4 out of 4 stars
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A huge advancement has been made in medical research - a completely independent artificial heart. This heart could revolutionize heart disease and cardiovascular surgery. Not everyone is happy about it, though. Robert Krum will stop at nothing to make sure this new technology never sees the light of day. Dr. Dan Parker finds himself on the run, trying to stay alive. He has a personal stake in making sure this new advancement falls into the right hands. But, who can he trust? And, will he stay alive long enough to figure it out?
The Other Side of the Knife by RD Sutherland is a medical thriller of about 250 pages. While there is some medical terminology that might be difficult to understand, it never overtakes the plot. This book would be accessible even to those that have little medical knowledge as long as they enjoy a fun, action-packed, life or death novel.
I was a bit nervous when I started this read as the author is a retired cardiovascular surgeon. I was afraid the book would be more intellectual than thriller, but I'm glad to say that my fears were completely unfounded. The book was one that I didn't want to put down once I started. Yes, there are medical advancements and surgeries and hospitals, but the book is about so much more. It's about life and death, right and wrong, rules and chaos.
In addition to the fast pace, the characters were realistic, facing dilemmas that I imagine happen everyday. Do you follow the rules and possibly lose your patient? Or do you save the patient's life regardless of the consequences? None of the characters were fully good or bad but all were in shades of gray. This really helped me to put myself in their shoes, leaving me wondering what I would do if I was them.
Furthermore, I have to remark on the impeccable editing in the book. I found not one error in the entire novel. I appreciate that the author thought highly enough of his work to have it professionally edited. Even the descriptions were top-notch, helping me to picture everything that was happening. While not overly graphic, some of the medical procedures are quite detailed which might be too much for the more sensitive readers. In this example from the text, Mr. Sutherland is referring to the patient's blood. "... which still had the consistency of red Kool-aid. Gradually, it started to change, gaining the consistency of cold raspberry syrup, before finally turning into sticky globs of deep red clot."
All in all, I see no other option than to rate The Other Side of the Knife a 4 out of 4 stars. I honestly found absolutely nothing to complain about in this read. I recommend it to any who enjoy a good thriller, whether they are interested in medicine or not. However, if you are particularly squeamish about blood and operations, you might want to avoid this one.
The Other Side of the Knife
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