Sunday, May 23, 2010

Code Blue by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

book cover

Code Blue
by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

Trade Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press
First Released: 2010

Author Website

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description, My Take:
Dr. Cathy Sewell has had a series of untrustworthy boyfriends. In order to avoid her ex-fiancee, she moves back to her home town, gets a loan, and sets up her family practice. But someone's determined she won't succeed there as a doctor. Rumors circulate that Cathy is a failure as a doctor, someone is holding up her privileges at the hospital, and now someone in a black SUV is trying to kill her.

When one of her prescriptions is altered, one of her patients--the bank owner who approved her loan--nearly dies. Her high school boyfriend--now a lawyer--offers to defend her in the resulting malpractice suit. He also wants to get back together with Cathy, but does she dare trust again? And can she survive long enough to discover why someone hates her so much?

Code Blue is a fast-paced romantic suspense novel. It was, at it's core, about wrong perceptions of past events effecting how people viewed themselves and others in the present. The suspense was created by someone repeatedly trying to kill Cathy, various medical emergencies, and the tension in the various relationships.

The mystery was a who-done-it, but I was pretty certain who did it from the moment we met the character. However, I found it believable that Cathy didn't quickly figure it out and that she acted the way she did. She wasn't dumb. She was just more inclined to trust her perceptions than to carefully think things through.

The characters were interesting, likable, and dealt with realistic problems. The world-building was excellent, especially the details about the medical and legal aspects.

Cathy was angry at God because of her parents marital problems (due to a mental illness) and the crash that took their lives. As she realized her perceptions of these events were wrong, she also changed her perception of God. The novel dealt with these issues in a way that was for Christians and those with a Christian background. Non-Christians will probably find it preachy due to the prominent Christian content, but I didn't find it so. I really liked it.

There was no bad language. There was no sex. Overall, I'd recommend this book as exciting, well-written, clean reading.

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 Chapter One
The black SUV barrelled out of nowhere, its oversized tires straddling the centerline. Cathy jerked the steering wheel to the right and jammed the brake pedal to the floor. Her little Toyota rocked as though flicked by a giant hand before it spun off the narrow country road and hurtled toward the ditch and the peach orchard beyond it.

For a moment Cathy felt the fearful thrill of weightlessness. Then the world turned upside down, and everything went into freeze-frame slow motion.

The floating sensation ended with a jolt. The screech of ripping metal swallowed Cathy’s scream. The deploying airbag struck her face like a fist. The pressure of the shoulder harness took her breath away. The lap belt pressed into her abdomen, and she tasted bile and acid. As her head cleared, she found herself hanging head-down, swaying slightly as the car rocked to a standstill. In the silence that followed, her pulse hammered in her ears like distant, rhythmic thunder.

Cathy realized she was holding her breath. She let out a shuddering sigh, inhaled, and immediately choked on the dust that hung thick in the air. She released her death grip on the steering wheel and tried to lift her arms. It hurt—it hurt a lot—but they seemed to work. She tilted her head and felt something warm trickle down her face. She tried to wipe it away, but not before a red haze clouded her vision.

She felt a burning sensation, first in her nostrils, then in the back of her throat. Gasoline! Cathy recalled all the crash victims she’d seen in the emergency room—victims who’d survived a car accident only to be engulfed in flames afterward.

She had to get out of the car. Now. Her fingers probed for the seatbelt buckle. She found it and pressed the release button. Slowly. Be careful. Don’t fall out of the seat and make matters worse. Th e belt gave way, and she eased her weight onto her shoulders. She bit her lip from the pain, rolled onto her side, and looked around.

Read the rest of chapter one.


Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for your review. You win the prize--you're the first person of several dozen with whom I've spoken or emailed who had the villain figured out.
Glad you enjoyed Code Blue. Watch for Medical Error in September.

Genre Reviewer said...

Richard Mabry,

You're welcome, and thanks for dropping by.

I didn't mean to imply that the villain was obvious. Perhaps I read too many mysteries, but it's now pretty hard for an author to "hide" the villain from me when they're doing a proper job of laying clues. My pet peeve is when I think the hero or heroine also ought to strongly suspect that person but they don't. As I said in my review, your scenario was believable to me, so I'm a happy reader.

Yup, I'm looking forward to reading your next novel.