Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stress Test - by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

Dr, Matt Newman is trying to make some positive changes in his life.  He thinks he's met the woman he wants to marry, and he is adjusting his career to make marriage possible.  However, one last, late-night, on-call visit to the hospital where he's been working results in his kidnapping and attempted murder.  Now, he's trying to avoid being charged with homicide himself, while trying to stay away from the men who keep trying to finish the job they botched.  Can he, along with his new attorney, find a way to keep him alive and clear his charges?  And what state will his life and career be in even if they do succeed?

For the most part, I thought this was a well-written book.  I was turning pages as fast as I could read them to make sure that Matt would survive.  I liked watching the attorney-client relationship develop, and tentatively stretch a little further.  The romance aspect was slow and subtle, and only added to the book.  Also realistic and engaging, was Matt's search for a deeper faith to grab hold of during this crazy, tumultuous ride.  He didn't reach for God for anyone else's benefit, but he found peace in knowing that God was in control, no matter whether his desperate pleas for help were answered or not.

However, there were several gaps in the plot that detracted from the overall enjoyment of the book for me.  I felt that instead of just trying to get Matt cleared of charges, he and his attorney would have been working to find out the reason he'd been targeted in the first place.  The answers he was eventually given felt a little thin given the complexity of the plot to kill and/or frame him for murder.  There were so many shady characters involved in the crimes and cover-ups that I wanted it to tie together a little more neatly.  Also, Matt's character, as a doctor and surgeon with a quick-working mind, should have been  more observant of things like missing keys and planted evidence.  It didn't ring true that the criminals were able to get to him so easily and so often.

Overall, I give this book 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.  I really did like Matt and Sandra, the attorney; I wanted Matt to get his life back, but make it better along the way.  I liked several of the minor characters, and they added key components to the story without feeling contrived.

You can find Stress Test HERE, including a video to watch.

The author is a retired physician, adding medical details that make the characters authentic, without being over the reader's head.  You can find his website HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson, as part of their BookSneeze program, in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Teddy, Thanks for the review. I'm glad that--for the most part--you liked Stress Test, and hope the readers of your blog will do so as well.