Saturday, February 1, 2014

Heart Failure by Richard Mabry, MD

When her fiancé’s dangerous secrets turn her work upside down, a beautiful doctor must choose between her own safety and the man she loves—and thought she knew. 
Dr. Carrie Markham’s heart was broken by the death of her husband two years ago. Now, just as her medical practice is taking off, her fresh engagement to paralegal Adam Davidson seems almost too good to be true . . . until a drive-by shooting leaves Carrie on the floor of his car with glass falling around her. 
When he confesses that Adam isn’t his real name and that he fled the witness protection program, Carrie is left with an impossible choice: should she abandon the fiancé she isn’t sure she really knows, or accept his claim of innocence and help him fight back against this faceless menace? 
While Carrie struggles to decide whether to follow her heart or her head, the threats against them continue to escalate. Her life—as well as Adam’s—depends on making the right choice . . . and the clock is ticking.

I guess I’m just a sucker for a good medical thriller, one that grips you from the start and never lets you go until the very last pages.  No one can do that better than Dr. Mabry, and I’m excited to have a new book by him to be able to offer you a review.

Dr. Carrie Markham has had her share of heart ache after the death of her husband several years earlier.  She has finally opened herself up to a new relationship with Adam Davidson and has a medical practice that is taking off.  In a single conversation, though, her life is turned upside down.  As Carrie and Adam are sitting in his car after a movie, shots ring out that shatter the windows of the car, and the tranquility of the night.  Adam confesses that he isn’t who she thinks he is, that he has a history that may be responsible for the attack on them.  Carrie isn’t sure she wants any part of his life, especially one that could get her killed.  As more attacks rain down on both Carrie and Adam, she decides to work with him to decide who is behind the attacks.  Can they find the shooter before more serious damage is done?  Will Carrie be able to overcome her hurt and forgive Adam?  Who is Adam and why are people shooting at him?  Your heart won’t fail you if you run and BUY THIS BOOK!
Dr. Mabry has again written a medical thriller that twists and turns from the start and throws so many red herrings at you that you don’t know which way is up until the book is done.  You feel for Dr. Markham as you understand the loss that she has endured with the loss of her husband and the feeling of hopelessness that she feels as she and Adam fight against the unknown.  You root for Adam as he struggles against trying to find out who the shooter is and keeping Carrie safe and in his life.  To me, the mark of a great author is one that can develop characters for you that you become invested in their lives and the outcome of what’s happening during the story.  Those are some of the best attributes that will keep Dr. Mabry writing and being read for years to come.

Is this a “Guy’s Book”?  It has its moments.  There is a mystery to be solved, there are shootings and evasive driving maneuvers, but there is still an element of romance as well.  But hey, who doesn’t need a little romance in their life?

Dr. Mabry agreed to answer a few questions for us to get a chance to know him better:
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Since my first novel was published only a few years ago, I feel as though I’m one of those “new” authors myself, certainly when you compare me with individuals who have written dozens of novels. I’m hesitant to give names of new authors who have impressed me, because I’d probably omit some very deserving ones. For me, the proof of the pudding is in how many people want to read the second or third book by that author. Or, as I used to tell my children, “We’ll see.”

What are your current projects?

My next book, Critical Condition, is scheduled for release on April 15, and that one is already written, edited, and ready for publication. Right now I’m working on my next book, Dead On Arrival. It begins when a man bursts into an emergency room, his gun to the head of a nurse who is pushing a wounded man in a wheelchair. The gunman says, “He’s been shot. Do something. If he dies, everyone in here dies!”

How are you the same/different from your main character, Adam/Keith?

Obviously I’ve never had the experience of being in the Witness Security Program and trying to escape from people who want to kill me. Likewise, Adam’s struggles, weighing his newfound love for Carrie against his instinct for self-preservation, aren’t choices I’ve faced. Nevertheless, I hope that Adam’s actions are the ones I or another Christian would take.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?

Interestingly enough, the story sort of told itself. I read a newspaper article about the Witness Security Program and Alton Gansky’s favorite question jumped into my mind: “What if?” In this case, I wondered what would happen if a widowed doctor met and fell in love with a man, only to learn that he’s not really the person she thinks he is. After I populated the story, the characters sort of told me where to go from there.

You were just given a new Yacht, what would you name it?

After a few moments’ thought, I decided to use the name of my first car: Flattery (because Flattery will get you anywhere). And my first trip on the yacht would be a cruise of the Greek islands.

If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
It would be the Scripture verse with which I sign all my novels, Psalm 139:1-5. “O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel
 and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”

In addition to the practice of medicine, my past includes a stint overseas in the US Air Force, several periods as an interim music minister, and an all-too-brief experience as a semi-pro baseball player. In other words, there’s more to me than “M.D.” covers. Let me share a little about myself.

      My BA is from the University of North Texas (which was North Texas State University at the time). I graduated with an MD degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, then obtained my specialty training in otolaryngology (that’s “ear, nose, and throat” to most folks) at two major teaching hospitals in Dallas: Parkland and the VA Hospital.
Air Force:
       I served for almost three years as a Captain in the US Air Force at Lajes Field, in the Azores, a Portuguese possession in the middle of the North Atlantic. I’ve forgotten most of the Portuguese I learned there, but will never forget the friendships I made. Because I was involved in saving the life of a little Azorean girl whose airway was obstructed by a coin, I was written up in Stars and Stripes and received the Air Force Commendation medal. When there’s a recognition on Veteran’s Day, I’m proud to stand beside all the others who’ve served. 

      I’ve been a Christian for six decades. For almost forty years, I was a Deacon in the Baptist church, serving as a Sunday school teacher and singing in the choir. After a recent move across the city, I’m proud to be a member of the Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where I get to hear Dr. Chuck Swindoll preach regularly.

      During the 36 years I spent in medicine, I wrote or edited eight textbooks, authored over a hundred professional papers, and was an invited guest speaker all over the world. I held the presidency or vice-presidency of three professional societies, and was privileged to receive a number of awards and honors. But if you asked my greatest reward in medicine , it would be in seeing patients get better under my care.


      Primarily golfing, usually once a week with the same golf partner for the past ten years or so. We don’t keep score (heresy to purists, I suppose) and we enjoy the fellowship. I’m also a voracious reader, mainly fiction, although I do read non-fiction books.

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