by William H Coles delves into the life of elite and respected surgeons at a well-respected hospital in New Orleans. Mike Boudreaux is the chief of surgery and dedicated to his work, often to the detriment of his social life. Mike is put in a difficult position when another prominent surgeon, Clayton Otherson, comes under scrutiny for mistakes during surgery. Mike is conflicted by loyalty to Clayton and his desire to do what is right. He also harbours concerns about Clayton’s speciality of treating obese patients, when Mike feels other treatments and approaches are being ignored. Complications arise when Mike finds himself falling in love with Clayton’s neglected wife, Catherine.
The author, William H Coles, would appear to have a clear knowledge and understanding of the procedures and internal conflicts of a high-end hospital, which makes the story authentic and gives it credibility. The story starts well with fast-paced and tense action, although it loses its impetus somewhat and continues at a more sedate pace. The author examines the issues behind the actions of the main protagonists well, and the characters are solidly developed and believable, in particular the attitudes of some of the surgeons who tend to have a superior and uncompromising view, not least of which is Clayton Otherson. The introduction of the romance with Clayton’s wife was an unexpected twist. The story holds interest, but could benefit from more intrigue and a few twists and turns to keep the reader alert. Otherwise, a pleasant read.