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Sledgehammer Paperback – September 1, 2005
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A glimpse of how unready this country is to deal with bio-terrorism. We rated this medical thriller five hearts. --Bob Spear, Publisher and Chief Reviewer, Heartland Reviews
Gut wrenching medical thriller that centers on how relatively easy the spread of a bio-weapon can occur. --Harriet Klauser, Reviewer
Sledgehammer tells the chilling story of what if. The story details five days in the life of a ER doctor. --Tami Brady, Reviewer
About the Author
Paulo J. Reyes was born in the San Joaquin valley and grew up in the foothills of the Sierras. He attended the UCSF School of Medicine where he obtained his MD. He subsequently trained at UCLA and has practiced ER medicine since that time. His experience in many emergency rooms has given him insight and understanding into comtemporary health issues in the mind of the American public. He is the author of Health Care-Reform or Redistribution of Cost? and is currently co-writing the sequel to this book. He resides in Los Angeles, where he continues to practice medicine.
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Noteworthy: In addition to the timeliness of the theme, the gripping novel covers in detail information all of us should be aware of. The characters spring to life as time grows increasingly short to save our country from this pandemic. Readers will gasp learning how inadequately prepared we are for this event today, and how we can prepare.
A patient arrives with strange symptoms that reminds Max somewhat of smallpox yet seems more powerful than a disease most people thought eradicated. As the clock ticks, Max becomes increasingly convinced that they are dealing with a lethal strand of smallpox. He fails to persuade the skeptical bottom line hospital administrator Kilgorn to arrange mass vaccination to prevent a pandemic spread. His only chance resides with his friend a bio-weapons researcher, but even if he somehow receives help, Max knows that the potential for spreading has walked out the hospital door numerous times.
This is a gut wrenching medical thriller that centers on how relatively easy the spread of a bio-weapon can occur in this country. Max keeps the story line realistic and together as he goes from the daily troubles of a single dad who has had no time to mourn his loss to fears for his two children and others from a stalking killer. His frustrations mount as he fails to convince anyone that vaccination is needed as the health system calculates the cost as greater than the risk. Paulo J. Reyes provides a SLEDGEHAMMER to a system that set up to insure mass failure when (not if) the crisis happens.
An emergency room doctor with a history in infectious disease and connections above and beyond the hospital board, has what it takes to diagnose and prevent a U.S. smallpox pandemic.
Although very well written, Sledgehammer is thick on facts and ideas and slim on suspense. Having been an LPN, I understood most of the medical jargon that packs the book from cover to cover, but anyone with less medical knowledge wouldn't understand a lot of the terminology and anyone with more, wouldn't enjoy the book. Also, the romance was open ended. I would have liked to have seen the doctor and nurse either have a lot more feelings for each other or keep it strictly professional. It seems they just teased at the possibility of feelings and never really decided one way or another.
The one bright spot is that Dr. Reyes is an excellent writer and put the word together in an incredible way. With a solid storyline that is more thoroughly developed, he could write a book that would easily be a best seller. I would like to read a longer book of his to see if the quality showed through.
"Sledgehammer" is a light, quick read that leaves you wondering what would really happen if small pox would walk through an emergency room door in Anytown, USA. Would any of the doctors be able to detect it or would it spiral out of control and devastate the population?
Book received free of charge.
The medical thriller "Sledgehammer" presents just such a scenario. For the protagonist, emergency room director Dr. Kroose, smallpox is an important political issue. He wants assurances that his staff will be offered vaccination, while the parsimonious hospital administrators worry about the potential for litigation. Dr. Kroose is preparing to fight for his staff's welfare when Mr. Villalobos arrives in his emergency room. This obnoxious patient at first appears to have influenza. But does he? Could a hypothetical concern suddenly have become real and urgent?
Dr. Paulo J. Reyes is himself an emergency room doctor in California with many years of experience. He has a thorough understanding of the risk posed by smallpox, and has been vaccinated against it. He includes enough medical details in this novel to give it authenticity, and in a useful preface explains the scientific and political background to smallpox bioterrorism.
"Sledgehammer" offers a thought-provoking look at emergency-room politics and the smallpox risk, and it's also a fast-moving thriller. Share six days in the life of Dr. Kroose, and then decide for yourself about the threat of bioterrorism.