MORTAL REMAINS

Peter Clement, Author . Ballantine $23.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-345-45778-3

In this medical mystery, the remains in question are those of Kelly McShane Braden, former lover of series hero Dr. Earl Garnet (Lethal Practice; Death Rounds; The Procedure), chief of the busy emergency room at St. Paul's Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y. Kelly disappeared under mysterious circumstances 27 years ago, and now the discovery of her bones threatens Garnet's personal and professional life. Also involved are physician/coroner Mark Roper and his sheriff friend, Dan Evans, both of whom live in Hampton Junction, a small community in the Adirondacks. Mark takes Kelly's murder personally, as she was his beloved childhood babysitter and a close friend of his physician father. The chief suspect in the original disappearance is Dr. Charles "Chaz" Braden IV, Kelly's husband and son of suave, powerful Dr. Charles Braden III. Mark and Earl join forces in hunting down Kelly's killer, and in a matter of hours, patients begin to turn up dead in hospital beds, and seemingly unrelated civilians perish in violent accidents. Mark narrowly escapes being shot, and Earl is felled by a baffling illness. Veteran thriller readers will diagnose the guilty party quickly enough, though the motive is so complicated most will simply give author Clement the benefit of the doubt and accept his version of events. This is medical suspense, so there's lots of doctor talk: "But the lack of nausea and there being no focal, right-upper-quadrant tenderness means we don't even have to think gallbladder, and with normal urine, it isn't renal. Any history of hypertension, Earl?" Readers who go for this sort of chatter will find the book a compelling read, but those who aren't quite so taken with hospitals and healers might look elsewhere for their thrills. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2003
Release date: 08/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 269 pages - 978-0-345-46977-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-345-45779-0
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