“Fatal Trauma” by Richard Mabry

Fatal Trauma

When Dr. Mark Baker and Nurse Kelly Atkinson are held at the mercy of a dangerous gunman, the lives of every emergency room patient are at stake. At the end of the evening three men are dead. One of them is a police officer who couldn’t be saved despite Mark’s best efforts. The other two are members of the feared Zeta drug cartel.

Though the standoff is over, the killing is not, because when the drug cartel loses its members, revenge is not far behind. Facing an adversary whose desires are dark and efforts are ruthless, Mark finds himself under suspicion as a killer, yet still a potential victim. When he turns to his high school sweetheart, attorney Gwen Woodruff, for help, Kelly helplessly looks on, as she hides her own feelings for the good doctor.

At the height of the conflict, three questions remain: Who is the shooter? Who will the next victim be? And can Mark prove his innocence before the gun turns on him?

Fatal Trauma is a fast-paced ride through a medical mystery, and as usual, it’s a twisty, turny ride.  Every time I figured out who the villain was, Mabry quickly proved me wrong.  With medical issues, a drug cartel, and romance all on the table, there are new developments on every page.

Like many of Mabry’s characters, Dr. Baker has a weak faith and his experiences challenge this throughout the story.  He evaluates his decisions and grows his faith as well as his relationships with Nurse Atkinson.

If there’s anything I’d like to change about the book, it’s the depth of the characters.  Information abounds about their actions and about their faith changes, but I’d like more personal information about them.  My favorite characters are the ones that feel as if we could be friends, but I don’t feel that way about these.  Not because I dislike them, but because I feel as if I don’t know them well enough.  I’d just like to know more – more background, more likes and dislikes, more details.

On the other hand, I love the suspense and the surprises that Mabry builds into the plot.  I haven’t been able to guess the ending of any of his books yet before he reveals it, and those types of surprises just make a mystery.  Mabry continues to rank high on my list of favorite mystery authors.

I received a free copy of Fatal Trauma in exchange for an honest review.

What are your thoughts?

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