Monday, February 13, 2012

Review: Oath of Office by Michael Palmer

Oath of Office by Michael Palmer

*I received this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon Product Description:

February 14, 2012
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Heartbeat Away and The Last Surgeon comes a shocking new novel at the crossroads of politics and medicine. 
What if a well respected doctor inexplicably goes on a murderous rampage?
When Dr. John Meacham goes on a shooting spree the office, his business partner, staff, and two patients are killed in the bloodbath.  Then Meacham turns the gun on himself.
The blame falls on Dr. Lou Welcome.  Welcome worked with Meacham years before as a counselor after John's medical license had been revoked for drug addiction.  Lou knew that John was an excellent doctor and deserved to be practicing medicine and fought hard for his license to be restored.  After hearing the news of the violent outburst, Lou is in shock like everyone else, but mostly he's incredulous.  And when he begins to look into it further, the terrifying evidence he finds takes him down a path to an unspeakable conspiracy that seems to lead directly to the White House and those in the highest positions of power. 

My thoughts:
     This is an incredible story!  The beginning is stunning, gripping, and terrifying.  Once I read the prologue I was hooked.  This is a masterfully crafted story of corruption and greed as well as compassion and the driving belief in doing the right thing.
     The characters are wonderfully constructed, each with a complex life and belief system that makes them come alive from the pages.  Lou is fabulous.  His profound sense of right and wrong as well as his willingness to see life from all angles makes him stand out, even among the many well-built characters in this book.  I was impressed with his ability to co-parent with such a supportive and positive attitude after what had to be a heart breaking divorce and a long, hard road to recovery.  He and Cap are both role models that every 12-step program dreams of.  
     The complex story line and multifaceted plot keep the reader turning the pages, always looking forward to learning one more tidbit in the mystery.  The writing is vivid and imaginative, so much so that you literally "see" the story unfold in your mind in full color.  Joey's "pets" are the stuff of true nightmares; the descriptions alone left me cringing and shaky.  
     Great characters make a story for me, but this book has it all - great characters (both the "good guys" and the "bad guys", an intriguing mystery, conflict on a number of levels, and a little bit of a romance.  An all around great read.  

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