Neil McMahon, Author . HarperCollins $23.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-052916-1

This exhilarating new medical thriller by the author of Twice Dying and Blood Double brings back sleuthing physician Carroll Monks, plunging him into personal jeopardy. Monks is on duty at San Francisco's Mercy Hospital when a beautiful young woman is brought to the emergency room in a coma. He makes a radical attempt to save her life by administering a blood thinner; the attempt is unsuccessful, and the patient dies. The girl's enraged parents intend to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against Monks that could ruin his career. Wracked with guilt, Monks sets out to investigate the patient's history. As he soon learns, the dead woman, Eden Hale, was a model and aspiring actress reduced to doing porn films. Delving further, Monks becomes convinced that there's more to the girl's death than simple malpractice. Specifically, his suspicions center on Dr. Welles D'Anton, San Francisco's premier plastic surgeon, who caters to the rich and beautiful, and who operated on Eden shortly before her death. D'Anton is arrogant but expert—hardly the type to make a mess of a relatively simple procedure. Thus, Monks has his work cut out for him. This exciting and tautly written thriller crackles with suspense and narrative tension throughout. The hospital scenes are believable and the plastic surgery angle is convincingly detailed. Monks, a most engaging medical detective, is at his best with his back to the wall, and McMahon comes into his own with this scalpel-sharp effort. (Sept. 5)

Forecast:McMahon's first two thrillers were well received; his third (a Doubleday, Mystery Guild and Literary Guild selection) may vault him onto bestseller lists.

Reviewed on: 08/11/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-158418-3
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-06-079418-7
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-06-158423-7
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 384 pages - 978-0-06-158422-0
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-06-186356-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 367 pages - 978-0-06-052917-8
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