Title: Critical Condition
Author: Richard L. Mabry, M.D.
Published by: Thomas Nelson, 2014
This is my first novel by Richard Mabry, M.D. I typically enjoy medicine-related novels, as well as crime-related novels (among other subgenres of fiction), so this book seems like a "gimme." Sort of a Diagnosis: Murder, only more updated. And a lot more complex, which may, or may not, be good.
As a young medical student, Shannon Frasier is interrupted during a dinner for a colleague, when her almost-fiancé is shot to death on her lawn. Ten years later, she is a skilled surgeon who helps to train young surgical residents to gain the skills they will need in their careers. During a dinner party honoring the graduation of one of these residents, another shooting takes place--also on her lawn. She has never seen the man, before, but he seems to recognize her.
Crisis builds upon crisis: Her sister Megan, several months out of drug rehab', calls in tears; she needs a place to stay, for a while, as she is moving out of the apartment she has shared with her now ex-boyfriend, Tony. Shannon says, "Yes," hoping that Megan really is sober. The next afternoon, Megan returns to the apartment to retrieve her belongings, accompanied by Shannon's "almost fiancé," Dr. Mark Gilbert. When Tony turns violent, Megan knocks him out with a beer bottle to the head; Mark ascertains that Tony will be okay, and they leave.
But when Tony's body is found with a bullet in his head, evidence begins to mount against Megan, ultimately resulting in her arrest.
Meanwhile, Shannon has her own problems: It seems that the man who was shot on her lawn was HIV-positive, and she had not been wearing gloves, when she tried to help him. And then there are the threatening phone calls. Her faith, weakened by the death of her first unofficial fiance', is sorely tested.
I did want to find out how all of the pieces would come together, and I hoped Megan would be cleared. But as one crisis occurred on top of another, it just seemed a little much--and I haven't even mentioned the leukemia diagnosis for Shannon and Megan's father--and I began to tire of all the drama. Enough, already!
I felt somewhat drawn to some of the characters, but not much to the others. So, while I was initially torn between a three- and a four-star rating, I'm going with three stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from HarperCollins/Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.