Saturday, October 01, 2005

Adrenaline - John Benedict

God Complex.

Doctors are often labeled with having God complexes. Sitting upon the pedestal in which the public has placed them, it is easy to believe the supreme beings, adorned in their white coats, pick and choose who lives or dies…but what happens if it is true?

Doug Landry, a young anesthesiologist, finds himself asking this very question. When a string of patients start dying by extraordinary, ‘accidental’ circumstances, Doug is forced to investigate the very colleagues with whom he works everyday. He must determine whether the Grim Reaper is frequenting Mercy Hospital by chance, or is he being continually summoned?

Properly entitled, Adrenaline is a thrill ride from the opening chapter. Dr. John Benedict has written a novel encompassing the intrigue of Michael Crichton’s “E.R.” combined with the thrill of “Crime Scene Investigations.” More than this, however, John Benedict takes the reader into the life and mind of a doctor. Though some doctors may have God complexes, with these complexes come an awesome sense of responsibility for the lives that are in their care.

In Chapter 8 of Adrenaline, Benedict writes, “Mike realized that all doctors must face this crossroads at some point in their careers. If they detach too much from their patient’s pain, they become heartless bastards with no sense of caring or empathy, no ability to heal the soul, the most important part of their patient. If they don’t detach at all, they risk being dashed on the rocks of human suffering.” This was a spectacular observation, which I’d never considered before I read this book.

Benedict does a wonderful job in taking his reader into the operating rooms, the conference rooms, the locker rooms and even in the privacy of the doctors’ stalls (have to read the book to understand that one). He also takes the reader into the political realm of doctors, the blame games and the finger pointing.

Adrenaline is a thrill ride from beginning to end. This is a top-notch medical thriller and I hope it is the first of many from Benedict. He could easily become the next Dean Koontz with a medical degree.

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