Death Rounds by Peter Clement


Pros: decent premise

Cons: long dull passages, lack of action

Death Rounds by Peter Clement is a disappointing medical thriller.

Two hospitals are on the verge of merging. Needless to say, this makes some people very happy and others quite miserable. The atmosphere is full of tension at both places.

Meanwhile, a woman comes into the ER with flu-like symptoms. She’s quickly released. Perhaps too quickly. Because the next day she’s back – much, much sicker. In fact, she goes downhill very quickly, dead within hours. But the real problem is that she didn’t have the flu. She had something worse – much worse – and others are following suit.

It’s up to ER Doc Earl Garnet to put the pieces of the puzzle together – what’s making the patients so sick? Imagine his horror when he finds a frightening commonality among the patients. Is this illness the work of nature, or of a man – a man hell-bent on revenge?

The story held my interest and I certainly wanted to know how it would all turn out. But it gets dragged down by a lot of medical jargon. Overly long explanations and redundant descriptions. Long passages explaining Dr. Garnet’s thoughts, and precious little action. Worse, most of the characters were extremely unlikeable. With the exception of our hero and his wife, everyone else was cartoonishly evil. Doctors who refused to believe what’s staring them right in their faces. Inept police officers. And even though Dr. Garnet was a decent man, he did some very stupid things. Things that put his own life in danger over and over. It was simply difficult to deal with the characters in this book.

And then there was the ending. When all is finally revealed, I felt let down. The motives were far-fetched. I was waiting for some thrilling surprise, something that would make me happy to have slogged through 300+ pages, but it really wasn’t there. Death Rounds was “ok” but that’s about it – I certainly won’t remember it a week from now.

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