4 out of 4 stars
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Days of the Giants is a touching, exciting, and suspenseful thriller written by RJ Petrella.
Fourth year medical student Slater Barnes has to make a very important decision about where to apply for residency program. On one hand, his best friend, Don Lindy, encourages him to apply at Boston City Hospital because he might like the ‘sense of public service’ it offers. On the other hand, his mother expects him to apply at Academy Hospital where his stepfather Mel Garrott, whom Slater doesn’t like very much, is the president. Despite personal problems including a serious medical condition, Slater chooses to secure his residency at Boston City Hospital.
As an intern, he is assigned on the Accident Floor, the equivalent of Emergency Room at other hospitals. He gets to see screaming, bleeding, moaning, and gasping patients and to meet doctors, nurses, medical workers, technicians, social workers, policemen, and security guards. He encounters various medical cases such as heroin overdose, alcohol withdrawal, gunshot wounds, major motor vehicle trauma, and cardiac arrest among others. In just a short period of time after the beginning of his internship, Slater falls in love with the ‘sense of public service’ that BCH offers, the genuine camaraderie between his colleagues, and the entire medical profession, scut work and all.
Meanwhile, a couple of corrupt municipal officials are working together to effect a tremendous change that may affect not just the lives of Boston City Hospital employees but the city of Boston.
Told alternately between third-person omniscient point of view and first-person perspective of Slater Barnes, the book is divided into six parts with each part subdivided into chapters. The story begins with the assault of an unknown resident then moves back to the main character’s fourth year in medical school. This technique creates suspense early on and keeps the readers’ interest as they wait for the plot to unfold. The alternating POVs, one with consistently upbeat tone and the other formal and polite, make the reading experience surprisingly enjoyable. Moreover, the author does a great job with scene description that reading feels like watching an episode in Grey’s Anatomy. Finally, a few surprising revelations and unexpected turn of events give the book a satisfying denouement.
Needless to say, I enjoyed this book immensely. It features a set of well-developed characters, both protagonists and antagonists. It successfully depicts the impact of a good father figure to a son’s character. Moreover, it mentions, albeit very minimally, the imperfections of church members justifying the reluctance of some people to engage in any religious institutions. Furthermore, it portrays how low greedy people would stoop in order to get what they want.
While the most important part of the book, for me, is Slater’s discovery of who he is and what he is capable of, the part I like best is the minimal use of medical terms. For a medical fiction, this book is an easy read.
Except for a few errors, I enjoyed everything about this book.
I, therefore, rate it 4 out of 4 stars and I recommend it to fans of crime, thriller, mystery, and medical fiction.
Days of the Giants
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