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Grievous Bodily Harm: A Toni Day mystery Paperback – June 22, 2013
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About the Author
Jane Bennett Munro, M.D., is a hospital based pathologist who has been involved in forensic cases during the course of her thirty-five year career. She also spent 8 years on the Idaho State Board of Medicine and was chairman 1997-1999. Now semi-retired, she lives in Twin Falls, Idaho, where she enjoys music, gardening, scuba diving, and skiing. She is the author of Murder Under the Microscope, winner of an IPPY Award, and Too Much Blood..
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This book is set two years after Too Much Blood. Not much has changed in Toni's personal life but things are changing at the hospital where she has been a pathologist for many years. Marcus Manning is one character that I wanted to take a shotgun to,and quickly. Usually I don't have that vehement of a statement about characters but he was the biggest book related jerk that I had "met" in awhile.
He is the type of character who abuses his power to the point of Toni being the recipient of a serious bodily injury that eventually requires surgery.He scares her staff by blackmailing them and attempting to extort sexual favors from him. All the while hiding the fact that he is abusing his wife on a daily basis. I wanted to reach through the book and strangle him until he turned limp beneath my hands.
Someone else had the same idea as Marcus is killed in plain sight of many people at a hospital picnic. No one knows who did it. Was it the wife? Was it the wife's best friend whom Marcus had bragged about sleeping with? Or was it Toni,fed up with the physical & emotional damage that Marcus was inflicting upon her?
I really enjoyed this book. Like Too Much Blood,I found Toni to be awesome and she was the type of woman who took no crap from anyone. Even from someone who had the ability to get her fired.In Too Much Blood,one of my only criticisms was that the secondary characters weren't as well developed as I would have liked,particularly Hal, Toni's husband of many years.
However,the author seemed to take these comments to heart and I noticed a definite increase in character development this time around. I got a much better picture of Hal as well as Toni's stepdaughter & her husband Pete. Lets not forget the friends as well. They played a much more important role this time around.I was thrilled to see such commitment to better character development.
The majority of the book seemed to focus on the crap that Marcus was attempting to throw at the hospital before his untimely death. That would be my only complaint this time around.It's not enough to change my rating though.
This book was a throughly enjoyable book that kept me guessing throughout the entire thing. I actually enjoyed this book MORE than Too Much Blood and for that reason,this book gets a full 5 stars from me. I cannot wait to see what the author writes next.
Author: Jane Bennett Munro, M.D
Makeovers are supposed to change your appearance for the better and give up a different perspective on life. But, some such as the one Perrine Memorial Hospital is about to experience will not only create dissention, hard feelings and disharmony. Dr. Toni Day is a pathologist who finds herself the object of ridicule, discontent and blackmail. When Marcus Manning is hired to help with the transition of Perrine Memorial to a private hospital called Cascade, some feel it will give the hospital a new lease on life. But, appearances are deceiving and when the new roles are defined, changes that will be implemented will be drastically change the complexion of more than just how the hospital is run. When the administrator explains the new chain of command, why this would help improve the image of the hospital and unite them more with the community, not everyone wants to jump on board. New programs are being implemented and many of the doctors will be required to teach classes in High Schools to encourage students to go into the health profession but the underlying and nagging feeling in Toni's gut is about to come front and center.
When Marcus Manning decides to make the rounds and introduce himself to some of the staff the end result is blackmail, sexual harassment and threats. Stating that there have been many complaints against Toni and several other staff members sends her reeling and wanting to find out where these threats originated and with whom. In a day and age where most people realize that women are equally as capable as men, what happens when one hospital wants to revert back to the colonial period or dark ages, suppress women's voices and create an all male staff? Twin Falls is the location and Marcus Manning has his roots there. First impressions are often quite powerful and although he tries to endear himself with the staff the end result will cost him dearly. Finding his way to rid the hospital of anyone who tries to go up against him as the new CEO of Perrine Memorial. Toni Day is his first victim and what she does to bring him down is priceless.
Toni is hard nosed, filled with ire and will not back down when she enlists the help of her fellow staff members, her supervisor Mike in pathology and her husband Hal for support to find a way to circumvent what Manning is trying to put in place. This pathologist would not go quietly and the end result will eliminate Marcus as someone decides that the only way to prevent his wrath is to take him down. As Toni began questioning some of her co-workers a link to the Chief of Staff's brother was found, the possibility that no one checked Marcus's credentials and his work history appeared quite suspect. Added in during a gathering they all witnessed Marcus yelling and hitting his wife after meeting her at another event and noticing several bruises. How could they hire someone that might be blackmailing their Chief of Staff? What did he have on Jack or even his brother that would make him look the other way at what he was doing to Toni and some of the other female doctors? Was he after just ancillary services, female doctors or was there a religious reason? What about the new person that was promoting the hospital?
Things heat up as Marcus threatens to fire many more employees, claims there are many complaints against Toni, firing nurses, techs and even Charlie the CFO. Finding ways to alienate the staff, and making both physical and managerial threats against different staff members, Marcus Manning would stop at nothing to reach his ultimate goal. After analyzing his actions Toni and several of her friends and co-workers come to conclusion that he wants to be CEO of the entire system and by eliminating Toni and two others clearinig his path of any opposition.
Things heat up even more, as Marcus critically attacks Toni causing her to need surgery or lose her arms. Compartment syndrome is serious as the author shares the information about this illness, the surgery and the method of recovery with readers. The author brilliantly shares her expertise in forensic pathology allowing readers inside the room during the autopsy and sharing her expertise and knowledge about the murder weapon, cyanide.
The investigation points to several suspects with Toni at the top of the list. Added in we meet her mother Fiona, her future husband Nigel who add a comedic blend and definite flare to the story and the investigation. Just who decided to rid the world of this blackmailer, abuser and cheat? Wait until you find out what happens during the autopsy that will certainly surprise the reader.
A wife that was blinded to her husband's actions and a best friend that kept some secrets from her. Lies, betrayals, blackmail, murder, abuse and a rumor that could do more than just ruin Toni's career. One snap decision will bring it all to a close as Toni risks her life in order to find a killer even if it means becoming a killer herself. What started as a routine hospital makeover turned into Grievous Bodily Harm!
TOO MUCH BLOOD came first and now two years later we have GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM. Toni has been a pathologist at the same hospital for quite a few years. Not much has changed for her personally either.There was one character who rubbed me the wrong way. He thought he had this great power and you just wanted to flatten him. Marcus Manning is not on my favorite character's list. Toni ends up at the brunt of his power and requires surgery.He is a wife abuser and he is trying to hide the fact. He scares her staff with blackmail and seeking sex from them. King El Jerko to be sure. Someone was killed at a hospital picnic right in front of everybody, but no one knows who did it. Maybe it was his wife? The wife's best friend whom Marcus had told everyone about sleeping with her.? There's still another possibility, Toni? She might be fed up with the abuse that she was dealing with from Marcus . Toni took no guff from anyone. She was her own woman and strong willed. I would like to know more about Toni's husband. Where is he when Marcus is playing macho man with Toni and her friends? I feel that the author did a fine job of developing most of her characters. Most of the book was about the power Marcus had and how he inflicted it on others, before he died. This is a book that you should read if you like mystery, murder and mayhem. Who doesn't like a combination of those three? The author didn't fail to deliver another fantastic book. Thanks Ms. Munro for such good books.
I would give this book 5 STARS.
I received a complimentary copy of GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM from the author, Jane Bennett Munro for this unbiased review.