Official Review: First, Do Harm by Marc Kage

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Official Review: First, Do Harm by Marc Kage

Post by kandscreeley »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "First, Do Harm" by Marc Kage.]
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1 out of 4 stars
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First, Do Harm is a medical thriller by Marc Kage featuring Dr. Benson Zubia. Dr. Zubia is the family doctor to many in town and is greatly respected and loved. So, when accusations of fraud surface regarding an older woman's will, the town is shocked. Lara Dennis is foremost among those who doubt the validity of this claim, as he's been her family doctor for years. She and her partner, Jacky Raven, have been tasked with finding the truth in this matter. As they dig deeper, they realize the truth might be more shocking than they thought.

The premise of the story is interesting and attention-grabbing, even if not entirely unique. After all, many medical books center around a doctor who considers himself a god in one way or another. Yet, it was enough to keep me engaged throughout and the best part of the book.

Unfortunately, my praise ends there. The book had many flaws, most of which could be corrected by a good editor. The first of these would be the grammatical and typographical errors that littered the pages. Not only were there missing or extra words and missing periods but also the point of view would switch between third and first in the same sentence. More so, the author used both past and present tenses. These mistakes were numerous and distracting. For example: "He argued before leaned back on his chair."

In the same vein, characters' names change, causing confusion. Sharon Adelina starts out as Sharon Adelson, which is particularly confusing as there is another unrelated character whose name is Adelson. Sentences are also repeated. Even if the sentence isn't duplicated, there is a lack of variety in the use of words. Here's another example from the book. "Navarro went inside the elevator with other people before one person pressed a button for the doors to close and the elevator to take them up."

Moving from these issues, the story is unrealistic. I'm all about suspension of disbelief, yet there should be a sense of reality in a thriller of this type. There are too many unexplained circumstances that go unanswered for too long before they are investigated. Once the culprit is found, he or she is serving a life sentence within a month of being caught. Plus, some of the evidence is obtained illegally, which is never addressed. Maybe I've seen too many police dramas on television, but it was all too obvious to me.

From there, I feel it's wise to discuss the characters. They weren't introduced well, as I had difficulty telling who was related to whom. There were step families and half-brothers and sisters; it was confusing to figure out. What's more, the relationship between Lara and Jacky was weird. Lara seems to be in charge, but she doesn't respect Jacky. She treats her like a child, which is odd between two detectives.

To summarize, the plot has potential, but it's not realized. The errors are overwhelming, the realism is lacking, and the relationships were enigmatic. For all these reasons, I rate First, Do Harm 1 out of 4 stars. If the book was edited, I might be willing to increase this to 3 stars. As it is, I can't recommend this to anyone. I am looking forward to seeing what becomes of it after an editor cleans it up.

******
First, Do Harm
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Post by Ever_Reading »

It's a tough mission to get through a book with so many errors. Thank you for soldiering on. I hope the author gets an editor on board, with your review in mind. Great review!
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Post by Dannyphery »

... And that's how poor editing can mess up a good story.
Thanks for the honest review

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Post by Laura Lee »

Wow. Sounds like a real chore to plow through. That's really too bad as the plot sounded really intriguing. Beginning writers don't understand that getting something down on paper is just the first step. EDITING what has been written down can take just as long (if not longer) and is just as important. Thanks for your review. I hope the author takes it to heart and gives it a thorough edit because I'd like to read it otherwise.
Laura Lee

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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

This sounds like it has potential, but the issues with grammar and confusing name-changing is a deal-breaker for me. Thanks for your honesty!

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Post by Miraphery »

This was indeed a detailed review. The plot seems interesting but the book still needs to be worked on. Thanks for the candid review and I must commend you for finishing the book.

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Post by CatInTheHat »

When I read the book description, I thought I'd be interested. I'm glad I read your review, as this one is obviously lacking in too much to be worth my time.
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Post by Chitsky »

it is one of the hardest things to soldier on through a book with glaring errors. your review was an honest one and well appreciated. Hopefully the author takes a good look at it and works a little bit more.

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Post by kandscreeley »

Ever_Reading wrote:
09 Apr 2020, 02:43
It's a tough mission to get through a book with so many errors. Thank you for soldiering on. I hope the author gets an editor on board, with your review in mind. Great review!
Thanks! My goal is always to help the author improve their work. Thanks!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by kandscreeley »

Dannyphery wrote:
09 Apr 2020, 04:10
... And that's how poor editing can mess up a good story.
Thanks for the honest review
The occasional error is one thing. But, when they are plentiful and quite distracting, you're right. It does mess up an otherwise great story. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by kandscreeley »

Laura Lee wrote:
09 Apr 2020, 06:47
Wow. Sounds like a real chore to plow through. That's really too bad as the plot sounded really intriguing. Beginning writers don't understand that getting something down on paper is just the first step. EDITING what has been written down can take just as long (if not longer) and is just as important. Thanks for your review. I hope the author takes it to heart and gives it a thorough edit because I'd like to read it otherwise.
Sometimes, I do wonder if authors wonder if it's even good enough to edit. In most cases, though, the answer is ALWAYS yes. Thanks for your thoughts.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by kandscreeley »

Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
09 Apr 2020, 12:23
This sounds like it has potential, but the issues with grammar and confusing name-changing is a deal-breaker for me. Thanks for your honesty!
I completely understand. I'm just glad the plot was somewhat interesting. Otherwise, I never would have made it through! Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by kandscreeley »

Miraphery wrote:
09 Apr 2020, 14:40
This was indeed a detailed review. The plot seems interesting but the book still needs to be worked on. Thanks for the candid review and I must commend you for finishing the book.
Thanks for your insight. It's got potential, but it does need work.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by kandscreeley »

CatInTheHat wrote:
09 Apr 2020, 14:53
When I read the book description, I thought I'd be interested. I'm glad I read your review, as this one is obviously lacking in too much to be worth my time.
I'm all about a good medical thriller. I've always been interested in the medical field. This one just wasn't quite it.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by JoyALB »

The plot sounds so intriguing! Such a pity about the many errors. I would be willing to give it a read once the errors are cleaned up. Thanks for the excellent review!

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