St. Martin’s Press, New York
When a book sales associate tells you that Harlan Coben (the best thriller/mystery author of our time) is endorsing a debut novel by an up-and-coming mystery author, you buy that darn debut novel.
So, that’s what I did.
In Kelly Parson’s novel, “Doing Harm,” he introduces you to Steven Mitchell, a medical student surgeon in a top-rated hospital in Boston. He has the perfect wife, the perfect children, and up for a coveted spot in the hospital’s staff, contingent upon whether he can maintain a spotless record—which everyone knows he can. In a blink of an eye, everything goes awry. His cocky ambition makes him bungle a major surgery, and one of his patients mysteriously dies. But as in all mystery thrillers, we all know that “mysterious” deaths never happen by accident. As Steven races against time to solve these crimes and absolve himself from any wrongdoing, he must somehow turn the tables against his opponent despite having no evidence.
This novel is a quick-read. I read it in 1 day. And despite all the medical lingo, it is surprisingly easy to understand, as the author does a great job phrasing the vocabulary in layman’s terms. If you are looking for a novel that doesn’t disclose the culprit until the very end, you will be disappointed. He exposes the miscreant half way through the book. Therefore, this novel is not so much a “whodunnit” but rather, a cat-and-mouse game choreographed intricately through espionage, counter-intelligence, and computer surveillance. It’s funny, it’s smart, and although there aren’t too may twists, there are certainly a handful of turns.
Out of 5 stars, I give this book 3.5 as a mystery/thriller.