Gemini-Carol Cassella

Carol Cassella
Simon & Schuster, Mar 4 2012, $25.99
ISBN 9781451627930

The local doctor performed emergency surgery on the victim of a rural Washington State road hit and run. However while still in the ER undergoing life-saving techniques, Jane Doe lapsed into a coma. The patient is airlifted to Seattle ICU where Dr. Charlotte Reese takes charge of saving the life of the still unidentified victim while fearing the woman suffered irreversible brain damage.

Single mom of Jake who has an undiagnosed congenital neurological condition, Raney thinks back to her teen years in Quentin where she met Bo when his parents exiled him to his aunt while they divorced. At the same time Charlotte’s boyfriend Eric obtains a contract to write a series of science books. Meanwhile Charlotte searches for who Jane is and what happened to her that led to her residing in an unconscious state in a Seattle ICU.

Most readers will connect the three seemingly separate subplots rather quickly before Carol Cassella actually does for us in the author’s exciting third medical thriller (see Oxygen and Healer). The profound storyline pulls no punches as the protagonist condemns society for the impact of poverty and the lack of education on health care decisions especially when these choices (or lack of) effect vulnerable dependents. Although Charlotte’s non-medical and non-Doe inquiry asides feel distractingly unnecessary, readers (except for politicians refusing to expand Medicaid) will appreciate this exhilarating drama.

Harriet Klausner


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