Just what the Doctor ordered!
A review of Dr. William Rubin's book "Forbidden Beginnings: Jacqueline's Tragedy".
I read this in two days! Which is not like me at all. This was a foray into a new genre for me: Medical Thriller. But I must say, I enjoyed the ride immensely.
The first few chapters set the stage, introducing each of the characters. But that's not to say these chapters were boring. Far from it! The initial chapters function as a necessary setup and are done in an efficient, let's move the story along sort of way. Then around chapter 5 the book takes off and never looks back.
I loved the focus on family bonds, with the recurring themes of friendship, loyalty, and love. This book is equal parts medical thriller/police drama and completely pulls you in. Heck I wanted to take on the bad guys myself and make them pay for what they'd done.
A word of caution, given the genre there are some expletives, but not overly so and never gratuitously. I don't mind the profanity myself, as it's appropriate for each context and adds realism to the story. Given the circumstances it would be disingenuous for certain characters to respond any other way.
There is also, I must add, a touching group prayer led by the protagonist. Issues of faith are not ignored, as is often the case in mainstream fiction, but neither is religion (in this case Catholicism) shoved down your throat in a preachy sort of way. God and personal faith are obviously a part of the characters' lives. In short, the characters (especially the main one) are true to life and not simply one dimensional.
As an introduction to the Chris Ravello medical thrillers, this book paints a clear and compelling picture of the doctor and the motivations that drive him. The rigors of life as a surgeon and police detective are depicted in realistic and relatable ways. The dynamics of family life are also well portrayed, showing people who love one another but can also get on each other's nerves.
Though some moments of dialogue seemed overly sentimental to me, there were only a few such scenes. And other portions of dialogue, involving conflict or exposition, were so skillfully rendered that one could easily chalk my one minor crit to personal bias. Whatever the case, any sentimental discourse definitely did not detract from my enjoyment of the story.
The most striking aspect of William Rubin's writing is his ability to create characters with depth. Strong as they are, the heroes also have their flaws and weaknesses. And these multi-faceted characters are crafted with an economy that is to be admired. Rubin's words often do double duty - defining the players by how they face each circumstance and obstacle, and always in a way that furthers the plot and keeps the reader engaged. Strong characters, terrific story, great read.
So if you enjoy character driven, action packed stories, then you owe it to yourself to Read This Book! Get it today and jump in as soon as possible. You won't regret it. Very addictive and highly recommended.