BOOK REVIEW: LIFELINES
From the very first sentence I was sucked unto Lifelines. The book opens, “July 1st is the most dangerous day of the year.” The first day of July is transition day in hospitals, the day that medical students become interns. And according to the Lyons at least, it is the most dangerous day of the year to be a hospital patient.
July 1st is also the day that Lydia Fiore started her new job at Pittsburgh's Angels of Mercy Hospital as the new ER attending physician. Almost immediately Lydia is faced with two unusual emergencies. First Lydia awed the staff by making a life saving call on a young man in full cardiac arrest. While following the standard protocol for his symptoms, his condition continued to deteriorate. Then, Lydia noticed a couple of unusual symptoms which led her to believe he might be a “huffer.” She ordered treatment and saved his live, but in doing so she violated protocol-something charge nurse Nora doesn't soon forget.
The next patient was also a young man but this time, the outcome was not nearly as good. Worse, the man turned out to be Jonah Weiss, the son of Dr. Elliot Weiss, Chief of Surgery. As a result, Dr. Weiss is determined to have Lydia at least fired, possibly prosecuted.
The strength of Lifelines is the fast pace of the book. The constant string of medical emergencies, both in the hospital and with the EMT unit, keeps the pages flying. It has all of the suspense of the first few seasons of the TV show ER, when viewers were on the edge of their seats for the entire hour. The reader is right there in the center of the medical emergencies and can't help but feel the mounting tension as the medical personnel work to save the patients' lives.
The characters are also an interesting group. The core group include Lydia, charge nurse Nora, medical student Amanda, resident Gina and EMT Trey Garrison. We get just snippets about most of their histories, but enough to let us understand some of their motivations and weaknesses. Hopefully there will be many more books in the series allowing readers, over time, to get to know more about them and the many other characters connected to the Angels of Mercy.
Overall, Lifelines is an excellent series debut.
REVIEWED BY CARYN ST. CLAIR
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