From Publishers Weekly
In this anemic medical thriller from bestseller Palmer (The Second Opinion
), former trauma surgeon Dr. Nick Garrity, who suffers from PTSD as the result of a suicide attack on his field hospital in Afghanistan, is now in charge of the Helping Hands RV, a mobile clinic that plies the streets of Baltimore offering medical aid to the homeless. Meanwhile, a high-priced hit man starts to commit a series of murders, his first victim being Belle Coates, a nurse in Charlotte, N.C. When Belle's sister, Jillian, who lives in Virginia, searches for her sister's killer, she finds a connection to Nick. Several missing homeless men lead everyone to a massive plot involving high-level politicians and a secret CIA program. The action is all fairly predictable, the characters off-the-shelf, and the writing, if not exactly purple, at least mauve: A guttural, primal scream exploded from Nick's throat as he crouched by the body. 250,000 first printing. (Feb.)
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Palmer’s best novel in years is a highly suspenseful story that begins with a murder staged to look like a suicide and ends with the exposure of a far-reaching conspiracy. The three central players are Jillian Coates, a nurse who refuses to believe her sister would kill herself; Nick Garrity, a physician still haunted by the disappearance of his best friend three years ago; and Franz Koller, a ruthless hired killer who has several victims to dispatch, only none of them can look like murder. Palmer cleverly teams up Nick and Jillian, uniting them in a common purpose: to find out how Jillian’s dead sister and Nick’s missing friend seem to have come in contact with one another. Palmer keeps his two leads—and us, too—in the dark for a good portion of the book, dispensing the occasional tantalizing hint of some horrible secret lying just below the surface. When we discover the truth behind the mystery, we’re shocked and exhilarated and bewildered, all at the same time. Palmer has always spun a good yarn, but this one is more compelling and features more engaging characters than some of his recent efforts. --David Pitt