…but he can’t tell anyone what is happening without risking both his career and his family.


Worn down, Steve has a one-time affair before he realizes she is a dangerous femme fatale intern, sociopath, with a vindictive and psychotic plan to further her career, holding all the cards with an extensive blackmail scheme, involving even more deaths.

Steve does not know whom to trust. The stakes are high, adrenaline rush kicking in, fear, and mystery.


She challenges him to a game,where if he wins someone lives, if he loses, well, they're dead. Steve is aware he is being set up by this cold blooded psychopath who is forcing him to play a game of cat and mouse (even though he hates cats), strategy before they kill another patient.


So loved the funny and sarcastic brilliant lines of Steve’s thoughts throughout the book, keeping me laughing through all the intense scenes. I can only image doctors’ thoughts about patients and their families. With Steve’s undergraduate degree in computer science and hacking, came in handy with his hunt to nail this crazy intern, along with his partner in crime, Louise and his intriguing background. .


The plot was well developed, full of suspense, action packed, realistic, page-turning, power plays, and fascinating medical terms explained, and character development was right on.  An accurate behind the scenes of a hospital, where doctors hold your life in their hands – no wonder they are on a power trip. Makes you wonder what is in the IVs and if you can trust anyone in the medical field – surgeries gone wrong – wonder why? Keeps you guessing . . . hope there is a sequel.


With the insights into the real world of doctors and hospitals, Kelly definitely gave this thriller life, with all the ingredients for a successful career as a mystery medical thriller author (dual career), as good as James Patterson, and the best of the best -- one I plan on following.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/905154740
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review 2014-04-06 00:00
Doing Harm
Doing Harm - Kelly Parsons I really enjoyed this first book- cant wait to see what she puts out next!
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review 2014-02-17 21:52
call 911!
Doing Harm - Kelly Parsons

I love a good, suspenseful medical thriller! Alas, this one fell short for me mainly because of the protagonist, Steve. It's hard to root for someone and feel empathy for them when the character development has basically convinced you he's a self absorbed asshole. Oh well. They can't all be Robin Cook, I guess. 

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