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Design: Paper Back - color cover with raised, embossed lettering and imprinted spine
Awards: Nominated in Fiction by the Southern Independent Book Association (SIBA) and the Mississippi Institute for Arts and Letters
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Lemuria Books; Jackson, MS
HOUSE CALL As young Dr. Knox Chamblee struggles to establish a medical practice in a southern town, both his social and professional conquests are derailed by a psychotic killer. In House Call no one connects the first victim, an attractive hospital nurse discovered floating in a bloody bathtub, to the near-frozen body of Dr. Cullen Gwinn, Chamblee’s mentor and chief proponent, found at the base of a deer stand. The primary police suspect is Dr. Aslyn Hawes, Chamblee’s female senior partner and overbearing nemesis, whose jealousy of the victims cloaks her in suspicion. In fact, Hawes resents virtually every non-patient resident of the town with the exception of the teenage ambulance driver who becomes a fixture in her Jacuzzi. That same young man sexually tempts Jay Rutledge, the conniving hospital administrator and the killer’s next target. As the murder investigation unfolds around him, Knox Chamblee evolves from potential suspect in the nurse’s murder to victim of a totally different crime – career sabotage due to reverse sexual discrimination. By squelching his own resentment and fulfilling his medical obligations, Dr. Chamblee overcomes his mentor’s death and the resulting career threat caused by a killer who has slaughtered out of mistaken identity.
Genre: Popular Fiction, Murder Mystery, Medical/Suspense Thriller
Length: Approximately 100,000 words (312 pages)
In Dr. Darden North’s debut novel House Call, readers will be quickly drawn
in by North’s suspenseful writing as he skillfully unfolds several
mysterious deaths within the small Southern community of Montclair,
Mississippi. Using his background as an obstetrician and gynecologist, North sufficiently sets the stage for the action at a prosperous OB/GYN clinic, its affiliated hospital, an exclusive hunting camp, and the surrounding communities.
Shortly after introducing Grace Community Hospital Nurse Taylor Richards, readers will witness her tragic death in her own home at the hands of a stranger. Richards’ death is soon followed by that of Dr. Cullen Gwinn, the very likable principal and founder of a Montclair medical clinic. Initially believed to be an accidental death, a mysterious shooting at hospital administrator Jay Rutledge reveals that Dr. Gwinn’s death was intentional, but who would kill the dedicated doctor and why?
In addition to the unexpected murders, several of the story’s primary
characters become embroiled in staffing controversies and shortages. Faced with rising costs, both the clinic and hospital must increase their
workloads and profitability without adding staff. Stuck in the midst of the
clinic’s quest for profits is Dr. Knox Chamblee who has been unsuccessful in building a patient base of his own, despite his stellar qualifications and
agreeable bedside manner. Without Dr. Gwinn’s support, partner Dr. Aslyn
Hawes is quick to fire Chamblee despite the clinic’s need for more manpower. Can the clinic sustain itself without him?
Sprinkled throughout the story, North offers limited profiles of both major
and minor characters, doing so in such a way that won’t leave readers
confused or overwhelmed. North shares just enough information for readers to get a sense of the characters and how they contribute to the story without offering extraneous details. For readers who crave a little more one-on-one interaction, North deftly sprinkles in a little romance without overtaking the main storyline.
Despite the gruesome cover photo, the book leaves little to be desired.
While the astute reader will find the occasional grammatical error or
misused word, this first novel by Dr. North is not only well written, but
also well edited. The story flows smoothly, the suspense is sufficient
without being overwhelming, and the characters are both interesting and
likable. North does an excellent job of bringing his characters to life in a
well-woven, intricate tale. For mystery lovers, the debut novel House Call
is a sure bet.
--Dana Blozis Foreword Reviews
Good read for murder and intrigue fans-Allbooks Review (Canada)
Good read for murder and intrigue fans-G. Haugland- Allbooks, January 31, 2007 Allbooks Review (Canada)
Genre: Medical Mystery
Title: House Call
AUTHOR: Darden North, MD
If there was a connection between a beautiful, single nurse found stabbed to death in her bathtub, and a prominent physician, found face down in a stream under a deer stand, then nobody saw it coming.
In House Call, North weaves an intricate tale of death and business politics around the medical community in a smallish town in Mississippi. The principal characters are the doctors at the OB/GYN clinic in town, the somewhat shady clinic administrator and the not-quite local Chief of Police called in to investigate the gruesome murder of the nurse. As the hunt for the killer stalls, a number of subplots are woven into the story fabric. There's the young doctor, forced out of the practice because he's male, the society wife of one of the practice partners who's become addicted to a weight-loss medicine in a questionable study, and the steamy affair by the beautiful and somewhat ruthless practice founder.
North introduces a varied character set, each with his or her own distinctions and foibles. Much as Grisham does with the law, the author intersperses the story with a thorough explanation of the OB/GYN medical industry. His rich description of the Mississippi landscape and snappy dialog add harmony to the ultimate climax of the novel.
For the mystery thriller reader, House Call delivers a fast paced as well as informative tale. A good read for murder and intrigue fans.
Reviewer: Gregg Haugland, Allbooks Review.
Fascinating Book - Celeste Stokely, Back of the Room
A review by Celeste Stokely of Back of the Room.com
Darden North has written a fine, fascinating book in "House Call", a gripping and complex murder mystery. The character development is excellent - you will KNOW these people quickly and fully. I thoroughly enjoyed the views into the inner workings of a busy medical practice. Be prepared to lose sleep as you stay up late reading this fun novel.
Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]
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