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Stigma Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 246 customer reviews

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Length: 492 pages Word Wise: Enabled

"The Short Drop" by Matthew FitzSimmons
Meet the assassin The Washington Post calls "a doozy of a sociopath" in this debut thriller from Matthew FitzSimmons. Available on Kindle and in paperback.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this solid debut thriller, a troubled doctor gets caught up in a global conspiracy after a mysteriously afflicted four-year-old Guatemalan boy dies on his watch. Pediatric ER physician Luke McKenna's curiosity is piqued when it seems the child's symptoms don't match any known disease; he's more intrigued, however, when hospital administrators and Guatemalan officials whisk away the child's body before McKenna can perform a postmortem investigation. While trying to beat back haunting, at times debilitating memories of his time in a shadowy military organization, McKenna continues to pursue the child's case, attracting the attention of a professional killer and the men behind him. It isn't until McKenna's framed for the murders of a former girlfriend and a football player that the good doctor becomes certain a conspiracy's afoot. From there, McKenna's on the run, using his old military training and contacts, as well as his medical expertise, to evade the cops and killers, get to Guatemala, try to uncover the forces he's up against and face his personal demons. Despite some clunky expository dialogue (practically a genre requisite) and a disappointing ending, Hawley delivers intense action, tricky plotting and an unpredictable hero sure to satisfy anyone with an appetite for a good page-turner. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review


"STIGMA is the thriller debut of the year. Hawley is a huge new talent on the thriller scene!"
   --DAVID J. MONTGOMERY, MYSTERY/THRILLER CRITIC, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

"Hawley delivers intense action, tricky plotting and an unpredictable hero sure to satisfy anyone with an appetite for a good page-turner."
   --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Talk about debuting with a bang! Hawley's first foray into the medical thriller field is a stunner."
   --ROMANTIC TIMES BOOK REVIEWS

Product Details

  • File Size: 592 KB
  • Print Length: 492 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B000UDFC8M
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Amnion (1st edition published by HarperCollins); Second edition (August 24, 2011)
  • Publication Date: February 27, 2007
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005HRRITW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,233 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
It's an exciting feeling when a debut novel appears out of nowhere and dazzles you with such strong writing and storytelling that you can't believe the author has never done this before. That's the case with Philip Hawley, Jr.'s "Stigma," one of the best debut thrillers I've read in a long time.

Hawley is a pediatrician in Los Angeles, so naturally his main character, Luke McKenna, is, too. McKenna is also a former Navy SEAL and a real tough guy. (No word on whether Hawley, too, has a black ops background. I suspect not.)

The plot starts off with a bang when a boy from Guatemala is rushed into McKenna's emergency room and dies a mysterious death. The doctor begins to investigate what really happened, and discovers a plot involving high-tech science and low-grade greed.

You expect a book like "Stigma" to have wall-to-wall action and suspense. And it does. What might surprise you is that this is also a smart book, one that makes you think while entertaining you. "Stigma" probes interesting ethical questions about the role of technology in medicine, and the ages-old dilemma of where we draw the boundaries of medical science.

For a first novel in particular, "Stigma" shows tremendous polish and poise. If this book is any indication of the kind of talent Hawley possesses, it won't be long before he ascends to the top ranks of thriller authors. Fans of Michael Crichton or James Rollins in particular will find much here to enjoy.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read STIGMA when it was first published in mass market paperback. I loved it so much that I did something I rarely do--I emailed the author and told him how much I enjoyed the book. Now I'm doing something I've never done before--writing my first Amazon review because now, years later, I still remember how much I enjoyed this book. STIGMA has everything I love in a story--fast-pacing, great plot, wonderful characters to love or hate, and a touch of romance to raise the stakes. I was stunned it was never made into a movie--it's written so visually, I could see it; I think it would be amazing on the big screen. Almost as good as reading it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a pediatrician myself, I enjoyed the first part of the novel immensely. The description of the ER and the inner workings were accurate and I am a sucker for medical thrillers in general.

However, once the story dissolved into military territory, I thought it lost a bit of its verisimilitude. I felt the plot got lost once the main character treks to a foreign country to save his loved one.

That said, it was very fast paced and an enjoyable read overall.
Comment 60 of 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition
I read "Stigma" when it first came out and was completely amazed. It's extremely authentic as far as all the
medical/doctor/hospital information and the way the action progressed was very exciting. I couldn't put it down!
Anyone who has any knowledge of medicine will appreciate this book and mystery fans will have a great read.
I'd love to read another Luke McKenna book.
Comment 19 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book excels on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin ... but fortunately the author knows exactly what he's doing in this thrilling, all-out adventure.

Start with a great story, inject realistic, multi-dimensional characters, then weave multiple thematic elements together seamlessly and what you have in Stigma is a first-rate thriller. For good measure, the dialogue includes some well-timed humorous exchanges that make the story all the more enjoyable. By the end of the first chapter you feel you're in the hands of a seasoned professional; it's hard to believe this is a debut novel.

This story quickly grabs hold of you and then takes off. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
1 Comment 12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's an exciting feeling when a debut novel appears out of nowhere and dazzles you with such strong writing and storytelling that you can't believe the author has never done this before. That's the case with Philip Hawley, Jr.'s "Stigma," one of the best debut thrillers I've read in a long time.

Hawley is a pediatrician in Los Angeles, so naturally his main character, Luke McKenna, is, too. McKenna is also a former Navy SEAL and a real tough guy. (No word on whether Hawley, too, has a black ops background. I suspect not.)

The plot starts off with a bang when a boy from Guatemala is rushed into McKenna's emergency room and dies a mysterious death. The doctor begins to investigate what really happened, and discovers a plot involving high-tech science and low-grade greed.

You expect a book like "Stigma" to have wall-to-wall action and suspense. And it does. What might surprise you is that this is also a smart book, one that makes you think while entertaining you. "Stigma" probes interesting ethical questions about the role of technology in medicine, and the ages-old dilemma of where we draw the boundaries of medical science.

For a first novel in particular, "Stigma" shows tremendous polish and poise. If this book is any indication of the kind of talent Hawley possesses, it won't be long before he ascends to the top ranks of thriller authors. Fans of Michael Crichton or James Rollins in particular will find much here to enjoy.
Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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