Friday, March 14, 2014

Wendell Black, MD by Gerald Imber

Standalone
412p.
Publisher: Bourbon Street Books
Available Now
Source: From publisher for review
A New York City police surgeon finds himself in the middle of an international drug-smuggling ring--or is it an even more dangerous conspiracy? 
After a heart-thumping drop in altitude on a flight from London to New York, NYPD police surgeon Wendell Black is called on to try to save a woman who has gone into cardiac arrest. He's just carrying out his duty, but his aid places him at the center of an international drug-smuggling investigation. 
As Black, and his English girlfriend, Alice--a knockout beauty and a surgeon to boot--digs deeper into the activities of the drug ring, he begins to suspect that a number of British doctors are involved. And when one of Alice's colleagues is brutally murdered and Alice suddenly disappears, the NYPD starts looking to Black for answers. His search peels away rings of conspiracy that expose a shocking threat to the nation.
My thoughts:
This is a spy thriller novel set in contemporary times. It's set around Wendell Black a MD in the NYPD. He isn't thrilled with his life as he knows it, but it is comfortable and he has a beautiful cosmetic surgeon girlfriend. He is on a flight from London when turbulence hits and suddenly there is an on-board emergency. The patient is lost, but even though Wendell is perplexed as to why the healthy, young patient died, he goes on with life. When questions arise after the ME examines the body, one strange coincidence builds upon another and suddenly he finds himself in the middle of a drug ring. Still more questions arise as more odd coincidences transpire. It starts looking less like a drug smuggling problem and more like terrorism. Now will anyone believe him.

I think the twists and turns as well as the way the book slowly builds the suspense and mystery would have made a great book. I enjoyed Wendell's character, but found the secondary characters lacking. I think it made the more suspenseful parts of the book weaker. I really didn't enjoy Alice's character. Someone who is supposed to be a surgeon and a spy should know what she is doing. Should be at least strong in mind. When she plays second fiddle to Wendell who has no prior experience with espionage in terms of skill, I had a problem with it. There were times when she suddenly had to capitulate to Wendell's greater observational skills or deductive reasoning, I rolled my eyes a bit. I needed her to be much stronger and even lead HIM by the hand a bit to make the story plausible. However, I totally admit that this might only bother me and it may not bother others at all.

There were also another great secondary character, Duce, who is his best friend. Again I would have liked him fleshed out more which would have brought more to the story. Also, a bad guy, Rodriguez who is part of the DEA could also have used more flesh. He had more time in the book, but still read a bit more like a one dimensional bad guy. Perhaps if there was more reasoning earlier, more nuance as to why he was a jerk to Wendell, it would have amped up the danger surrounding Rodriguez.

I give this book between 2 1/2 and 3 stars. I split it that way because the book is very readable and I did enjoy the twists to the plot. Despite the flaws and I think men in particular would enjoy it since Wendell is easily identifiable.

21 comments:

  1. Another book with a cool premise but doesn't pan out. I seem to be noticing this trend a lot lately this week. The weak secondary characters and the fact that Alice isn't all that smart for a spy makes me hesitant to pick this one up but I do know a lot of readers who would pretty much pick up anything spy related so I'll pass the rec to them. Happy Friday!

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    1. I have a feeling you would have the same problem as I do. Happy Friday to you!

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  2. Hmm not sure of this read is for me then again I do love mysteries and doctors. Grey's Anatomy is one of my fave shows.

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    1. I used to watch Grey's Anatomy but haven't for a long time. This isn't that, but more a spy novel.

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  3. I think Alice would bother me as well Melissa. I agree completely that a surgeon would likely have a great deal of confidence and a pretty healthy ego, so I would think she would give Wendell a run for his money rather than deferring to him. Glad you had fun with the twists and turns of this one at least!

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    1. I know! I just wanted her to be more competent in the spy field. I did enjoy those twists though!

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  4. A shame that the secondary characters were lacking, as I'm probably just as much character orientated as I am plot orientated I always think its a shame when this is the case.

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  5. I'm no man, and I think I'd have many of the same problems as you with this one, so I'm gonna steer clear. Thanks for the review!

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    1. LOL! Yea, you might have those same problems. :)

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  6. The build up sounds great but sad to hear about the lacking secondary characters

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    1. Wasn't so much lacking, but I just wanted a bit more.

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  7. I haven't read this, but I would most likely feel as you did regarding Alice and Wendell. I liked that this was standalone, but I don't know if I'd read this one. I need GREAT characters.

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    1. Wendell was a likable guy and that saved it more for me.

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  8. Well that is a bummer the suspense and mystery sound great, but there is obviously something lacking. Thanks for your honest review!

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    1. This author has potential since I really did like those twists!

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  9. But it's Wendell Black, MD mystery. Not Wendell Black, MD and Alice, smart, sexy undercover spy girlfriend mystery. I can see where you got confused :) Not my book!!

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  10. The premise sounds really good, so sorry you found this lacking. I am reading Killing Sarai (In the Company of Killers #1) by J.A. Redmerski it has suspense, a little romance, a secret order and assassins. You would like it :)

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  11. Ah yes it's too bad for the characters, it's always a little difficult like that... I can understand perfectly. I'm sorry it was a disappointing one. I think I'll pass too.

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  12. I hate when a premise doesn't quite take off in the way you hoped. This sounds like it could have been cool, but I think I'll skip it. Thanks for your honest review!

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