The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles is a compelling audiobook that follows sophisticated characters through a grueling conflict. Set in New Orleans, it introduces readers to the complicated relationship between Clayton and Mike. Clayton is Mike’s senior, an older practitioner in the field of surgery. As he advances in years, he begins to commit errors that are dangerous to the lives of patients. As the head of the Operation Room, Mike must act, so he puts Clayton, his mentor, under strict discipline. Clayton doesn’t take it well and the situation escalates when Mike starts having an affair with Clayton’s wife. Will Clayton lose both his wife and his dignity without a fight?
What is fascinating about this story is how the author builds up the tension. The conflict begins with what can be considered malpractice and slowly escalates when Clayton’s “pupil” disciplines him. The author exploits Clayton’s ego and Mike’s unfortunate choice to get closer to Clayton’s wife. William H. Coles builds a conflict that quickly explodes. The plot, in the author’s characteristic style, is tight and cunningly written. The characters are real and multilayered and readers can’t help following them, wanting to know the outcome of the strained relationship between Clayton and Mike. The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles is narrated by the author — a voice that I have become so familiar with — and it is clear and arresting, allowing the drama to come out through the narrative. Great pacing and good audio sound.