He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. - Colossians 1:15-16

Monday, June 13, 2016

Medical Judgment by Richard L. Mabry – Mixed Emotions

I’ve read several of Richard Mabry’s novels and looked forward to reading his newest book Medical Judgment.  I like suspense and books where Christian writers include faith as part of the character’s development.  Richard Mabry includes the element of medicine which is drawn from his years of experience as a medical doctor.  Unfortunately, I have some mixed feeling on this book. 

I liked and appreciated faith of not only the main character, Dr. Sarah Gordon, but also the several other characters including Detective Bill Larson who was investigating the threats against Sarah, her friend Kyle Andrews and Pastor Steve Farber.  I liked the character Connie, a nurse in the ER.  She seemed like solid Christian who truly cared about people.  She was honest and open with her faith. 

The narrative at the end the chapters, from the perspective of the stalker, was effective in creating a suspense.  I also appreciate that the author doesn’t resort to filthy language or sexually inappropriate scenes.  Also, I really liked the character towards the end of the book veterinarian, Dr. Brad Selleck, he seemed like the most well-adjusted and healthy of the bunch.

Now to some of the things that I didn’t care for. 

The main character Dr. Sarah Gordon got a little irritating after a while.  She seemed slow to admit she had a serious problem and that she needed to take steps to protect herself.  She whined about setting her security system just about every time she set it.  Enough already!  It was a little repetitive.  It surprised me that the security system did not include cameras.  At times Sarah seems scatterbrained which doesn’t really seem in sync with someone who is an emergency room physician.  It didn’t ring true to me that Sarah could have had a dog at home for less than a day and that she misses him so much when he’s being treated at the vet’s office. 

I struggled with the character Kyle Andrews who seemed very presumptuous, obsessive and bordered on creepy at times.  He talked about his faith, but not until the end did he seem to recognize that perhaps his actions were not done with the purest motives.  At times I wondered if Kyle was really a true Christian.  When he is obviously sinning he didn’t have the Holy Spirit reining him in.   

Theologically, there were a couple things that were off.  On page 181, Kyle is recalling what Pastor Steve told him about grief and when bad things happen.  Specifically, I take issue with this sentence, “He’d assured Kyle that God didn’t cause bad things to happen, but after they did, God would provide the help needed to get through them.”  This doesn’t quite square with the sovereignty of God.  Also, on page 184, Detective Bill Larson prayed for someone who was dead. 

I think this book could have been a little shorter and left off some of the repetitive actions and thinking of the characters.  The ending seemed to occur really quickly after a longtime getting there.  There were a lot of potential suspects and I couldn’t figure out who done it.  I would like to have seen the Pastor not included in the list of suspects, and instead just been a stable and good solid influence. 

Medical Judgment by Richard Mabry is not great and not horrible, it’s okay.  While this book wasn’t his best, I still look forward to reading future books by author Richard Mabry


I would like to thank Net Galley and Abingdon Press for the opportunity to read Medical Judgement by Richard Mabry in exchange for an honest review.  

2 comments:

Richard Mabry said...

Susan, Thanks for posting the review. Authors of Christian fiction often try to show a change in their characters as the story progresses, and that may explain why you didn't care for some of the ones in Medical Judgment. I appreciate your reading it, then posting about it to let others know.

susanwalkergirl said...

Dear Dr. Mabry,

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this review and leave a comment. I appreciate it.

I've read many of your books and enjoyed them very much. Still have a few more to read and look forward to doing so. I really like your books and how you incorporate faith in the characters. The medical angle of your stories keeps them interesting.

Keep on writing. With your years of experience as a medical doctor you bring something unique to mystery novels. I look forward to upcoming books.

Susan