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The Last Surgeon: 05/08/10

cover art

The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer, Nick "Fury" Garrity, veteran suffering from post traumatic stress disorder spends his days and nights helping people from a mobile clinic on the streets of Washington D.C. He is contacted by a nurse who wants to prove her sister was murdered even though the evidence points towards her death being a suicide. Together they go against a brilliant but evil foe, a man who has perfected the art of the "no-kill", making his murders appear like accidents and self-inflicted deaths.

That's the gist of the book. The reviews I've read call The Last Surgeon an interesting page turner. While it had its moments, I'm finding myself getting tired of brilliant psychopathic serial killers. They seem to be a dime a dozen these days. Granted, I've never been a huge fan of serial killer novels (I laughed while reading Silence of the Lambs), sometimes I'm in the mood for one. The medical thriller angle for The Last Surgeon lured me into a book I'd otherwise not pick. I should have gone with my initial gut reaction and skipped the offer to review it.

The book for me suffers from two main problems: too many points of view and too much time spent with the serial killer. The idea is to make him seem threatening to build the sense of suspense but all his crazy thinking lessens the believability of his informed attribute (namely we're told he's brilliant) and distracts from the mystery at hand (can Dr. Garrity find medical evidence that links these deaths and proves that they are murders?).

The book for me would have been tighter and more of a page turner if it had only focused on Nick Garrity's scenes. The other scenes don't play as convincingly and pulled me out of the medical thriller moment.

I received the book for review.

Comments (4)

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Comment #1: Sunday, May, 9, 2010 at 11:53:28


You are the first person I have seen that wasn't fond of it. Each of us entitled to our opinions, but I wonder why you bothered if you knew you wouldn't like it.

A little baffled.

While I appreciate your review, I disagree with it all together.

Comment #2: Monday, May 10, 2010 at 13:16:15


I chose to read it because from the description it sounded like the book was taking a standard plot in a new and interesting direction. It sounded like it might be like The Chemist by Janson Mancheski. There were a great number of things I liked about the book: all of them on Dr. "Fury's" half of the plot. Had the book focused more on his story and less on the killer, I would have given it four or possibly five stars instead of three.

Comment #3: Tuesday, May, 11, 2010 at 12:33:53

Susan Helene Gottfried

I know what you mean. Sometimes, as a reader, you want something different. Yet the publishers won't always give it to us — or if they do, they don't promote it, so it's hard to hear about.

Comment #4: Friday, May 14, 2010 at 19:46:23


The book almost did it for me but it missed the mark. I think I would try another of the author's books if I came across one.

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