Doing Harm Review
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Unabridged Audiobook: 11 CDs (13 hours)
Read by Robert Petkoff

Each and every day, doctors and nurses take on life-or-death situations, performing everything from routine operations to emergency surgeries with cool, composed skill. But in the audio version of his medical thriller debut, Doing Harm, author Kelly Parsons adds a new layer of danger to the standard operating procedures.

The story takes place in Boston’s prestigious University Hospital, where Steve Mitchell is finishing up the last year of his residency. His ambition and skill have earned him an offer for his dream job, but his successes lead to overconfidence, putting both his career and his family in danger.

During the course of one horrible night, one of Steve’s patients dies suddenly, and a surgical error leaves another patient in critical condition. Steve’s bright future is starting to dim, but it’s not entirely his fault. A clever, calculating killer is murdering patients at the hospital—and now it’s up to Steve to prevent more patients from dying.

Doing Harm is a brutal medical thriller—so if you get squeamish at the slightest thought of blood, it’s best to steer clear. A surgeon specializing in urology, Parsons is obviously familiar with both the inner workings of the human body and the day-to-day drama of the operating room—and he portrays both in graphic detail. He holds nothing back—to the point that his descriptions will make even the most iron-clad stomachs turn from time to time.

In the beginning, in fact, Parsons tends to get so caught up in the medical details that it takes a while for the real action to begin. The set-up seems so straightforward for so long that you might begin to wonder when the real action will begin. But, fortunately, when it does, the gory details give way to taut suspense as Steve races to save his future, his family, and his patients. At times, the steps that he takes may seem a bit far-fetched—and the conclusion is somewhat abrupt—but the tension is often so heavy that you’ll find yourself on edge, waiting to see who will win the deadly game of cat and mouse.

At the same time, Parsons builds the story around a fascinating character—a skilled but often self-obsessed surgeon who’s forced into action when things get personal. You might not always like him, but his flaws add an extra touch of believability to a nail-biting thriller.

Doing Harm definitely isn’t for the squeamish. When you mix the operating room pressures with gruesome surgical details, it can sometimes get so intense that you’ll need to take a break from listening, just to catch your breath. But if you can handle the gory details, you’ll be in for one gripping medical thriller.

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