While on call for the trauma service, third-year medical student Michael Higgins finds himself in an extraordinary situation. He is summoned to the ER to participate in the evaluation and management of a critically-injured patient and soon discovers that the unconscious man lying before him is the same man who, two months earlier, committed a heinous act of violence that shattered Michael’s personal life. Following a lengthy emergency operation, the patient—known only as John Doe—is now under the care of the trauma team, of which student doctor Mike Higgins is a member. As John Doe’s condition gradually improves, Higgins’ personal life deteriorates further, but there might be a way to reverse the downward spiral: if he sees to it that John Doe never leaves the hospital, Michael Higgins’ world may right itself.
I’m a former heart surgeon turned fiction writer. I write what can be described as medical mysteries, medical thrillers or novels of medical suspense, but I prefer to think of them as novels of surgical suspense.
What is surgical suspense? Surgeons, surgical diseases and the operating room are all inherently dramatic. As a former surgeon, I’ve experienced this drama first hand and thought it would make for good fiction. My surgery training took me from the knife-and-gun-club of LSU Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, to the famed Bellevue Hospital in Midtown Manhattan. My education as a writer includes an MFA degree where I was mentored by New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane, among other accomplished faculty.
I know a lot about medicine and surgery, I know a lot about writing and storytelling, and I believe that combining this vast and unusual right-brain/left-brain experience will make for interesting reading and discussion, so please visit often.
Medical student Mike Higgins is about to commit a violent act that will forever define him, but he is willing to do it to save his wife.
The Final Push
Doe lay perfectly still, his arms at his sides on top of the covers, the bed itself immaculate. The blanket had been pulled up to his chest and neatly folded back. The sheet was folded back as well, creating a white stripe between the dark-blue blanket and Doe’s powder-blue gown. The overhead lights were off, and a small reading lamp was on, giving the room a soft glow. The fragrance of bath soap permeated the air, the man having recently been washed and shaved, and his hair combed. The blowing sounds of the ventilator gently broke the silence twelve times per minute as it delivered life-sustaining oxygen through a tracheostomy tube in the neck. A unit of blood hung from an IV pole. The stillness of the room belied the violent history the two men shared, and the violent death about to take place.