Hilliard & Harris, 2004 (2004)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
ith her second novel, Eleanor Sullivan has created a medical mystery that might keep one from willingly entering a hospital.
delves knowledgably into the behind-the-scenes workings of a big, understaffed hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. One that, incidentally, employs someone with a past that would not pass scrutiny if it were known. Monika Everhardt, a nurse in the ICU unit, has more than her daily workload to handle when two terminally ill patients die prematurely. Her cop buddy BJ does her best to keep Monika from ending up in the same condition as her patients.
ullivan has an extensive background in the medical field and has written five award-winning text books and over forty technical articles. So she writes of what she knows. Her take on drugs used for a patient's good is awesome. And I liked Monika's perserverence in sticking with her belief that wrong had been done. But somehow, Monika and her co-workers seemed one-dimensional to me. They floated in and out of the story without much substance. At times, I felt that less information about the workings of the hospital and drug details, and more emphasis on the characters, would have better served the plot. It was predictable from the start, but that worked for me. Not a problem. It's always nice to be proven right.
he action paced slowly at times, moved along mostly by dialogue. Unfortunately, Sullivan hasn't gotten a handle on that art as yet. As she writes more, that will come, I'm sure. The potential is there and
is worth the read.
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