Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Perfect Ten: LIFELINES by C.J. Lyons


LIFELINES - C. J. Lyons
A Perfect 10
Berkley
ISBN: 978-0-425-22082-5
March 2008
Contemporary Fiction
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Present Day

Dr. Lydia Fiore has just transferred from Los Angeles, California. Her first day at Angels of Mercy Medical Center is eventful. She saves a boy, Theo Pearson, when she ignores protocol and irritates many of the staff with her unorthodox treatment. She saves the life of a baby who had been misdiagnosed, then loses Jonah Weiss, whose father is Elliott Weiss, Chief of Surgery. He wants Lydia’s head on a platter. What an inauspicious beginning, and she doesn’t even have a place to stay other than a small motel. Is her career over before it has begun in Pittsburgh?

You have to read LIFELINES to believe it. The writing, storyline, descriptions, and characterizations are simply superb. There are several threads that wind up being connected by dark, human evil and that delve into just how low men can sink in their greed and inhumanity to others. The collection of characters, doctors, nurses, residents, interns, med students, paramedics, policemen, media representatives, and a lawyer or two, all come together in a gritty, breathtaking, nail-chewing wild ride in and about Pittsburgh.

Paramedic Trey Garrison comes to Lydia’s defense early on. Mark Cohen, an attending physician, recommends his sister, lawyer Michelle Cohen, and her assistant, Danny, to Lydia. They take up ‘lost’ causes and cases that others won’t touch. Nora Halloran is a charge nurse, and she sees things as they truly are. Gina Freeman, a third-year resident, likes Lydia and has a good friend, policeman Jerry Boyle. Amanda Mason is a fourth year med student. Jim Lazarov is an intern, the one who made the wrong call about the baby. Medical Examiner Dr Isaiah Steward and his assistant, Jan Dombroski, cannot find the cause of Jonah’s death on their first try, and even though forbidden to practice until the legalities are settled, Lydia is determined to find out why Jonah died. Little does she know just how much trouble awaits her...

I found it difficult to put this book down. It is better than any medical story I have ever read and rivals the best in the movies and television. At the climax, readers will be hanging on by their fingertips. Emotions run high, and debut author C. J. Lyons blends everything and everyone seamlessly in this riveting drama. I award this must-read novel a Perfect 10.

Vi Janaway

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