BOOK REVIEW: Fatal Complications" by John Benedict
When a colleague’s patient suffers a bizarre reaction in the operating room, Luke Daulton, a newly minted anesthesiologist, volunteers to help. Despite the surgical team’s best efforts, the patient succumbs to a rare anesthetic complication. Luke becomes perplexed, even suspicious, over their inability to save the woman. Is it possible that the diagnosis was wrong? Or, worse yet, was the diagnosis faked? Luke even wonders if his boss Dr. Katz is involved.Too busy with the rigors of new job and his pending fatherhood, Luke is forced to put his suspicions on hold. When his wife Kim faces a C-section, his fears are reignited. Could there be a murderer—or murderers—operating in his hospital? Could his wife’s obstetrician be involved? When the C-section goes horribly wrong, Luke must launch into action to save his wife and baby and expose the conspiracy he’s uncovered.
I received an advance copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
I am an avid fan of Dr. Benedict's books and was ecstatic to receive this one in the mail. I actually took a day too long to review this because I had to sit and think about it for a while. So much went on, and it was much more intricate than your typical thriller.
The story has a lot to do with the "God complex" that some doctors develop, and God (and the Devil) play bigger roles in this book than you'd think on the surface.
I'm going to do my best not to give any spoilers as I explain how freaking much I loved this book.
Luke Daulton is a character I loved more than any of the others that Dr. Benedict has created. He is struggling with his past, his father's memory, his wife's faith, and their impending pregnancy. He is smart, quick-thinking, and despite his father's best (mental) efforts to tell him otherwise, a hero.
Kim, his wife, I also really liked. She's a genius with a big heart, and her amazing math skills come in handy about two-thirds into the story.
You then have Dr. Katz, who is a study in loss, grief, PTSD, and madness. Yes, madness. Despite his acclaim in the medical field, he is mentally scarred by the death of his son years before in a house fire. He had renounced his faith in God, and gained faith in the "other". His "master," as he calls Satan, wants souls, and Katz accepts money to murder prolific patients at the hospital where he and Daulton work. Despite being evil, I pitied Katz as I read about him, for his fate is one that many can and do easily succumb to.
Other characters like Dr. Rob Gentry and his mistress Gwen, and Dr. Mark Siedle, have very big impacts on the story. I genuinely liked Gentry, and I think that Gwen is the only character that rubbed me the wrong way in this book.
The plot keeps moving: the book is nearly 300 pages and I read it in two sittings (had I not needed sleep, it would have been an all-nighter). I was literally unable to get the story out of my mind.
Faith, be it in God, Satan, or yourself plays a huge role in the book. I think God might be a bigger character than even Luke! There is not much mystery in the book. It's not a whodunnit, it's more of a "why did they do it". Those types of stories are my favorites.
Faith and bravery, determination and love, dominate this story. There were moments with the hospital's incinerator that I think might give me nightmares because of my pyrophobia, but this was not about typical fear. This was about that heart-pounding fear you get as you approach a car accident or are playing Russian Roulette. This was a thriller in every sense of the word.
I loved this, and I think many people will as well. This is a book that deserves to be on the top of the NYT Bestseller List.