Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ashes, Ashes, We All Fall Down

Dead Ringer by Allen Wyler

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Summary: While speaking at a Hong Kong medical conference, neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae slips the cloth off a cadaver’s head during a routine medical demonstration, and is overwhelmed with the shock by what’s staring back at him: His best friend, Andy Baer.Stunned, McCrae races back to Seattle to discover that Andy is in fact missing and may have been murdered by a gang of body snatchers who operate a legit funeral business and make a fortune by selling recovered body parts to medical researchers.
McCrae teams up with an unlikely pair—a beautiful but hardnosed female cop and a gang member whose family was victimized by the body parts ring—to try and expose a macabre web of corruption that involves law enforcement, politicians, funeral home curators and murdered prostitutes.
Internationally renowned neurosurgeon Allen Wyler takes us deep into a nightmarish scenario, shockingly ripped from recent headlines, and delivers a horrifically plausible, page-turning thriller.

Review: A medical mystery with murder, mayhem, and body parts.

I really loved the premise of this mystery. I love just about anything medical: old diseases, current and rare diseases, interesting treatments (like skin grafts), bodies, skeletons, how all the parts of the body work together, and why it goes wrong. Ditto of Ditto’s Funeral Home is murdering people and selling their body parts to doctors and medical researchers. I enjoyed learning about what bodies and body parts are used for. Ditto’s scheme is certainly devious and reminds me of doctors who bought bodies to dissections on, primarily the story of Dr. Robert Knox and the Burke and Hare murders.

That previous paragraph contained no spoilers since Ditto’s scheme is revealed in the book’s summary. I do wish the big secret hadn’t been revealed on the book. A summary that related finding his dead friend’s head in Hong Kong and then figuring out how he got there and who put him there would have been enough. I also didn’t like that Wendy, the cop, was attractive. Why couldn’t it have been a less attractive woman or even a man? While she did play an integral part to the story, I felt like her character was just wish fulfillment. There was plenty of action in this book and a satisfying ending.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those interested in medical thrillers and mysteries.

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