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THEY MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONVICT HIM, BUT THEY HAVE ENOUGH TO RUIN HIS LIFE.
Dr. Matt Newman thought he was leaving his life as a surgeon in private practice for a better one in academic medicine. But the kidnappers who attacked him as he left the hospital at 2 a.m. have no such plans—they just want him dead. Bound and in the trunk of his car, Matt’s only thought is fleeing with his life. He does escape, but at a price: a head ...
THEY MAY NOT HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONVICT HIM, BUT THEY HAVE ENOUGH TO RUIN HIS LIFE.
Dr. Matt Newman thought he was leaving his life as a surgeon in private practice for a better one in academic medicine. But the kidnappers who attacked him as he left the hospital at 2 a.m. have no such plans—they just want him dead. Bound and in the trunk of his car, Matt’s only thought is fleeing with his life. He does escape, but at a price: a head injury that lands him in the ICU . . . where he awakens to discover he’s being charged with murder.
Sandra Murray is a fiery, redheaded lawyer who swore she was done with doctors after her last relationship. But when Matt calls, she knows she can’t walk away from defending someone who is truly innocent.
Matt’s career is going down the drain. His freedom and perhaps his life may be next. But with the police convinced he’s a killer and the kidnappers still trying to finish what they started, finding the truth—and the faith to keep going—will be the toughest stress test Matt has ever endured.
“This is a terrific read, by a surgeon who clearly knows his stuff as a doctor and his craft as a writer.” —MICHAEL PALMER, New York Times best-selling author of Oath of Office
It began tonight, as it frequently did, with a phone call that rolled Matt out of bed after less than an hour's sleep and sent him speeding to the hospital. A teenager lay bleeding to death from internal injuries, the victim of a car crash that killed the girl riding with him.
Tonight Matt's efforts were rewarded with a high unmatched by anything from a glass, a bottle, a syringe. Tonight there would be no heartbreak of telling a grieving family your best hadn't been enough to save their loved one. Tonight Matt could savor the high—at least for a little while. This case was a good way to go out, to leave private practice behind.
But already Matt's exhilaration was giving way to fatigue. His eyes burned. His shoulders ached. His mouth was foul with the acid taste of coffee left too long on the hot plate. He was running on fumes.
The pneumatic doors closed behind him with a hiss like an auditory exclamation point. As Matt moved from the brilliance of Metropolitan Hospital's emergency room into the mottled semi-darkness of the parking garage, he imagined the weight of responsibility slipping from his shoulders. Tomorrow Tom Wilson would take over his patients and his practice. Tomorrow Matt would assume his new position as assistant professor of surgery at Southwestern Medical Center here in Dallas. He'd teach medical students at Southwestern and instruct residents at Parkland Hospital, always emphasizing not only the science but the art of medicine. Matt knew he had a lot to give. He could hardly wait.
One of the benefits of the new job was supposed to be a more structured life: less on-call time, responsibilities shared with other faculty members, assistance from residents in patient care. Matt was looking forward to the change, not just for himself, but for the way it might benefit his relationship with Jennifer.
Matt couldn't give up medicine entirely—he'd invested too much of his life in it, and it remained a passion with him—but he also felt a passion for Jennifer, perhaps even loved her. She was beautiful, witty, and fun to be around. She might be "the one."
It wasn't hard for Matt to spot his silver Chevy Impala in the darkest corner of the deserted garage. There weren't many cars still there at two a.m., and soon there would be one fewer. He fished his keys from the pocket of his white lab coat and thumbed the unlock button on his remote. His hand was on the door handle when something yanked him backward and cut off his air in mid-breath. Matt dropped the keys and reached up with both hands to pry at the arm that encircled his neck.
In an instant Matt was slammed facedown to the cement floor. He heard a crack and felt the knife-like agony of breaking ribs. The searing pain in his chest made each labored breath more difficult. A weight pinned him to the ground like a butterfly on a specimen board.
Matt struggled, but his assailant held him fast. Fire shot through his shoulders as his arms were yanked together. There was a quick rip of tape, and in seconds his wrists were bound tightly behind him. Rough hands encircled his ankles with more tape, leaving him helpless and immobile. At the same time, someone else grabbed his hair and lifted his head. Matt gave a shrill cry before three quick turns of tape muffled his voice and turned the world black.
He tried to lift his head, but stopped abruptly when something hard and cold pressed against the back of his neck. Matt lowered his face onto the garage floor and went limp. He felt hope escape like air from a punctured tire.
There were murmurs above him, questions in a high-pitched singsong, answers from a harsh rasp like grinding gears. At first the words were indistinguishable. Then they became louder as the exchange heated.
"Why not here?" Was there a faint Hispanic accent to the whining tenor?
"The boss said not at the hospital." The growling bass flung out the words, and spittle dotted the back of Matt's neck. "I know just the place to get rid of him. Let's get him into the trunk of his car."
In the darkness that now enveloped him, Matt struggled in vain to move, to speak. He strained to hear what was said. He could only make out a few words, but they were enough to drive his heart into his shoes. "Get rid of him."
He angled his head to catch the sounds around him: a jingle of keys, the sharp click of the trunk lock. Hinges squeaked. Matt had a momentary sensation of floating as he was lifted, carried, dropped. His head struck something hard. Splashes of red flashed behind his closed eyelids, then vanished into nothingness.
Matt floated back to consciousness like a swimmer emerging from the depths. How long had he been out? Hours? Minutes? A few seconds? At first he had no idea where he was or what was happening. Little by little, his senses cleared. He tried to open his eyes but there was no light. He tried to speak, but his lips were sealed. He cried out, but the result was only a strained grunt. Finally he heard the faint sound of voices from inside the car, a menacing rumble and a high-pitched whine. The voices brought it all back to him.
He was on the way to his death. And the trunk of his car would be his coffin.
Was it her profession? No, she'd long since come to grips with the dichotomy between being a criminal defense attorney and a practicing Christian. Despite the fact that her days were spent defending criminals, some of whom undoubtedly belonged in prison, she believed that everyone—even someone charged with rape or murder—deserved the best possible defense. Jesus ate with sinners; why couldn't Sandra give them the protection and defense the law promised?
Was it because she had no family to speak of? The distance between her and her divorced parents was more than physical. True, her mother was in Costa Rica trying to "find herself," and her father was in Alaska with his new wife. But even if they lived across the street from her Dallas home, Sandra's contact with them would be limited. That's the way it had always been, and she'd come to accept it. She had no siblings, few close friends, and no—
There it was again—the same problem that kept cropping up in her mind to keep her from sleeping. She had no mate, no significant other with whom to share. She knew somewhere God had a husband for her, and when she met him and moved forward, she trusted that her life would finally be full.
Unfortunately, that longed-for fiancé apparently wasn't Dr. Ken Gordon. She'd gone out with the handsome neurosurgeon for almost a year, and although The Question hadn't been popped and her ring finger remained bare, they seemed to have reached a tacit understanding that marriage was around the corner. But that changed last night when the problem about Ken, the one that kept bouncing around in the back of her mind, resurfaced. So, during a beautiful dinner that neither of them tasted, with a view of the skyline of Dallas that neither of them saw, they finally admitted they weren't meant for each other.
As Sandra stared into the dark, she wondered if she'd done the right thing, breaking it off with Ken. Well, it was done, and all she could do was wait for God to fill the void in her life. She squeezed her eyes shut and felt the tears forming. God, if there's a husband out there for me, please show me.
Satisfied with this final effort at a bedtime prayer, she dabbed at the corners of her eyes with the covers, then pulled them to her chin and once more tried to sleep.
* * *
"Let's get out of here."
Lou slammed the trunk closed, clambered behind the wheel, and started the engine. He had the car in motion by the time his companion scrambled in. Lou reversed out of the parking slot, stopping with a screech of brakes. Then he slammed the gearshift into drive, stomped on the gas, and the car screamed down the ramp. His rearview mirror gave a glimpse of parallel stripes of black rubber on the cement.
Beads of sweat stung Lou's eyes. He blinked them away and peered into the night. He slowed the car to navigate the narrow streets behind the hospital, but his mind was working full-speed.
Edgar's voice interrupted Lou's thoughts. "Where are we going now?"
Lou steered the car through a stop sign with only the slightest tap on the brakes. "A quiet place where we can put a bullet into this guy."
Beside him Edgar fidgeted but kept silent. Edgar didn't look like much, but he was good with a gun and knife. Lou knew Edgar was anxious to do his thing, but Lou planned to do the honors himself on the man in the trunk. He'd let Edgar take care of the next one. This one was too important.
Lou clutched the wheel and leaned forward to follow the headlight beams through the warren of dark streets. The lights of downtown Dallas rose up ahead of them, bright in the inky sky. Lou took a sharp left, away from that glare.
The neighborhood's few functioning streetlights only accentuated the gloom that lay beyond their dim glow. Lou drove by bars, strip clubs, and hole-in-the-wall stores peddling XXX-rated videos, all of them silent at this hour, and most secured by burglar bars or steel shutters. Nobody in his right mind would be here at this hour of the morning—at least, not without a weapon of some sort.
Lou saw the pothole too late to steer around it. The car bounced crazily before settling down on protesting springs.
"Hey, watch it."
Lou heard a click as Edgar fastened his seat belt. His reply was a growled, "Sorry." Lou slowed and scanned ahead for more holes in the pavement.
"You sure you know where we're going?"
"Yeah, but whoever laid out these streets must have been drunk. Let me concentrate." Lou squinted to read the street signs in the faint light. Finally he found the one he wanted and steered the car in a sharp turn. It lurched as one wheel bumped the curb.
"Did you hear something back there?" Edgar asked.
"Relax. He's not going anywhere." No, for the guy in the trunk, this would be his last ride ever.
* * *
Matt lay curled in a fetal position. Not even the faintest glimmer of light penetrated the tape over his eyes. All feeling was gone from his bound hands, and his feet tingled with a thousand needles. He tumbled about as the car swerved, slowed, accelerated, stopped, started. At times, what must have been huge potholes sent him bouncing against the trunk lid. The muscles in his back cried out with every bump and jolt. His injured ribs made each breath torture. Although he knew there was enough air in the trunk, he felt as though he was suffocating.
Matt summoned all his strength and strained at his bonds. He figured he'd been immobilized with duct tape, the modern equivalent of baling wire. For all the good his struggles did him, his restraints could have been welded steel bands. There was no way he could part them with brute force.
Sometime in the distant past Matt had read about Houdini's escapes from handcuffs. Now he tried to recall the tricks the master illusionist used. First, get the hands in front. If Matt could do that, maybe he could use his teeth to tear through the tape.
He bent his back, trying to ignore the pain it caused. He tucked his legs up behind him and strained every muscle, but without success. He took a deep breath and paid the price for it as pain coursed through his chest. He tried rolling over onto his stomach, but that was worse. He returned to his side.
He struggled and strained to no avail. Despite regular exercise and an athletic body, Matt was unable to duplicate Houdini's maneuver. Apparently what worked with handcuffs didn't translate so well when your wrists were bound together with tape that left no slack for movement.
Matt's mind churned. Was there something in the trunk he could use to free himself? Maybe he could saw through the tape with the slotted end of the jack handle. No, the jack was stowed, along with the spare tire, under a cover screwed down with a wing nut, forming the floor of the trunk.
As he kicked about in his efforts to escape, Matt's feet hit a blanket stuffed into the corner of the trunk. He heard a dull clunk and remembered the sack of emergency tools. He'd bought them after one of Jennifer's faultfinding comments, this one about him being unprepared for a road emergency. He pictured the contents in his mind's eye. A pair of jumper cables, a fire extinguisher, a can of Fix-a-Flat, a roll of duct tape, and two road flares. Not much to work with and not a sharp edge in the bunch. Except ... The only flares he'd found in the store were a version favored by police and highway patrol, flares with a spike on one end to be stuck into asphalt. If he could get one of those flares out, he might scratch through the tape on his wrists.
Matt squirmed and turned his body with agonizing slowness until his bound hands reached the bundle. His shoulders ached, his back muscles cried out, and every breath brought fresh pain in his ribs. He strained against his bonds, cutting off the last bit of circulation to hands already numb. When the car hit a bump, he was thrown back and had to start the process again. As he reached the point of total exhaustion, Matt got one hand inside the folds of the blanket. He flexed his fingers in a vain effort to restore feeling, then explored the contents of the sack.
Jumper cables. Duct tape—like he needed more duct tape. Where were the flares? There! There's one! His hand closed down on a spike, puncturing his palm in the process. He felt blood coursing down his fingertips. His slippery fingers lost their grip twice before he could grasp the sharp end of the flare.
Matt sawed at the tape on his wrists. Time after time, the point of the spike went beyond the tape and gashed his wrists, adding more blood to the flow from his palm. Soon the work became mindless repetition, leaving Matt to ponder whether he might eventually free himself, only to bleed to death from his self-inflicted slashes.
As he labored, Matt wondered if praying would help. He was a little out of practice. A lot out of practice, if he was honest about it. But he figured if there was ever a good time to pray, it was now. They say there are no atheists in foxholes. He was pretty sure the same thing went for persons bound hand and foot, locked in a car trunk, on their way to death. There was nothing to lose. God, I don't know how to ask this, so I'll just say it. Please help me. Was there something else he was supposed to say? Oh yes. Amen.
Matt's aching shoulders cried out. Nothing was working. He was about to give up when he felt the tape's grip on his wrists loosen. Had one strand separated? He worked furiously now, sawing through more layers, until at last he felt his hands come free.
Matt pulled the remaining tape from his wrists. Sharp stabs of pain signaled the resumption of blood flow into hands too long and too tightly restrained. He struggled to move his fingers, but at that moment they might as well have belonged to someone else. He flexed them and bit his lip in pain as restored circulation brought fire to his fingertips.
Now Matt fumbled with the tape that encircled his head. He took a deep breath, winced at the pain it caused, and steeled himself against what he knew was next. He ripped away the tape with a continuous unwinding motion that felt as though it took not only his day-old beard but also a layer of skin and a good portion of his hair. Tears coursed down his cheeks. His face felt like a pound of hamburger. But this was no time to stop and feel sorry for himself.
He reached down to free his ankles and felt more of the painful, electric tingle as blood flowed to his feet again. He'd done it. He was free. But how was he going to get away?
The car moved slowly now, probably taking side streets. Matt was certain that once his captors stopped, his chances of escape were somewhere between slim and none. He had to do something and do it quickly.
He could think of only two options. He could arm himself with something like the spike end of a flare or the fire extinguisher and fight his two assailants, counting on the element of surprise to help him overpower both of them. The second option was to try to escape before his captors reached their destination. As far as Matt was concerned, the choice was obvious.
But how was he to escape his steel prison? He remembered that, when he bought the car, the salesman reached into the trunk and pointed out the emergency release. Matt hadn't thought much about it then, just recognized that it could be a lifesaver for a child accidentally locked in a trunk. Well, he wasn't in this trunk by accident and he wasn't a child, but that release just might save his life ...
Excerpted from STRESS TEST by Richard L. Mabry Copyright © 2013 by Richard Mabry. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted April 18, 2013
Who better to write a medically based fiction novel than a retired physician? Full of suspense and drama, Stress Test is a novel to curl up with on a rainy evening and enjoy in one setting! Readers will find the fact based medical knowledge so spot on, you'll need to remind yourself that this truly is a work of fiction! Often times authors slip and miss a fact or two, despite the best of their research. But again, not the case with a book by Mabry, afterall, his full name is Richard L. Mabry, M.D.!
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Posted September 4, 2014
|Horseclan's Border| <br />
To the west of The Great Oak vast expanse of prairie stretches as far as the eye can see. The golden grasses sway in the wind while bountiful prey such as rabbits race through heather and gorse under a wide open sky where hawks soar. With only small hills for shelter, life here is dominated by the whistling wind that blows to the horizon. A small lake provides life for the fast pace residents and when the moon rises silver wolves howl a haunting melody. Unique to this area are the herds of wild horses that roam across it, churning up dust with their power and pride. So it is no wonder that this is the border to Horseclan's territory, the swift and sharp. <br />
Hey everyone! Just clarifying the borders of each clan with a little narrative. Remember to patrol your borders daily and attack another clan by posting here and then at their camp. Feel free to have border crisis' to spice things up! <br />
~ Horseclan's Border: Lilywolf, Original Pact Clan Organizer.
Posted June 30, 2014
I've read Mr Mabry's books before and really enjoyed the fast paced, real-life medical knowledge that a retired
surgeon brings to the table as a writer. The illegal elements sometimes required suspended disbelief, but that's
also commonplace these days and no reflection upon his skill as a writer. A male writer writes well-written men, but
not always well-written women. I feel that Mr Mabry's is still working on writing strong female characters and the
situations in which they find themselves.
I would recommend this book if you like reading fast paced medical thrillers with elements of faith.
I received a copy for review from NetGalley, but my thoughts are mine alone.
Posted May 26, 2014
Posted December 9, 2013
Posted October 22, 2013
This book - while a fast, cheap read - was ruined for me by all of the God and Faith talk. I'm not an Atheist but I'm certainly not someone who reads novels in order to learn a less about faith. Also, the ending was not wonderful. I wish the summary offered had been more forthright about the faith-centric stance of the writer as I think it was not addressed on purpose. Poor form.
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Posted August 12, 2013
By: Richard Mabry
Matt Newman is a doctor at the wrong place at the wrong time. As his life slowly unravels, Sandra Murray, a lawyer, is there to help pick up the pieces. But can they figure out who is out to get him before it’s too late? Someone is going to great lengths to see him dead. Who is it and why do they want Matt out of the picture? This story will keep you turning the pages until the end.
What happens when you are a lawyer and a Christian? Sandra must come to grips with her profession and her Christian walk. How can she defend people who may not be innocent? She believes that everyone deserves the best possible defense.
Matt hasn’t prayed in a long time. But, with his life falling to pieces around his ears, he figures he’d better start. He is kidnapped, escapes, but then is accused of murder and arrested on a drug charge. Along the way, it seems only God and Sandra are on his side. Matt confesses to his brother Joe that he thinks God is mad at him for ignoring him over the years. Joe tells him, “Even when you’re ignoring Him, He’s not ignoring you.”
This is one of the best medical suspense stories I’ve read in a long time. You will love this book with Mabry’s descriptions of the crime scenes, the evidence trails, and following Matt’s case from beginning to end as Sandra investigates the charges and Matt works in the emergency room when he’s not in jail. Unexpected twists take you through Matt’s journey, interwoven with faith truths and discoveries. Can Matt leave it in God’s hands and not worry? Can he trust that God is in control? Matt learns it is hard to do that on the best of days, but with the days he’s been having, it gets easier knowing there is someone on his side helping him to overcome. I look forward to reading more stories by Richard Mabry!
Posted May 21, 2013
This book is good but not my favorite. I didn’t a lot of things from this book, but it doesn’t mean that it has a bad story line, it just means that for me it could have been better. Because of this I took way to much time than I normally take on a book.
First, I didn’t like the way the book it’s narrated. This book is narrated into 3rd person and I don’t like books like that at all because it makes me feel like I’m just watching a movie or drama, and for me I like to be the character and to feel it. Second, the first two chapters it jumps for character to character and that just got me confused. An third, in the first chapter when he is kidnapped to me it was not like an “OMG! He got kidnapped!!!” it was more like an “Oh. He got kidnapped.” What I mean is that it is a thriller but not the thriller that I grasp for.
Overall, this book is a really fun read. I recommend it to anyone who’s just looking for something to past the time. It has romance, suspense, and medical stuff. So you will enjoy it, maybe more than me. And on a final thought, the author did do a really good job at bringing what he wanted, but for me I could expect a little more.
This has been a review for the book Stess Test by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. I received this book free from BookSneeze as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted May 13, 2013
From the first paragraph of Stress Test you are placed in the life of Dr. Matt Newman, a surgeon just coming off a long shift. You feel the tiredness, you pull out your car keys in the parking garage, and then attackers grab you from behind and you feel the cracking pain of breaking ribs as they throw you to the concrete floor.
"Lets get him in the trunk," says the voice. And they bind Dr. Newman with duct tape and lock him in his own car's trunk.
This book does not let up, and you won't put it down.
When a body is found in the same trunk that Dr. Newman barely escapes, he is a "person of interest" in a murder. Dr. Newman meets attorney Sandra Murray, and the story just gets better as the mystery becomes more intense.
Sandra is an amazing character. Confident, smart, and Christian, I loved the way she looked out for Dr. Newman. I knew she was going to be my favorite female character when she said to Matthew "You're not on your own. I'm with you. We're a team." I loved watching her look out for him...coming to the hospital to pick him up after he worked late, making sure he went to the hospital after there is an attempt on his life. And there are multiple attempts on his life.
Dr. Newman himself is a person we grow attached to- we love his passion for helping people through medicine and his desire to be proven innocent.
The ease with which his old girlfriend Jennifer dumped him provided comic relief that was also tragic...she was so selfish, yet still tragic.
Matthew's relationship with Sandra was right, and realistic, growing out of their desire to see him acquitted of several crimes. Several. You saw that right. By the middle of this book, they are framing him for more than this one terrible murder.
And you are hoping that he lives through it.
Thank you Dr. Mabry for writing a book with danger, mystery, suspense and a very subtle hint of romance that grows out of caring love, the way it should. I am waiting for Heart Failure next!
I received Stress Test from the awesome book tour service Litfuse for this review. Thank you for the chance to read this book!
Posted May 11, 2013
I wasn't sure what to expect, but this did not disappoint. I am generally a slow reader, but this was a super fast read for me! The story was not too technical, but yet left me wanting more every time I stopped reading it. The characters were very relate-able and very memorable. A doctor whose entire life was turned upside down, and how he builds it back and who helps him get there. I couldn't predict the ending but was happily surprised and recommend this as a good quick read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2013
I tend to drift toward reading romance novels, so "Stress Test" was a nice change of pace. I really liked the suspense of the book, but I wish the author has stayed away from trying to mix romance in because I don't believe he did a particularly good job.
Matt Newman is a doctor who has sold his private practice and is planning to move into a teaching position. However, one night on his way to his car, he is ambushed and kidnapped but eventually manages to escape. In the hospital recuperating from a head injury sustained during the kidnapping, Matt learns he is the prime suspect in a woman's murder. Matt secures the services of lawyer Sandra Murray, a strong Christian, and goes to fight for his life and reconnect with his faith.
Overall, this is a great suspense novel, and it's clear the author has a medical background because of the way he describes Matt's work. What annoyed me about this book was the fact that immediately when Sandra is introduced, her thoughts are said to center on settling down and building a family - so stereotypical. Additionally, Matt and Sandra develop feelings for each other over the course of the book, but the author spends so little time discussing this, it's kind of jarring near the end when they finally discuss their feelings for each other. I realize they had to maintain a professional relationship, but it's still awkward.
This is a worthwhile read - I just wish the author would work on his romantic writing :)
Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson.
Posted April 24, 2013
When I knew this book was by Dr Mabry, I knew I was going to like it, and he didn't disappoint. Stress Test might be what the main character is experiencing, but you are going to feel the stress while you page turn to get to the answers.
What poor Dr Matt Newman experiences in this book, should not happen to anyone. Just when you think things are about to be cleared up and start to get better...boom...they don't! If he were a cat, he would be down to life Number 8.
The main question is "why", why are all these things happening to him? He is charged with murder, and someone or some people want him dead. Where can he turn? Seems like all the people he counted on are not there for him, except he does have God on his side. God also seems to be putting people in his path, during these trials, that are trying to bring bring him back Home to Him.
Enter Sandra Murray, a beautiful redheaded, spitfire of a Lawyer. She belongs to God, and is not interested in any relationships where she is unequally yoked. Will she be able to help Matt?
From one page to the next you will be on pins and needles, but it is a great read. Don't miss this one!!
I received this book through Litfuse Publicity Group, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted April 23, 2013
In the book market you will find a number of successful authors who write in the medical thriller genre. Authors who are doctors and can write with authority from a medical standpoint. However, if you prefer to limit yourself to reading works written by Christians, your selection begins to shrink. Awhile back I saw that a retired physician (and his picture looks the epitome of a gentle, kindly family doctor) was now in the playing field of physicians who write medical thrillers published by Christian publishing houses. I could hardly wait to get my hands on his new book, Stress Test. His name is Dr. Richard L. Mabry.
I was not disappointed because from the first page, the author caught my attention with dynamic and fast moving action. This work is not a stroll through the halls of some grand research hospital or the vying for attention by some cute nurse for that handsome, intelligent, and wealthy doctor. No, this tale involves a kidnapping, attempted murder, emergency room action, skilled surgery, doctors and lawyers, and a variety of characters from the shady side of life. It is written with skill and will draw the reader right into the unfolding drama. Dr. Mabry writes with the authority of an experienced and skilled surgeon without the mumbo-jumbo of an overtly medical expose.
The main character, Dr. Matt Newman, awakens from being kidnapped to find himself accused of murder. The story follows his and his attorney's struggle to exonerate him of charges and stay alive in the process. Through these trials, Matt finds himself being drawn back to the faith of his childhood.
I found the characters well developed and interesting and the story plot exciting, suspenseful, and medically interesting.
This is a fast paced, enjoyable read that I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to review. I look forward to future books by Dr. Mabry and hope to be among his select reviewers.
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DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy of Stress Test was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the author and publisher, Thomas Nelson to facilitate my honest review without obligatory constraints for a positive report.
Posted April 20, 2013
Stress Test is another stellar suspense novel by Dr. Richard Mabry! The beginning was so suspenseful and immediately drew me in. With every page, it seemed that clues were discovered and then another twist was thrown in to muddy the waters a bit more. It wasn't until the very end that things really came together for a neat conclusion.
Matt was an interesting character. I liked that this book focused on a male character—unlike many of the novels I read. Matt had a lot going wrong in his life and his attorney, a doctor friend, and brother are three characters who really step in to serve as friends and confidantes throughout the story. These additional characters make for a more well-rounded story. I loved how the faith elements wove through this story—and among all the characters—so naturally.
The one aspect that disappointed me a little was the end. There were a couple of things that didn't completely make sense to me. BUT the rest of the book was so good that this didn't really detract from all the positive aspects of the books. Once again, I really enjoyed this novel by Mabry and look forward to reading others by him in the future! [4 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson & Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Posted April 16, 2013
In order to appease his girlfriend, Dr. Matt Newman is giving up his private practice and heading to a career in academic medicine. After his last night at his practice, his life definitely changes but not in the way he’d expected. Matt is kidnapped on the way to his car. When he wakes up in the hospital hours later he finds he’s also been charged with murder. Shortly after this, his girlfriend dumps him. It seems his life is headed downhill quickly.
Enter Sandra Murray, Matt’s new lawyer. She believes Matt is innocent and will stop at nothing to help prove this. She won’t let him just give up, she makes him fight to clear his name even when it seems like the cards are stacked against them. With her help, Matt endures and overcomes the hardest time of his life.
This book is filled with suspense and mystery from the very first chapter; there are twists and turns that I was completely unprepared for. Night after night I found myself turning pages (rather swiping the screen of my iPad) late into the night. If it weren’t for my need for sleep, I would not have put it down. The action just kept coming without any of the lulls that can make you get bored with a book. I really enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.
Posted April 11, 2013
Dr. Matt Newman is suddenly kidnapped on his way home from the hospital. The kidnappers intend to kill him but Matt manages to escape- or so he thinks. He awakens in the ICU with injuries only to find he is being charged with murder. His carefully planned life may be erased all by a single incident. His only hope may be in a woman who swore she would not deal with doctors again.
Stress Test pulls you straight into the action, wasting no time. While this approach can sometimes cause an air of confusion and disconnection from the characters, this proved not to be the case for this novel. Despite starting off with characters already in the middle of their own crises, it was quite easy to connect with them and I loved how realistic they were in their actions and emotions.
Being sort of a medical suspense book and with the protagonist being a doctor, the story also included quite a few "mini stories" of individual medical emergencies. I found this to be quite a fascinating break from the main plot, almost serving the same purpose that poems or quotes do in some other novels. And yet they still pulled into the main theme and even the non-medical based happenings had their own twist with the meticulous yet rhythmic attention to detail. An excellent suspense novel featuring its own unique voice.
Posted April 10, 2013
This is a terrific book! It is very well-written, easy-to-read and engaging. I found the characters to be well-rounded and the story just sucked me in. I couldn't put it down! I highly recommend this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2013
What would you do if while walking to your car after a long night at work, you suddenly found yourself being beaten and thrown in the trunk of your own car? What if you managed to escape only to find yourself waking up in a hospital accused of a murder, you are quite certain you didn't commit? What if all the evidence seemed to point to you and everything you claim had happened, can't be proven?
Welcome to the life of Dr. Matt Newman! He was about to begin a new job as assistant professor of surgery at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and give up his private practice. He was in a thriving relationship with Jennifer who worked for the District Attorney and was making plans to marry her and begin a family. Just when it all seemed like everything was going his way, he found himself being kidnapped and the last words he recalled hearing before being thrown in the trunk of his own car was "Get rid of him."
Matt did what he had to before they were able to follow through with his plans and managed to escape into a dark alley. When his captors finally gave up trying to find him, he managed to fall off a pile of pallets and wound up in the hospital with a head injury that required surgery. It's when he woke up that life changed in an instant. Suddenly the police were there asking him about a body they found in the trunk of his car along with his wallet. Despite Matt's pleas for innocence, the police believed they had an iron clad open and shut case against Matt for the murder of one of his colleagues. They informed him that he might want to obtain a lawyer.
Sandra Murray considered herself one of the best criminal defense lawyers now they she branched out and formed her own practice. When she received Matt's call from the hospital, something told her that despite all the evidence piling up against him, he might just be innocent. Knowing that everyone deserves a chance at being represented, she agrees to take the case and before long, it seems as if Sandra is finding a hard time, believing that Matt didn't commit murder based on the evidence that keeps working against him. No matter what he claims, there is no proof that anything Matt claims really happened to him.
In the novel Stress Test by Dr. Richard L. Marby, M.D., the author once more takes the readers through the world of medicine to an intense thriller when Matt is wanted for murder. All of those around him, suddenly wonder if he is really innocent. His girlfriend fears that being associated with a possible murder suspect will put her own career at the District Attorney's office at risk, his future job is placed on hold until Matt's case is resolved which means he is literally out of a job with no viable way to pay for a defense attorney. What is even worse is that the people who are out to kill him are still out there and soon Matt learns that he is the next victim. They won't be allowed to let him escape again.
I received Stress Test by Dr. Richard L. Marby, M.D. compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and received no monetary compensation for a favorable one. This is the second book, I've had the opportunity to review one of his fictional novels and LOVE every single minute. It is heart-stopping and adrenaline rushing excitement from the very first page. While you have a guess at what could be going on, you won't believe the unbelievable ending. For those that LOVE a bit of medical drama along with a touch of romance and suspense, you'll definitely want to pick this one up. It's definitely a 5 out of 5 star winner and I literally stayed up too late to finish it. I just had to know how it ended. I couldn't wait for morning.
Posted April 8, 2013
Dr. Matt Newman has his life on track: he is trading in his hectic surgical practice for the prestigious position teaching medicine, and he is in a relationship that is heading towards marriage. But everything changes for Matt when he is kidnapped in the hospital parking garage. Somehow he manages to escape the kidnappers and ends up in the ICU. When he wakes up he learns that he is a prime suspect in a murder investigation, a woman's body was found in the trunk of his car with his wallet underneath her. And to make matters worse, his girlfriend breaks up with him, and his new employer reconsiders the job offer leaving his world completely turned upside down.
Someone wants Matt dead and he doesn't know who or why ... all he knows is that he is innocent and being framed for the woman's murder, and he's scared for his life. Just when everyone has given up on Matt, feisty Defense Attorney Sandra Murray steps in and takes on his case. Can Sandra prove his innocence before the hired killers get to him, or before he is wrongly sent to jail for a murder he didn't commit? Proving his innocence is going to be a stress test for Sandra and Matt!
Stress Test is a fast-paced page turning medical suspense thriller that immediately grabs the reader's attention. Author Dr. Richard L. Mabry utilizes his extensive medical experience to weave a riveting multi-layered tale written in the third person narrative with enough drama, suspense, murder, medical terminology, and twists and turns that keeps the reader engaged and guessing what will happen next. The reader can't help but follow along as Matt's faith is put to the test while Sandra works towards getting him exonerated for a crime he didn't commit, only to have someone trying their hardest to stop her efforts by trying to kill him.
The storyline has a nice mixture of medical thriller, romantic suspense, and Christian faith that flows seamlessly throughout the story and isn't overly done. With interesting characters, dialogue and interactions; a richly descriptive setting in Dallas; and a riveting mystery storyline that will keep you guessing until the surprising conclusion; author Dr. Richard Maby's masterful storytelling makes Stress Test a must read for medical thriller fans!
Posted April 8, 2013
Now I see why this book is called Stress Test because it was stressful to read! Richard Mabry had me in suspense the entire book until the very end. I could not stop reading until the mystery was solved and even then, it completely blew me away.
In retrospect, I can see the foreshadowing of what happened in the end but I had no clue as I was reading why Dr. Matt Newman was being targeted because there appeared to be no motive. Usually I have some indication but in this case I saw no connection; thus a true mystery!
Matt Newman’s life is turned upside down beginning with a kidnapping and then a series of misfortunes that land him in the hospital, in jail and afraid for his life. Even worse, the woman he was considering marrying won’t support him and chooses instead to protect her job at the D.A.’s office. The one person he usually finds comfort in is thousands of miles away. His attorney Sandra Murray shows him an usual amount of attention and he wonders if she does this for all her clients, or just him.
Stress Test is full of twists and turns and every time you think that Matt is on his way to being exonerated, Detective Grimes, who seems to be out to get him, finds more “evidence” to put him away. Matt’s faith is tested and while he has drifted away from God, he has no choice but to call on him in his darkest hour.
Richard Mabry’s medical background is evident with all of the terminology and practices used in the hospital portions of the book. An author who used to be a Doctor is the perfect storyteller for a book with a Doctor as the main character. It gives more life and truth to his words.
Stress Test is a page turned that will keep you guessing, and frustrated, and rooting for Matt until the very end!