Friday, August 12, 2016

Poignant and Riveting

Elaine Viets
Thomas & Mercer
August 2, 2016

Angela Richman is a Death Investigator in a small affluent Missouri community known as the "Forest". Even though she is a life-long resident she is not one of the insiders. Her parents worked on one of the estates but Angela is not one of the old money pedigreed families. Despite that she is a well regarded, award winning member of the local police force. She is at a very difficult scene, one in which one teenager is killed and another severely injured. Drinking, pot and texting are involved. By the time Angela has completed her reports she is laid low by what she thinks is a migraine. She goes to the ER but the doctor says she is "too young and fit" for a stroke even though the signs are there. Six strokes, emergency surgery in which she loses part of her frontal lobe and a medically induced coma later, Angela wakes up to a very different reality. 

Dr. Porter Gravois is a real "Forest" insider, handsome, rich and adored by the hospital staff. No one even thinks to call Dr. Gravois to account for the misdiagnosis except the neurosurgeon who saved Angela's life. Dr. Jeb Travis Tritt is arrogant, abrasive, uncouth and loathes Dr. Gravois with a burning passion. When Dr. Gravois is murdered Dr. Tritt is the logical suspect, a suspect whom the hospital staff is fully committed to see punished. Angela, however, wants to see him vindicated, even if she has to do it from a hospital bed. There are lots of things going on at the Sisters of Sorrow Hospital. It appears that the hospital has an "Angel of Death" operating there and Angela suspects an insurance scam. But can her instincts be trusted after such a traumatic brain event?

Brain Storm is a riveting look at the difficulties of recovering from a stroke wrapped in a variety of interlocking mysteries. It is made more poignant by the fact that the author, Elaine Viets, suffered through an almost identical situation and has come through it with flying colors. It is also a cautionary tale about checking your medical bills very carefully; over billing is a regrettable reality that affects us all. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an advance digital copy in return for an honest review.

RATING- 4 Stars

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