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Summary

There are many ways to die in a hospital…being sick is only one of them.

Chief resident Steve Mitchell is the quintessential surgeon: ambitious, intelligent, confident. Charged with molding a group of medical trainees into doctors, and in line for a coveted job, Steve's future is bright. But then a patient mysteriously dies, and it quickly becomes clear that a killer is on the loose in his hospital. A killer set on playing a deadly game with Steve. A killer holding information that could ruin his career and marriage. Now, alone and under a cloud of suspicion, Steve must discover a way to outsmart his opponent and save the killer's next victim before the cycle repeats itself again and again….

A chilling and compelling thriller that also takes you into the hospital and details the politics and hierarchy among doctors, as well as the life-and-death decisions that are made by flawed human beings, Kelly Parsons' Doing Harm marks the gripping debut of a major fiction career.

©2014 Kelly Parsons (P)2013 Macmillan Audio

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jacqueline
  • 11-02-14

Unbelievable First Novel--Not in a Good Way

The author of this medical mystery is an actual board-certified urologist . As a result of his background, the medical procedures are all very graphic and realistic, and hospital protocol probably exactly what you would expect. The plot isn't a completely new idea, and the writing style is much like Robin Cook or Michael Palmer. There are some good tense moments of suspense which could have really built up as the story progressed- unfortunately, it takes a big fall. I never liked or cared about what happened to our main character, as he was made out to be a thick-headed, arrogant, and weak individual.

I love medical thrillers, and am willing to suspend some realism, however could not get past how our main character becomes immature and ridiculous when faced with his situation. He is supposed to be self-assured, intelligent, smart, an extremely quick learner, and admired by all who know him. It doesn't follow that we should believe the decisions he makes.



******************************Big Spoiler Alert Follows**********************************************

Chief Resident Steve Mitchell, is on track to take on a big job at University Hospital. When his patients begin to die, his glowing reputation quickly declines, and instead of being promoted, he may lose his job. There are a lot of ways to die in a hospital- natural causes from the original injury or accident, infection, doctor error, etc. Although his patient's deaths are seemingly the result of something that was likely unavoidable, the real reason is---gasp!--- murder.

This "smart" Chief Resident is finally made aware of who the murderer is, and is being blackmailed by this person due to another matter which could ruin his career. The murderer makes him aware that more deaths will occur, and here is where the unbelievable part starts----he decides to just stay silent to avoid losing his marriage and job!!----- He does take some lame steps to try and figure out what to do by telling a co-worker about what is going on. As the storyline becomes more bizarre, the co-worker simply believes his story (no proof required) and says he will figure out what to do. He won't tell this Chief Resident what steps he is taking, as it may be too dangerous for him to know--and wouldn't you know it, the co-worker is also murdered (but of course, it is made to look like something else)

So now what to do? What did the co-worker find out? Chief Resident figures out a code from prior conversations with helpful co-worker, follows it up and is given more secret codes to unravel before he can finally figure out a way to trap the murderer at his/her own game. Why all the secret codes? No reason.

I'll stop here because after reading this story I was completely frustrated, and writing a review about it makes me even more so! I feel like people are entitled to know more before possibly wasting a credit - wish I had known!

This is the first book I ever reviewed where I felt compelled to include a big spoiler alert.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • althea
  • 17-02-14

just not good.....

What would have made Doing Harm better?

THE author really needed to realize that he is not that important. Character development was insufficient and disjointed.

Would you ever listen to anything by Kelly Parsons again?

No

Which scene was your favorite?

When I heard this has been an audible production....

What character would you cut from Doing Harm?

STEVE

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Terri
  • 21-04-14

A modern mystery/thriller classic!

What made the experience of listening to Doing Harm the most enjoyable?

Nice to hear the correct pronunciations of medical terms! The narrator did an A+ job with that as well as believable character voices.

What other book might you compare Doing Harm to and why?

The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer. Similar theme, setting and some parallel situations.

Which scene was your favorite?

Can't reveal - spoiler.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes but it was in the epilogue, so again another spoiler I can't reveal.

Any additional comments?

It's not often I give a 5-star rating but giving this rating to "Doing Harm" was an easy decision. When rating a book there's a lot that goes into my thought process: character development, plot progression, fact-checking, consistency (or lack of) with dialogue, scenes, writing style, etc. Do the major characters stay true to themselves? And if growth or depth of character take place over many chapters, is it a logical progression in the reader's eyes? Most of all, does the pace align with the genre? To all of the above, this thriller receives 100% in the "YES" category.

Delivered in first-person narrative, our protagonist is 31-year-old Dr. Steve Mitchell, Chief resident and surgeon at a University Hospital. Steve's career path looks promising in his last year as a resident, but as the foreshadowing title suggests, "doing harm" (even unwittingly) can result in major repercussions. Steve's ego, moderately inflated by his superiors' praise and his patients' "awe" lead him to make a few careless decisions whose consequences ultimately change his life. But is there more going on than meets the eye? Is it too coincidental that Murphy's Law, "what can go wrong will go wrong", kick-in and apply to every poor decision Steve makes (even the minor ones)? And this is where the story really picks up speed in a race against time where it really is a matter of life or death!

I've been wanting (waiting) for medical thriller like "Doing Harm" for a long time. Kelly Parsons does a fantastic job of giving the readers just enough medical jargon to create plausibility but doesn't bore us with TMI. This book is the perfect recipe containing every ingredient you'd want in a good suspense/mystery novel. The story is well-balanced and will appeal to most all mystery/suspense/thriller aficionados, from cozy mystery readers to the Stephen King or John Grisham fans. Truly a thoroughly enjoyable, unputdownable, modern classic!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Delia SB
  • 09-05-15

Fun, thrilling, cunning

What did you love best about Doing Harm?

This book was a fun ride from beginning to end. I appreciated the accuracy of the medical terminology and don't agree with the other reviewers that it seemed "arrogant." Rather, the thorough medical explanations of how easy it is for things to go wrong in hospitals was eye-opening. I thought it was a unique and twisted plot and the book kept me on the edge of my seat.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, it did! It keeps you guessing on who might be the next victim and how.

Have you listened to any of Robert Petkoff’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

The narration was engaging and fluid.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Oh yeah. But I don't want to give away any spoilers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • donnacdavis
  • 23-10-14

Just another attempt at a medical thriller

What did you love best about Doing Harm?

One on hand, being involved in the medical field, I appreciated the exactness of the medical terminology and procedures. On the other hand, if you are not familiar with this professional, you could still listen, but the technical stuff could possibility turn you off and leave a bitter taste in your mouth.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doing Harm?

Finally at the end of the book when you think he has been beaten, and "circling the drain" the person who saves him is a total surprise that I really didn't see coming.

Which character – as performed by Robert Petkoff – was your favorite?

I'm not a sadist, but I absolutely enjoyed Gigi. How her mind works, her methods and games just really make you stop and wonder how the mind goes to such a dark place. She may have been insane, but she was brilliant and cunning in her delivery.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

At many points I had to stop and look at the time left til the end and decide if I wanted to devote that much time to the book. It was a LONG listen and there was so much that was not needed to develop the characters. There were points where I wondered how someone so insecure and immature could make it through medical school. I finally got into it about half way through.

Any additional comments?

It is a good start to a series. Michael Palmer, Robin Cook and other medical writers have nothing to worry about. She isn't going to win over any of their fans. Actually, the author might want to read a couple of their books and see how the best writers do it and learn a few things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • 01-03-14

Got better half way through

Would you listen to Doing Harm again? Why?

Probably not. The main character is this awful conceited d***head.

If you’ve listened to books by Kelly Parsons before, how does this one compare?

This is my first.

What does Robert Petkoff bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is an ok narrator.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

no.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Carmela
  • 11-02-14

Old-fashioned medical thriller

Some of the plot twists were way over the top, but I enjoyed the inside look at the lives of the interns, residents and medical students. If you like medical thrillers, a fast pace and the usual psycho bitch from hell, then you will like this novel.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Susan Schlueter
  • 10-02-18

Mildly interesting

The story is ok. Has a lot of details that you know connect to something, but there are so many, it's semi-distracting. The main character is infuriatingly clever at many things, but dreadfully slow to pick up on many major clues.

The medical stuff is realistic enough to set the stage for some of the other less believable plot points.

The ending is drawn out rather painstakingly, and the deus ex machina is completely unnecessary- the main character should have been able to handle himself without any help.

The book is ok for road trips/plane rides/other times when you want a distraction but not to immerse yourself fully in the story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jan M
  • 03-05-17

Amazingly Suspenseful Book

I loved this book. It was fast paced and had my blood pressure and pulse up more times than not. I have not read any books from this author, but WOW! This book was crazy good. Loved the strong characters and I just didn't know how it was going to end. Excellent! Also the narrator was fantastic.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea
  • 11-12-16

keeps you interested.

this book keeps you wondering what would happen next. hard to pot down page turner.