Wednesday, September 1, 2010

‘Medical Error: Prescription for Trouble Series’ by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. – Book Review

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I have been reading and reviewing on my blog long enough that I am getting to read second books by selected authors. One author who falls into that category is Richard L. Mabry, M.D. I had the good fortune to read his first non-fiction release, ‘Code Blue;’ the latest in his ‘Prescription for Trouble’ series is ‘Medical Error.’

Here is the synopsis of this book:

She thinks things couldn’t get worse…then she opened the envelope. Dr. Anna McIntyre’s life was going along fine until someone else started living it. Her patient dies because of an identity mix-up, her medical career is in jeopardy because of forged prescriptions, and her credit is in ruins. She thought things couldn’t get worse, but that was before she opened the envelope and saw a positive HIV test with her name on it.

Here is the biography of this author:

Richard L. Mabry, M.D., is a retired physician and medical school professor who achieved worldwide recognition as a writer, speaker, and teacher before turning his talents to non-medical writing after his retirement. He is the author of one non-fiction book, and his inspiration pieces have appeared in numerous periodicals. Dr. Mabry’s first novel is entitled ‘Code Blue;’ he has also written a non-fiction book entitled ‘The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse.’ He and his wife, Kay, live in North Texas. 

Here is the book trailer for this suspenseful read:

The main character in this fast-paced book is Dr. Anna McIntyre, whose life is being turned upside down. She has endured identity theft, which is both extremely annoying and personally violating (it has happened to me in the past). This theft has affected both her personal and professional life.

Being that Dr. Mabry is a retired physician and medical school professor, he knows the ins and outs of the medical profession. For instance, when Dr. McIntyre performs surgery, Dr. Mabry takes his readers into the operating room with her.

An interesting aspect of the story is that the hospital in which Dr. McIntyre practices is Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. A student of history will recognize the name of that hospital as the one in which President John F. Kennedy was taken after he was shot; it was where he subsequently died. Here Dr. McIntyre explains the tempo in that busy place:

Anna nodded her thanks and headed for the break room. Just being in the Emergency Room made her pulse quicken, as she relived memories of her own time as “Pit Boss” – the second year surgery resident charged with overseeing the ER at Parkland Hospital, arguably one of the busiest in the nation. The pressure was tremendous, but the opportunity to hone one’s clinical judgment and skills was almost unlimited. (p. 57)

Another main character in this book is Ross Donovan, the attorney that Anna hired to represent her and help her get out of the miry pit. I was amused by her description of him upon their first meeting:

Apparently no one was coming out to welcome her. Anna knocked on the closed door. In less than half a minute, Gregory Peck opened the door. Well, not him, but a handsome man with black, wavy hair, a cleft chin, and sparkling blue eyes that hinted of secrets that could not be shared….
As she settled into one of the two client chairs across the desk from Donovan, she gave him a quick appraisal. Probably forty years old or thereabouts. Crisp, clean white shirt with cuffs turned back a neat two folds, a conservative blue tie, dark blue suspenders. And although a reappraisal showed her that he wasn’t exactly a dead ringer for Gregory Peck, his looks would probably melt the hearts of female jurors from ages sixteen to sixty. (pp. 89-90)

Another character in the story is Dr. Nick Valentine, a pathologist at Parkland Hospital and a colleague of Dr. McIntyre’s who has a strong attraction to her. He accompanied her to a party which included many of her church friends. Nick was surprised at the company:

‘Enjoying yourself?” Anna eased up beside him. “I’m sorry I left you for a bit, but I had to help get the food on the table. Ready to eat?”
“Sure,” Nick answered. He pointed to the group of men he’d just left. “I don’t remember those guys’ names, but are they on the church staff or something? They were slinging Bible stuff around left and right.”
“Chet, the host, is an insurance agent. Charlie, on the left, is a mechanic. Rick, on the right, is a dentist.” She looked around and pointed. “The only minister I see here is the man in Bermuda shorts and flip-flops. That’s Robert, our pastor.” (p. 131)

Dr. McIntyre’s faith also had a positive impact on her attorney, Ross:

          “Oh, there’s an answer,” Anna said. “But only God has it, Then again ---”   
          “Maybe you’re the answer.”
After the conversation ended, Ross cradled the phone and stared at the ceiling. It was hard enough not to drink. It was hard enough to defend Anna against charges that seemed to worsen day by day. It was hard enough to remain professional in the face of feelings he was developing for her. Now, out of the blue, she’d told him God might be using him. Ross began to laugh. Maybe God really does have a sense of humor. (p. 192)

I appreciated the fact that, despite all of her troubles, Dr. McIntyre never lost faith or love for her God. Dr. Valentine also respected that aspect of her personality:

“Nick, that’s sort of the heart of everything I believe. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you.’ I don’t know if I have the words exactly right, but you get the meaning.”
“You know, one of the things I admire about you is the way you’ve held on to your faith in the midst of all that’s happened. I’m afraid mine is gone for good.”
“That’s not true,” Anna said. “Your faith is right where you left it.” (p. 217)

The climactic final scene was full of twists and turns; I did not see that ending coming! I will not give away any spoilers, but that scene – and the last page, which gave a hint of what was to come in Anna’s personal life – were satisfying and sweet!

In addition, there are discussion questions at the end of the book. I would recommend this book to books clubs everywhere.

As stated, I had the opportunity to read Dr. Mabry’s first novel in the ‘Prescription for Trouble’ series, ‘Code Blue;’ you can read my review here. I thoroughly enjoyed that book as well. Dr. Mabry is a talented man – previously a physical and medical school professor, and now a talented – and published! – author. Clearly he knows the medical industry, and he also now knows the publishing industry. The third book in his ‘Prescription for Trouble’ series is ‘Diagnosis Death,’ which will release in April, 2011. My Advance Reader Copy includes chapters 1 and 2; it is just as compelling as are the first two books! I thank Dr. Mabry for sharing his knowledge and his faith with his readers, and I wish continued success to him in his new publishing journey!

You can order this book here.

This book was published by Abingdon Press and this Advance Reader Copy was generously provided by the author for review purposes. Page numbers included in the quotes from this review from this ARC and may not match up with the final published copy.


Richard Mabry said...

Andrea, I'm blushing. Thanks for a wonderfully complete and exceedingly complimentary review. Glad you've enjoyed my first two novels of "medical suspense with heart." You should be getting your advance reader copy of DIAGNOSIS DEATH pretty soon.

I'll buzz back here off and on for a day or two in case your readers have any questions or comments for me. Meanwhile, on behalf of Dr. Anna McIntyre and all her friends, many thanks.

Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Dr. Mabry -
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am glad you liked my review as much as I liked your latest! And I appreciate hearing from you that Book 3 - 'Diagnosis Death' - will be arriving in my mailbox shortly. That is a compelling title!
Blessings -

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