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Lie Still: A Novel of Suspense Hardcover – October 21, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 112 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pediatric anesthesiologist Farris's debut is as sharp as a scalpel, a gripping, well-crafted novel of medical suspense offering more than the adrenaline rush of constant emergency room disasters. Surgery resident Malcolm Ishmail is working the ER in Glory, Ariz., when his 13-year-old asthma patient, Henry Rojelio, goes from amiably talkative one minute to comatose the next. Seven years later, Malcolm, now an "itinerant physician" working in a string of Nebraska cow towns, reflects on his disgrace. His affair with the attending physician in Glory, brain surgeon Mimi Lyle ("she was tall, classically beautiful, and, from my testosterone-hardened viewpoint, undeniably sexy"), was a serious mistake. Despite rumors of incompetence, Mimi is considered at the top of her profession, so Malcolm watches with mounting horror as she botches one operation after another. After reporting her to hospital authorities, he finds himself ousted from his residency, relegated to a succession of smalltown emergency rooms in the hinterlands and eventually threatened with criminal prosecution. Slowly he begins to piece together the succession of events that have landed him in purgatory, only to realize that the vengeance-seeking Mimi lies at the center of the mystery. But there's still one more lesson to be learned: Mimi's better with a pistol than she is with a scalpel.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

This first novel works both as medical suspense and as a harrowing collection of medical war stories. Farris, a practicing anesthesiologist specializing in infant and child heart surgery, brings the depth of his experience to bear on a case involving a troubled teen who suffers an inexplicable cardiac arrest. His hero, Dr. Ishmail, narrates the story, describing how his handling of the teen's case shipwrecked his life, moving him from an up-and-coming surgery resident to an ER weekend itinerant in a tiny Nebraska town. The mystery of the teen's death hangs over him years later, and his attempts to understand it lead him into a frightening understanding of the ways in which doctors can use their power to destroy. The plotting is often hard to follow, as Farris gets caught up in medical descriptions and case histories, but the character of Ishmail and his obsession with the past are especially compelling. A promising debut for medical thriller fans. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (October 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060505540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060505547
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,753,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a physician I enjoy medical thrillers and this one is tops in all areas - and particularly accurate in descriptions, relationships of people in the field. I especially enjoyed the "gossip" aspects of the profession described as only one who has been-there-done-that can do.
Prognosis? A best seller for sure.
The author will survive and live a full and productive life - hopefully with more great novels to come.
Could not put it down - a great read. Chilling and twisting. It will hold you from start to finish.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok I could have really been engaged. The plot was interesting, the characters believable, even the situational frustration comes out with a bang. If that was ALL it had I would have given the book four stars. I did not give four stars because of the unnecessary gratuitous and graphic sex. Should there had been a couple places with that type of storyline I would've dealt with it, but I came close to putting it down numerous times because there was way more sex than needed to be and I felt that it detracted from the plot in a great way. Sorry,I won't be looking for another book written by Mr. Farris, if I want explicit sex, I'll go to an adult bookstore.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is a regular article in Discover magazine that I look forward to. It is typically written by a series of ER doctors, and focuses on cases that pose a mystery, either diagnostic or regarding the origin of an injury or illness. The mystery is nearly always solved in some imaginative way, and it makes for fascinating reading.

This novel is like the elongated version of five year's worth of Discover magazines' stories, all surrounding a pretty ingenious mystery/thriller. It's not upbeat, by any means, and there aren't a lot of happy endings, but trust me when I say that it'll be hard to put down. The writing style is engaging and well thought out, and the main character, though flawed, is likeable and worth rooting for. Those of you who like to read fiction for entertainment, but appreciate learning some things along the way, will be right at home here, as the author makes the technical side of medicine pretty palatable for the layman. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
See storyline above.
Before you even start to read the book you know the protagonist loses his job, has an affair, and you know Henry collapses. This takes away some of the fun of reading, unpredictability. ( If you don't read the book flap you'll be in for more surprises). That being said, I still liked it.
A sharply written medical thriller which also brings up some interesting ethical issues. Throughout the novel you'll be treated to some of the authors own medical stories. A good read.
Recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Unless you like to read so you get sleepy, then buy this book. It will bore the bejesus out of you. I only read the entire thing because I don't like to give up on an author. The whole thing is just full of hospital jargon, that I'm sure the writer understands because he is a physician, but we regular folk (me) got tired of reading about it. In the end it made absolutely no sense that any of that would happen. Especially when the Dr dropped an instrument on the floor of a germ filled ER, picked it up and kept using it on the dying patient.

I would love a refund, but unfortunately can't get it for Kindle. All I can say is don't waste your time or money!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a retired nurse, I love thrillers and in particular, medical thrillers. Dr. Farris kept me turning the pages. I loved the voice and the complex characters. I thought he did a wonderful job describing medical procedures, and patient conditions. What I thought he did exceptionally well was weave the politics within every hospital and a very important ethical issue into the story. One of the few books that kept me rooted in my seat and turning pages. Well done.Lie Still
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By C. Butler on December 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I struggled in the early chapters to get into this book, but once I did, oh my goodness! There was no putting it down!

I initially started Lie Still several months ago and got bored. I admit it. I decided to set it aside for a while and moved on to other books. But just a few days ago, I ran across it in my library and realized something in the description had made me want to read it. So I started again, and less than a week later, I'm happy to have stuck it out.

It's a twisting, turning tale of deception, gross incompetence, and lies. It's a tale filled with more terrifying mysteries than even the best horror novel. Why? Because medical mistakes happen (Mimi Lyle), people want revenge (Robin), and people end up under the figurative bus (Malcolm and Henry).

Give it a chance. Even if you struggle early, don't give up...The unexpected ways everything comes together are worth reading to the end.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Medical thrillers are my favorites of all the genres, I feel fortunate to have come upon David Farris' debut novel Lie Still. What a ride! This book is up there with the best of them, great plotting, suspenseful storyline that won't stop, quality writing - Farris has hit it out of the park with this one. If there is a 'negative' at all it would be that it is a bit strong on medical language, some of it over the top actually, but certainly tolerable with a thriller of this calibre.

I bought this book on Amazon for $0.99. Wow, if you can buy it at that price grab it before it increases. I've paid up to $6.99 for books in this genre that don't measure up.

I hope you are furiously working on your next release, Dr. Farris - a lot of us will be standing in line with $$ in hand. And I have to say that I was thrilled to learn you are a Portland Oregon physician, married to a physician. Kudos to both of you.
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