Monday, May 28, 2018

Book Review: Doctor Perry by Kirsten McKenzie

Can an Improbable Cast of Characters Stop Dr. Perry?

Doctor Perry, a new release by New Zealand-based author Kirsten McKenzie derives its suspense from the question, can the improbable cast of characters she has assembled stop the nefarious Dr. Perry?  That Dr. Perry is evil is never in doubt – even the cover asks, ‘can you trust your doctor?’  But hanging in a delicate balance is whether the downtrodden and forgotten of the world can stop him?  Can Elijah Cone, a once famous but now forgotten football coach nearly bed-ridden with arthritis put up a fight?  Might Doctor Perry's totally subservient wife rebel?  Could the gregarious, plus-sized Indian woman, Sulia Patel, make any difference, even if she is one of the few willing to resist?  And the police?  If they are to make any difference, they’ll need to overcome their incredulity and do more than arrive at Dr. Perry’s location…soon after he has left.  Whether this motley crew will succeed is definitely in question to the very end, to the author’s credit.

The pacing of the book was good, with a range of people coming and going.  Many of them were grist for Dr. Perry’s malicious scheme, some were potential liberators, while still others seemed distractors added simply to build tension.  Or perhaps they provide groundwork for a sequel.  In any case, they did little to further the plot.  Some of the characters were well-developed, Elijah Cone and to a degree, Sulia Patel, being in that category.  But overall, the characters tended toward extreme stereotypes.  If you think of a bottom-line-driven, totally heartless retirement home administrator, you have Tracey Chappell.  Retirement home workers who looked the other way to keep their paycheck were in abundance.  The drug addict who never met a pill he didn’t want to snort or smoke was also there.  And several of these characterizations became well-worn by the end.

There was a small disconnect between the language of the author and the setting.  The latter was Florida, while the former was non-American, with words like ‘mould’ for ‘mold,’ and phrases that would be unfamiliar to the U.S. reader.  But the dissonance is slight.  More significant is the lack of a troubling technology at the heart of this book’s plot.  Masters of the medical thriller use examples that seem so real, readers wonder if they missed an announcement in the news.  The horror Dr. Perry wrought was a bit far-fetched, the suspense suffering as a result.

Overall, Doctor Perry is an entertaining book, although it requires some imagination to achieve thriller status.

See on Amazon:

No comments :

Post a Comment