The Deception

Barry Reed, Author Crown Publishing Group (NY) $23 (372p) ISBN 978-0-517-70156-0
Although the intense legal infighting that pumped up Reed's bestsellers The Verdict and The Choice is in place here, this novel about a malpractice suit loses energy in other ways. Donna DiTullio is a promising young tennis star who leaps from the sixth-floor atrium of a Boston hospital after making a seemingly miraculous recovery from manic depression. She survives, but in a near-comatose state, and Reed's customary hero, attorney Dan Sheridan, takes up her legal cause in a suit against the hospital, which is owned by the Archdiocese of Boston. Soon, Sheridan comes to question both the effectiveness of the experimental drug Donna was taking and the compassion of her psychiatrist, Robert Sexton. The action picks up considerably as Sheridan survives an attempt on his life while engaged in some legal legwork, and as he finds himself in a race against time and his would-be assassin to save both the case and Donna's life. As before, Reed's great strength is his ability to convey the ordinary, day-to-day corruption that throws up an almost insurmountable mountain of obstacles for his hero to overcome. He focuses so much attention on Sheridan's problems and issues, however, that he generates only token sympathy for Donna; that flaw, plus a rather predictable outcome, flatten the novel's ending. But Reed, as always, does entertain, including enough wryly ironic passages on the practice of medicine and the law to give the suspense a welcome moral kick. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Hardcover - 978-0-517-28090-4
Hardcover - 592 pages - 978-0-7089-5884-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 289 pages - 978-0-312-96581-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 422 pages - 978-0-312-96494-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 432 pages - 978-0-312-96579-2
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