When her elderly patients start dying at home days after minor surgery, anesthesiologist Dr. Kate Downey wants to know why. The surgeon, not so much. “Old people die, that’s what they do,” is his response. When Kate presses, surgeon Charles Ricken places the blame squarely on her shoulders. Kate is currently on probation, and the chief of staff sides with the surgeon, leaving Kate to prove her innocence and save her own career. With her husband in a prolonged coma, it’s all she has left.
Aided by her eccentric Great Aunt Irm, a precocious medical student, and the lawyer son of a victim, Kate launches her own unorthodox investigation of these unexpected deaths. As she comes closer to exposing the culprit’s identity, she faces professional intimidation, threats to her life, a home invasion, and, tragically, the suspicious death of someone close to her. The stakes escalate to the breaking point when Kate, under violent duress, is forced to choose which of her loved ones to save—and which must be sacrificed.
Perfect for fans of Kathy Reichs and Tess Gerritsen
Fatal Intent is a kind of story that draws you in straightaway. Kate’s life isn’t easy- she lost her baby daughter and now her husband Greg is in coma, requires professional medical care and there is little doubt that his overall health isn’t improving. Greg’s brother is pushing Kate towards certain decisions she is unwilling to consider.
Then accidentally Kate finds out that some of her patients die a couple of days after being discharged following a minor surgical procedure. the only thing they all seem to have in common is that Kate herself was the anesthesiologist in all of these cases, while the operations were performed by Dr Ricken. When Kate confronts the unlikeable surgeon, he retaliates by blaming her for what had happened to her patients, all of whom were either elderly or bedridden and suffering from MS or Alzheimer’s. Kate has little choice but try to investigate and get to the bottom of these mysterious deaths.
The writing was absolutely gripping- not only does Tammy Euliano know what she is talking about in terms of medical issues and procedures, but she is also a talented writer able to grab the reader’s attention and hold it until the end. I really enjoyed the pace- it was just right, fast enough to keep me glued to the pages and at the same time there was enough space for Kate’s character to develop and come to terms with her grief and her losses.
The topic is very thought-provoking and relevant to today’s world, although it isn’t often discussed for the fear of being divisive. If you are a fan of medical thrillers and are looking for an intriguing story with an emotional punch, this is a book for you.
Thank you to Edelweiss and Oceanview Publishing for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
About the author:
Tammy Euliano, MD, is a practicing anesthesiologist and tenured professor at the University of Florida. In addition to a prolific list of academic publications, YouTube teaching videos, and numerous teaching awards, she has also written award-winning short fiction. Fatal Intent is her debut novel. Tammy lives in Gainesville, FL, with her husband.