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Wiggle Room Paperback – May 25, 2013
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About the Author
Darden North is an award-winning author of three thrillers: House Call, Points of Origin, and Fresh Frozen. The screenplay adaptation of Fresh Frozen is in film development. His research for Wiggle Room included interviews with a forensic pathologist, a police criminal investigator, and several physicians in the military. North has been in active medical practice for more than two decades as a board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist. He lives with his wife Sally in Jackson, Mississippi.
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Top Customer Reviews
Major Brad Cummins is a surgeon serving in Iraq when two victims of a roadside bomb are brought into his unit. His skilled work saves the life of Chad Giles, but the young man dies in recovery.
The other victim is the young man who detonated the bomb. Dr. Cummins' dedication to his profession saves his life, but instead of gratitude he spews his hatred onto his savior. This makes WIGGLE ROOM a thriller when you know the identity of the antagonist, but Darden North ratches up the suspense when Zarife Amarah is murdered after a fall from a hotel window.
Who is out there in the shadows plotting an end for Dr. Brad as he tries to ease himself back into civilian life?
Put WIGGLE ROOM at the top of your summer reading list. You'll be glad you did.
Nash Black, author of PRELUDE OF DEATH.
The plot is simple: good (blanks) discover bad (blank) among their midst. There are thrillers where (blank) is cop or lawyer, but here (blank) is filled in with doctor. Nevertheless, the book is fun and maybe just what you need for your summer reading. I finished it over the Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer in the U.S. but officially a time to honor our war dead.
Another oddity: Major Brad Cummins, an Air Force surgeon, is nominally the main character. The story begins with his failing to save GI Giles while saving an Iraqi instead, both wounded in the same IED explosion. Good and bad nurses and docs meet up in that battlefield operating room. But Brad turns out to be mentally challenged (his twin brother sounds like the better half of the egg, but he becomes a victim--one of the first of many). Dr. Diana Bratton, nominally the protagonist's love interest, comes into the story late back in the U.S., but is more essential to the plot.
I didn't need the Iraqi terrorist. You can safely ignore him. He only provides a contrived twist as the reader is misdirected to think that all the violence is about him. He's also a stereotype. This book is not about terrorism and efforts to deal with it, although I'm terrified to think some of this stuff is going on in my local hospital.
The nurses are a nice touch. Elizabeth Cossar and Stacy Lane are nurses in that same battlefield operating center. The first has Cummins' back, although he often seems too dumb to know it, and some mystery surrounds her as the story unwinds. Stacy Lane, GI Giles' love interest, is manipulated by both the Iraqi and a bad doctor, in different ways.
Another oddity: This is not a medical thriller, but a conventional thriller about some medical professionals. There are a few technical terms and Michael Jackson's favorite sleep-aid plays a role, but you'll find enough action and suspense to forget what kind of work these people do. Or, you'll want to forget--NIMBY, please.
The final oddity: In spite of the ones mentioned above, I liked the book. Most people will get past the oddities. Bratton and Cossar are strong, intelligent, and interesting women. The men in this story suffer in comparison, especially Cummins. This is Diana Bratton's story, in fact. She can be my surgeon any day.
(The reviewer was provided an ARC for his review.)
Not the doctor, as created by Darden North, but her name sake. Having said that, I will tell you Wiggle Room is a great story. Masterfully constructed. Every chapter, every page, takes you on a very intriguing ride. I read WR cover to cover...couldn't put it down!
5 stars...this thriller cries out for a sequel and a screen play!
Sartoris Literary Group, May 25 2013, $19.95
Air Force surgeon Major Brad Cummins nears the end of his four month deployment in Iraq when the American victims of an IED are rushed into emergency care. Also brought in is the wounded insurgent bomber Zarife Amarah. Whereas Marine Lance Corporal Chad Giles dies, Amarah lives.
Feeling guilty over failing to save the American solider, the medical board exonerates Brad while his peers remain hostile. In Jackson, Mississippi, he feels added remorse for enabling Amarah to return to killing Americans. However, Brad is shocked when his brother Brian is murdered. Brad believes he was the target due to his saving the insurgent and failing to save the marine; while his fiancée Leslie thinks he brought home paranoia from his deployment. Meanwhile Amarah has landed in Atlanta.
This is an exciting thriller made fresh by red herrings that take advantage of stereotyping of terrorism. The female medicos (battlefield nurses Elizabeth Cossar and Stacy Lane, and stateside Dr. Diana Bratton) are fabulous characters while the males like Brad and the villain are underdeveloped dolts. Readers will enjoy this twisting Mississippi murder mystery.