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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Review: Dead Ringer by Allen Wyler

2 Stars
Dead Ringer
Author: Allen Wyler
Genre: Medical Mystery, Suspense, Thriller,
Publisher: Astor + Blue Editions
Ebook/Paperback
Pages: 286
Purchase: 

Amazon | Astor + Blue Editions |

Book Description:

 "In the tradition of Robin Cook, Wyler takes us behind the scenes to show us things the medical establishment doesn’t want us to see. DEAD RINGER builds a high-speed plot on a startling but all-too-plausible premise. This is the stuff nightmares are made of."

-- Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and Buried Secrets

“…Wyler does for hospitals what Benchley did for the ocean.”

--Joe Moore, Co-author of the International Bestseller, The Grail Conspiracy

Neurosurgeon Allen Wyler knows of what he speaks, and writes, and the result is a thriller that equals and updates the best of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton.”

--Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong at the Break

While speaking at a Hong Kong medical conference, neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae slips the cloth off a cadaver’s head during a routine medical demonstration, and is overwhelmed with the shock by what’s staring back at him: His best friend, Andy Baer.

Stunned, McCrae races back to Seattle to discover that Andy is in fact missing and may have been murdered by a gang of body snatchers who operate a legit funeral business and make a fortune by selling recovered body parts to medical researchers.

McCrae teams up with an unlikely pair—a beautiful but hardnosed female cop and a gang member whose family was victimized by the body parts ring—to try and expose a macabre web of corruption that involves law enforcement, politicians, funeral home curators and murdered prostitutes.

Internationally renowned neurosurgeon Allen Wyler takes us deep into a nightmarish scenario, shockingly ripped from recent headlines, and delivers a horrifically plausible, page-turning thriller.

My Review

I kind of went out on a limb when agreeing to read Dead Ringer and I really wanted to like it. It is not really a genre I read much of (not unless there is a lot of romance in the main plot). I didn’t dislike this book. I want to say that first of all, if you are looking for a straight forward mystery novel I think you might really like this but for me the book was just okay.

The basis of the plot is that there are people (mostly homeless people and working girls) disappearing but no one really takes notice except for a female undercover vice officer who worked the streets to lure men into, well, you get the point and then when the deal was made she would call in the cops who was backing her up. But then our bad guys accidentally grabs a john with one of the working girls and in a one-and-a-million chance the johns severed head ends up on the doctors table of his best friend during a medical conference.

DFH is our bad guys they are a funeral business and besides just burying and cremating people they also have the option for people to donate their body to science. These bodies would go to people who need cadavers (think medical school) but even with the great deal DFH has for this it is obvious that a lot of people do not want strange people poking and prodding at their body for the sake of science even after they are dead.

DFH is one of, if not the most prosperous business of its kind in Seattle but with the lack of people donating to science….there is no way they can be meeting the demands of people who need cadavers, especially for people who require fresh cadavers.

From here we basically go through our main characters Lucas and Wendy trying to get the bad guys who we know without a doubt are guilty, but they can find no solid proof to arrest them. We have a couple important supporting characters in this book as well that help along the plot.

While I did not love or really like this novel, again I did not dislike it either. I found Dead Ringer an okay read and did not have a hard time finishing it; it just was not for me. I had a really hard time connecting with any of the characters, so I was just reading them; I never felt anything toward them as I do usually with books. No sympathy, anger, excitement. It was just... reading.

We have four points of view and they are not hard to follow at all, we also get some in the past scenes with characters ‘remembering’ things that happened in the past (this is just from our head bad guy and Lucas though).

Not only could I not connect with the character but the mystery itself kind of fell flat for me too. We know who the bad guys are as we get their POV, we know they did it, and the on the whole the ending was very anticlimactic and kind of, I do not mean to sound rude, but there was no suspense to it, no omg-on-the-edge-of-my-seat for me.

Honestly one thing I really liked about this book was a supporting character, Wendy’s ex. I am really curious about him and what he does, he presented an air intrigue to me (not to mention he sounded really hot).

Overall Dead Ringer was an okay read, it is easy to follow and very straight forward. Anyone that is looking for a straight forward mystery novel might really enjoy it, I know it has some wonderful reviews and if that is something you like then I urge you to give it a try and to not let my thoughts influence you. Dead Ringer just did not do it for me though. It lacked the emotion, the passion that makes me really love a book and connect with its characters. I do not think that is a refection on the authors writing, again it has honestly has really good reviews, so that is probably more of a reflection on me. 

*I received a hardcover/paperback/eBook copy/ARC of this book for free to review from the author/publisher/tour site; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.

 

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.
In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.
Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.
He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.




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