Saturday, August 20, 2011

Code Blue - Review

Part Bones, part House, part Fabio, Little House on the Prairie, and not really as good as any of them, Code Blue, © 2010,  ISBN-13: 978-1-4267-0236-5, published by Abingdon Press,  is book one of an ongoing medical series by by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

Few writers trying to do mystery and thriller but do it so it will be palatable for Joe Fundamentalist can pull it off, and Dr. Mabry, sadly, is the rule rather than the exception.

Dr. Cathy Sewell is returning to her home town of Dainger, Texas (yes, the town's name is Dainger - 'cheesy' flag to warn you that more of the same is to follow) to follow in her father's footsteps as a small town GP. Beginning with an auto accident of her own, if you were to make a random list of things that can go wrong for a single woman trying to fit into the good ole boys club, it's probably somewhere in this book, along with a tainted family history, a personal history of failed relationships, an old high school 'son of a preacher man' sweetheart who is now a hot shot lawyer who sill has the hots for her, another doc who is in a position to help or hinder her return hitting on her, and as Poirot once said while cruising the Nile, "there are too many clues here".

The idea is certainly sound enough, and the author clearly knows the medical side of his writing, but it reads like the author wrote a thriller and then when he was satisfied that he'd done a good job with it, went back and sanitized it for Christian audiences. Like so much 'Christian' fiction it is just too sappy. If the writer was trying for Robin Cook he badly missed the mark. This was sappy, predictable, and the Discussion Questions section at the end was a little much.

Writing good Christian fiction can be done. I offer Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt and Lisa Grace as evidence. The author should read those writers to get a feel for how Christian fiction can also be good fiction.

Two stars for Code Blue.  I read the Kindle edition that was released after the free edition Barnes & Noble gave away as one of their Free Book Friday promotions.
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