Published: December 10, 2018 by Dawn Harris Sherling/Independent Book Publishers Association
Dates Read: May 4 – May 6, 2019
Genre/Category: Medical Fiction, Medical Thrillers
Read For: NetGalley Review
I’m a sucker for a good medical mystery. Heck, I could be considered a sucker for a bad medical mystery as well. Not Quite Dead made it onto one of those lists, and with 4 stars I bet you can guess which one.
Book synopsis from Amazon: Doctor Autumn Johnson is convinced that someone wants the promising young researcher, Jay Abrams, dead. And as a newly minted medical intern, Autumn tries to outsmart death on behalf of her patients every day. But she just can’t seem to get it right. Not knowing the answers her residents expect her to, prescribing the wrong meds, and nearly passing out as a patient is wheeled into the ICU—is not how she had pictured herself as a physician. Determined to do better, Autumn decides to prove someone tried to kill Jay. When the trail leads her to Jay’s mysterious notes, Autumn has little time to discover who wants Jay, and now her, dead. With the help of the only other intern she can call a friend and a self-destructive perfectionist for a supervising resident, Autumn will have to solve a mystery that reaches deep inside the medical establishment, threatening us all.
There’s not much to say about this book for me. When you are in the medical profession, reading medical fiction is always fun, you can read about all the mistakes other people make without feeling guilty. The book can be the most poorly written medical story and it can make you feel like the smartest person on the face of the earth. Sometimes you get all the feelies and you cry, or you get angry, or you yell, but you still walk away OK because it was just a book and you didn’t kill anyone today. Fortunately, for those of us in the know, Dawn Harris Sherling wrote a pretty good book.
Not Quite Dead’s story revolves mostly around interns and residents, our main character being Autumn. She is your typical nervous nellie newbie, and I felt the author did fairly well describing the typical characteristics seen in this type of person. When Autumn’s not-so certain boyfriend (more like hospital hook-up) Jay is wheeled into the ICU in a coma, where Autumn is on rotation, she finds herself trying to solve more than just his medical diagnosis. This becomes a cute medical mystery that involves a lot of the typical ins and outs that medical professionals deal with on a daily basis in a hospital and clinical environment. There is a decent amount of medical jargon, but it is used in a manor that if you are not medical in any way, you can still follow the novel with complete understanding. (And as an ICU nurse I did not want to scream at anyone during any of the medical senerios.) There was a good flow to the writing, and it kept my attention, which is extremely important. All of the characters portrayed were very sterotypical of residents and doctors that I have worked with, and you may think that is a bad thing but it is not. I loved that aspect of the book because it nailed each and every one at each stage of their career. I applaud Ms. Sherling for her interpretation. The ending was satisfying, about as satisfying as any medical drama can end, considering how it ends. There was some heartwarming and very insightful comments made that can be appreciated as well.
I give this a good solid 4 stars. Normally I would probably have put this in my 3 star range, it was a quick read that kept my attention, but didn’t give me a headache, and usually I would have just forgotten about it a few days later. Not only did it have all the general basics that I require (see rating scale) but for a few days afterwards I was still thinking about this case. As an ICU nurse, a lot of times you take your work home with you. Its easy to review your day in your head, think about what you may have forgotten, or may have done differently. When you take care of some of the same patients day after day, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t get attached. So in reading this book, these patients became my own. I reviewed their cases like they were my own, and of course I reviewed the novels ending questioning if there was something I would have done differently. I did this for days. Nurse or not, when a book stays with me for this long, whatever the topic, I consider it to be at the very least 4 stars. It’s earned it. This one surely earned its stars, it was well written and stayed with me. If Ms. Sherling writes a second book, I most certainly will be in line to get my copy!!!
Thank You so much to NetGalley and to Crooked Lane Books for the free copy of Not Quite Dead for an unbiased and honest review.