Thursday, 22 July 2010

Code Blue by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. (Book Review)

In the first book of the Prescription for Trouble series, “Code Blue” means more to Dr. Cathy Sewell than the cardiac emergency she has to face. It describes her mental state as she finds that coming back to her hometown hasn’t brought her the peace she so desperately needs. Instead, it’s clear that someone there wants her gone…or dead.

“Cathy returns to her hometown seeking healing after a broken relationship, but discovers that among her friends and acquaintances is someone who wants her out of town…or dead. Lawyer Will Kennedy, her high school sweetheart, offers help, but does it carry a price tag? Is hospital chief of staff, Dr. Marcus Bell, really on her side in her fight to get hospital privileges? Is Will’s father, Pastor Matthew Kennedy, interested in advising her or just trying to get her back to the church she left years ago? When one of Cathy’s prescriptions almost kills the town banker, it sets the stage for a malpractice suit that could end her time in town, if not her career. It’s soon clear that this return home was a prescription for trouble.”

Dr. Cathy Sewell, a capable surgeon, has returned home to Dainger, Texas after breaking up with her fiancé hoping to get her life back on track. Her life is now filled with new challenges: two men who are trying to date her, a medical colleague and her high school sweetheart; someone is trying to discredit her medical abilities; and her life is in danger from the driver of a black SUV.

Situations from her past threaten to overwhelm Cathy, who questions her faith in God, and the old feelings that surface for a former sweetheart whom she left to attend college. She blames God for the death of her parents in an accident that prevented them from attending her graduation from medical school.

The plot moved quickly once the medical detail appeared with clues being provided, bit by bit, to reveal there were a few citizens who found fault with Cathy’s return. As her problems mount, Cathy feels vulnerable, self-critical and questions her sanity while trying to prove herself capable before her colleagues, patients and to herself.

All the characters had definite attitudes and mannerisms that fit in how they dealt with problematic situations. The details surrounding the medical and legal aspects were realistic, although as to the latter there were a few things that raised my eyebrows over procedure.

There were several brilliant twists and turns with red herrings that kept me intrigued and surprised, as I had not seen them coming. There were a couple of places where the consequences of a particular action could only lead in one direction. Despite this, the suspense built up to a thriller level toward the end which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Dr. Mabry demonstrated his expertise in the medical field while presenting the terminology in layman’s terms and gripping action. Also, he has done a deft job of conveying that God is always there waiting to assist those who reach out.

Dr. Mabry’s second novel in the series, Medical Error, will be available September 2010.

Review copy provided by Richard Mabry.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Author website: Richard L. Mabry, MD
Published: April 1, 2010

Available at:


Richard Mabry said...

Barbara, Glad you enjoyed Code Blue. Thanks for posting this review.

Charles Gramlich said...

I go through periods where I'll read medical thrillers or medical related books. I haven't had one of those periods in a while. I'll have to keep this book in mind.

Cloudia said...

Aloha from Waikiki

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