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review 2016-04-11 04:34
Mercy - Michael Palmer,Daniel Palmer

By: Michael Palmer, Daniel Palmer 

ISBN: 9781250030849

Publisher: St Martin's Press 

Publication Date: 5/17/2016

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +

Top Books of 2016


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

MERCY is an edge-of-your seat spine-tingling medical suspense thriller, by talented Daniel and Michael Palmer,tackling controversial topics of "end of life" decisions, with moral consequences.

When lines are crossed. Mysterious deaths. Conspiracy. Mystery. An evil killer in the hospital. Who is safe? Danger. What is the motive? Money or Mercy? Good or evil. Someone has access to the patients. A doctor and her future husband are caught in the crossfire.

Palmers' (2015) Constant Fear and Trauma both landing on my Top Books of 2015. Once again . . 

Highly Impressive! The author has produced two more "out of the park" hits, landing again on my Top Books of 2016:Mercy Coming May 17, and Forgive Me, Coming May 31.

Palmer must have superman qualities to crank out two extraordinary bestsellers in the same month, for two consecutive years. Your dad would be proud. Daniel, thank you from all readers for continuing your father’s groundbreaking work of medical thrillers.

There was no normal to Dr. Julie Devereux’s workday. A divorced woman in her forties, life as a critical care doc at White Memorial, a five-hundred bed hospital in the heart of Boston, was suited to people who could roll with it when emergency department interrupted morning rounds for an immediate consultation or when a patient who had been stable only moments earlier, was suddenly teetering on the edge of death.

Trevor, is her twelve-year-old son her only child. Divorced from Paul, Trevor’s dad, she is engaged to be married to Sam Talbot. Six months to their wedding. They were in love.

Julie was an advocate for death with dignity. She wrote papers and frequently spoke at conferences with the goal of bringing about policy change. Self-determination was a fundamental right, and the courts were beginning to agree. It was coming to health care whether the providers liked it, or not. Death with dignity laws did not, as some critics say, kill people who did not wish to die. Her activism, of course was controversial among her colleagues.

They thought it violated the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. Demeaning the value of human life, leading to abuse or reduce palliative care options. Good arguments; however, Julie believed that those most vocal in their opposition had at some point wrestled with the doubt. Is sometimes death, better?

Soon, events lead to "testing the limits" of this statement.Julie and Sam are involved in a motorcycle accident. Sam is left a permanent quadriplegic and is so hopeless and distraught, he begs Julie to allow him to die. To help him die. She disagrees. She continues to refuse. This is personal. The man show loves. She cannot help him die.

Julie had made a career out of keeping people alive who were on the edge of death. Should he have this right?

Finally, she brings in someone from an organization, Very Much Alive. To convince him that there is a good quality of life for quadriplegics. To help give him back his desire to live. In the past, Julie was probably on their list of least favorite doctors. In disability rights circles, Very Much Alivewas considered one of the most formidable. They oppose physician-assisted suicide. It is viewed as a lethal form of discrimination against disabled people.

Suffering was considered to be part of the human condition, as groups opposed to mercy killing often argued. Was it fair to force people to exist, often in agony, just for the sake of existing? A society that values physical ability.

Sam was being robbed of his mobility, and his dignity.

Michelle, the spokesperson for the organization, had an ethereal quality and her own personal experience with a similar situation, with deadly consequences to innocent parties. It wasn’t just about her husband and his freedom of choice, it was about all the lives connected to him. This is when she turned her focus to preserving life at all cost.

She and Julie encourage Sam to become involved in a support group and reintegration into the community. Julie finally persuades him to try. Sam agreed, and was open to the work -- taking it all in, with positive signs.

Suddenly, everything changes. Code blue. Sam’s heart and lungs had been functioning fine. What caused him to suffer a sudden cardiac arrest? He was gone. What caused the turnaround? 


An autopsy reveals that Sam died of an unusual heart defect, one seen only in those under extreme stress –Sam had been literally scared to death. Severe emotional or physical stress—or intense fear. Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. His arteries were not blocked. His heart was healthy.

Did it mean Julie no longer believed in death with dignity laws? Or did it mean she believed in them as long as she was not personally affected? Either way, she could no longer serve on any of the committees, and canceled her speaking engagements.

There are more mysterious deaths and Julie is determined to keep digging to find a pattern, putting herself in danger. Now she is accused of mercy killing. In order to clear her own name and save her career, she has to find the real killer. She has to do some major investigating to find the doctor or person responsible for administering the fatal dosages. Is someone controlling hospital costs and trying to get rid of expensive patients for the bottom line, or is it something even more evil and sinister?

Compelling, and terrifying at the same time. From well-developed characters, to complex multi-layered edge-of-your-seat thrilling suspense, with twists, and turns you do not see coming. Loved Julie, a strong heroine--nothing will stand in her way. Palmer always features strong and tenacious female leads.

MERCY will have fans page-turning into the night, for a mix of crime thriller, science, psychological suspense, and a true medical top-notch mystery thriller, keeping Michael Palmer’s legacy alive at the top of the genre.




Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Mercy/cmoa/56a4e69f0cf215a9bb931bdd
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review 2015-07-23 09:03
Silent Treatment
Silent Treatment - Michael Palmer

This was a pretty fun medical thriller. This has been one of my favorite medical thrillers so far.

I only rated it three stars because the whole innocent person getting framed trope causes me a lot of anxiety. Not in a good way either for me a lot of the time. I don't know why. I've DNFed books for that reason alone. I understand why writers use that trope though.

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review 2015-04-20 05:54
Trauma: A Novel - Daniel Palmer,Michael Palmer

By: Michael Palmer and Daniel Palmer
ISBN: 9781250030894
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publication Date: 5/12/2015
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 Stars +


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


TRAUMA by dynamic duo, Michael and Daniel Palmerdelivers a riveting page-turner suspense thriller of conspiracy, corruption, murder, and greed-- into the world of PTSD, DBS, VA, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Carrie Bryant, a fourth year resident rotating through Boston Community Hospital (BCH) would be assisting chief resident with a young mother’s surgery, a tumor pressed upon the top of the brain on the right side. BCH served the poor and uninsured and she felt proud to be a part of that mission, but lack of funding was a constant frustration. The hours were long, the demands exhausting, but Carrie never complained as she felt she was getting the best opportunity to hone her skills and patients, could get exceptional medical care even without the great insurance.

Carrie knew one thing about surgery that no matter how routine or simple it seemed, nothing was guaranteed. Anything could go wrong. Surgeons were not, in Carrie’s opinion, like normal people. They were more like clutch shooters who took the ball with three seconds left and the basketball game on the line. Difficult times seemed to bring out the best in their cool.

However this particular surgery came with gruesome complications and then shortly after she had to assist with another surgery, with a lack of sleep, exhaustion, an incorrect viewing of the MRI, time constraints, pressure, and mistakes were made; life-altering mistakes. Her father, an internist at Mass General, had warned her about the rigors of residency, but his description paled in comparison with the real thing.

Next we are introduced to Steve Abington, living in homeless shelters and on the streets, in Philadelphia, suffering from PTSD, back from Afghanistan. He had enough of the streets, getting robbed, the cold and the beatings. He used to be somebody—a staff sergeant in the US army, a husband and a father. He had threatened their lives, been violent, rarely sober, and he blamed the wound in his mind. Not a single drop of his blood had ever spilled in combat, but he was broken all the same, injured with scars and haunted. All he could focus on now was survival. Food, shelter, money. He had to get a plan. A bank robbery seemed a simple solution without hurting anyone; however, something happens in the process which turns into his worst nightmare ever.

With the hospital problems, legal forces are called in, pending law suits to counteract, and settlements to be made. Carrie decides to turn in her resignation. Devastated, she packs up her apartment, and with no income and tons of student loans to repay, moves in with her parents, in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. Howard and Irene now in their sixties, her dad a physician at Mass General and her mom a speech pathologist at a nursing center.

Her brother Adam, suffering from PTSD, who gets angry at the drop of a hat, and unable to hold down a job is also back living at home. Her family is supportive, and agrees to her moving in until she figures out what she will do with her life- she has no other choice. Adam’s commitment to the military had ended years ago, but in his mind, the war raged on. She knew the old Adam was still in there somewhere.

Next we are introduced to David Hoffman, investigative reporter who loves dangerous assignments, though he prefers politics to platoons. At age thirty--two and single he has traveled the world. He was a stringer. He had built his career working as a freelancer, giving up a regular salary in exchange for an opportunity to cover stories that actually interested him. Most of these places were in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. He was kidnapped for three weeks and finally escaped. He was able to get plenty of work for stringer jobs for a while, and now he was working for a local newspaper. He is writing a piece on PTSD. He is unsure he will ever have a Pulitzer, however, he will do his best and talk to some vets; However, he never would have dreamed what the search of one story would lead to, and the danger; he may just win that Pulitzer in the good old US.

Carrie is devastated, trying to figure out what she will do with her life in the interim, when her father comes home with a possible opportunity, as she knows he must be discouraged for her parents to work so hard and giving them a good education to find both of their grown children, back at home once again. Her father knows she is a gifted neurosurgeon with only one more year to complete her residency and everyone makes mistakes - all doctors are human.

Her father tells her about someone he met and a new program for Parkinson’s disease and a treatment with the combination of DBS. A surgical treatment involving the implantation of a brain pacemaker and wires that deliver electrical impulses to targeted areas of the brain. It is used to treat movement disorders such as Parkinsons, but researchers and clinicians were exploring other applications, including treatments for OCD, major depression, and chronic pain. She was not particularly interested in Parkinson as she is a neurosurgeon, and her father realized it was less glamorous, but given her situation, urged her to speak with the people anyway.

David and Carrie meet when David comes to interview Adam, and Adam not is not so cordial, giving David a bloody nose; however, his visit gives David and Carrie a chance to get to know one another and she is excited about his passion, reminding her of her former self, so agrees to go speak with Dr. Alistair Finley at the VA hospital. She let him know of the incident which derailed her and her reason for resignation. He was excited about the DBS program and offered her a position. After all, a stint with the VA would increase her chances of getting back into a formal neurosurgery program while learning about brain diseases she would not normally deal with.

While Carrie had come to the VA to recover from a devastating professional setback of her own, this procedure might be a way to truly help people, whose minds had been turned into a daily nightmare. Dr. Alistair Finley hires her with DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) funds for an experimental program using DBS (deep brain stimulation) to treat vets with PTSD. She was delighted, as a few weeks prior their current DBS surgeon Sam Rockwell was in a terrible car accident when returning from his vacation home in Maine and he was currently in a coma. She had her medical license and she would be paid under private funding, as they were looking at using DBS to cure PTSD, not to treat it. She would be taking over Sam’s position.

Soon after starting her new position, all is not as it appears. The surgery goes well; Steve is her first patient. However, when she goes in to check on her patient afterwards, things are not as they should be, and he is repeating things, and she does not know if she did something wrong or what the heck is going on.

Another strange thing, the head administrator tells her she is not to see patients post-op under any circumstance. Her work was done. She is unfamiliar with this procedure and format, as she prides herself in her work, and always makes sure to followup on the patient’s progress. When the same thing happens to her next patient, she is very alarmed. Then they both go missing. Like disappeared from the hospital, like they never existed. What has she gotten herself involved in?

Carrie is informed if she does not follow the rules this woman can fire her and then she has nothing. She has to get to the bottom of this madness. They seem happy with her work, but not to do anything further. She does not want to operate on any other person, until she knows what is going on. She cannot tell her immediate boss of her suspicions, nor her parents, or of course not her brother. Carrie turns to David, for support, and explains off the record what is happening. He urges her to stay in place as they have to learn more and gather information. If there is a conspiracy of some sort. Of course, David knows how to plant devices and get into buildings with the best of them and he loves the challenge. The closer they get to discovering the truth, Carrie’s life is in immediate danger. Someone is out to stop her.

Some man is following her when she is running in the park (this was so intense), someone runs her off the road, and tries to kill her, next while sleeping in the hospital between shifts, someone tries to smother her with a pillow. Each time she barely escapes her life. When she learns Sam is awake from his coma, she has to get to him, to see what he knows about this program and what is happening to the patients? What are they doing to these men after surgery? Could there be insiders pretending to be doctors and nurses getting these bodies out of the hospital, and where are they taking them and why? These poor men have enough problems with PTSD without adding to their problems.

TRAUMA is one riveting, fast-paced medical thriller with a mix of psychological and crime suspense mystery. The character development is excellent with plenty of evil, and humor; loved the two strong main characters, Carrie and David, for a winning combination. With twists and turns around every corner, a compelling and terrifying thriller which is the best of Daniel and Michael. For fans of the book or the movie, Extreme Measures, a sure to enjoy TRAUMA.

At the time of his death, Michael Palmer apparently was working on the manuscript of Trauma,which would have been his 20th novel. Working through his grief, Daniel Palmer did what authors do best—he took over Trauma to finish the novel for his dad. Being the talented author, and firsthand knowledge of his father’s writing style, Trauma was born- the first collaboration.Michael Palmer’s last novel, Resistant, was released in May 2014, after his death.

A remarkable and compelling tribute to much loved, Michael Palmer.  Daniel, you never cease to amaze me-your dad would be so proud, as you continue his legacy!



On a personal note:

I am currently in "Thriller Book Lover Heaven,"
with my
Top 30 Books of 2015
already shaping up nicely
with my Top 6 (in no certain order):

Daniel and Michael Palmer-Trauma

Daniel Palmer-Constant Fear

Paul Cleave-Trust No One

Andrew Neiderman-Judgement Day

Greg Iles-The Bone Tree

Michael Robotham-Life or Death


Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1240234524
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review 2014-12-07 00:00
Side Effects
Side Effects - Michael Palmer In Side Effects, Kate Bennet is a pathologist at a New England hospital, who has two female patients who have inexplicably bled to death. A third patient, a friend of hers, is exhibiting the same symptoms, and Kate must figure out why this is happening, although nothing is readily apparent. Meanwhile, she is going through marital issues with her husband.

There was very little to like about this novel. First of all, the characters are weak. Kate is mildly interesting as a character, but most of the other characters blended together. Her husband, Jared, is a self-centered, sniveling, whiner, who has nothing likeable about him. He keeps on complaining because Kate doesn’t revolve her life around him. Well, she’s a doctor. If he wanted this, he should have married a housewife. So, when at the end of the novel he all of a sudden becomes heroic, I wasn’t buying it for a second. Secondly, once again the antagonist is the evil pharmaceutical company. The malevolent drug company has become so tired and cliché that I can no longer even tolerate reading about it. Is it too much to ask of an author to get some originality? This is a novel that brings little to the table and I would recommend skipping.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street
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review 2013-09-22 00:00
The Fifth Vial
The Fifth Vial - Michael Palmer read while on holiday
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