Source: Bought through Half.com.
Book Description from Back Cover:
"The health of my patient will be my first consideration." So vowed Dr. Lukas Bower upon entering the medical profession. And by refusing to betray this solemn oath in the face of hospital politics, life has suddenly become very difficult for the young interm director of Knolls Community Hospital emergency room. As Lukas fends off an unjust federal investigation, the embittered hospital board chairman threatens to merge Knolls Community with a profitable but morally bankrupt healthcare conglomerate.
The small-town serenity of Knolls is suddenly broken by a spate of suspicious fires, and the new influx of patients strains the resources of the already overworked emergency room. With the increased responsibilities, Lukas finds himself working more and more with Dr. Mercy Richmand. When his feelings for her turn into more than he expected, Lukas faces the most difficult decision of his life.
Solemn Oath is a Christian medical suspense novel with some romance. This novel is the second in a series, but I could follow the story without having read the first book. However, it did spoil events in the first novel, so I'd recommend starting with Sacred Trust.
The characters were interesting, complex, and acted realistically. The various characters dealt with real issues (like "office" politics, child abuse, alcoholism, the damage caused by gossip, children dealing with their parent's broken marriages, and more).
The details about small town life in the Ozarks were wonderfully accurate and brought the story alive in my imagination. The details about the job were plentiful as the action never seemed to stop in the ER. The technical terms were rarely explained, but I could still follow what was going on and the medical details didn't slow the fast pace.
Some of the main characters were Christians. The Christian characters' faith affected their decisions and everyday life, and the Christian elements felt like a natural part of the story. I also felt Christianity was portrayed in a realistic manner, from the struggles the Christians had to the reactions of the non-Christians. If you like faith as a major part of the novels you read, then you'll probably enjoy this novel.
There was no sex. There was a very minor amount of "he cussed" style bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this suspenseful, realistic novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from the prologue
Leonardo the lion lay cold in his cage. Splotches of rusty red-brown stained his coat around a bullet wound in his right side, and a grown man's sobs echoed against the concrete wall that protected Leonardo's inner sanctum.
Cowboy Casey knelt beside his pet, forehead pressed against the stained velvet shoulder, tears dampening the tawny fur. "My friend...why?"
With callused fingers, he tested the stiffness of the lion's well-fed ribs. Rigor mortis. The killer had probably struck before dawn, when Cowboy was taking his autumn load of exotic animals to the station for shipment.
"Who would do a thing like this? What kind of a cruel..." Cowboy knew the answer before the question completely formed in his mind. The muscles in his jaw hardened, and his teeth ground together as he fought against a sudden, overwhelming rage. "Berring!"
He exhaled an angry gush of air and jerked to his feet to pace across the cage. Of course Berring. Two weeks after that madman had moved into the neighboring farm this summer, a gaping hole mysteriously appeared in the bison pasture fence. Thank goodness for three brave buddies with herding skills.
Berring had also called the sheriff out twice in the past month with some wild-haired story about Leonardo roaming the woods at night. The sheriff knew better, and so did every farmer in Knolls County. Cowboy had never put his neighbors in danger of the powerful animals he raised on his ranch.
He pivoted and walked across to hunker down once more beside the big cat. Leonardo had been his most faithful pal for the past four years, in spite of the roughhousing that had gone too far a couple of times and sent him to the ER a few times. It wasn't Leonardo's fault he had jaws with the impact of a backhoe.
And it wasn't his fault a crazy man had been turned loose with a gun.
"He won't get away with it, my friend," Cowboy said as he grabbed up his hat and strode from the cage.