Dead Ringer

Dead Ringer

by Allen Wyler
3.9 16

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Dead Ringer by Allen Wyler

Whilst speaking at a Hong Kong medical conference, neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae slips the cloth off a cadaver’s head during a routine medical demonstration, and is overwhelmed by what’s staring back at him: the face of his best friend, Andy Baer. Stunned, McCrae races back to Seattle to discover that Andy is, in fact, missing and may have been murdered by a gang of body snatchers. They operate a legitimate funeral business and make a fortune by selling recovered body parts to medical researchers. McCrae teams up with an unlikely pair—a beautiful but hardnosed female cop and a gang member whose family was victimized by the cadaver ring—to try and expose a macabre web of corruption. It involves law enforcement, politicians, funeral home curators, and …. murdered prostitutes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938231124
Publisher: HighLine Editions
Publication date: 01/01/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 334
File size: 687 KB

About the Author

Brought up in Seattle, Allen Wyler’s parents died early which left him having to wholly support himself through college in a variety of ways – including serving as a drive-in cook and playing drums as a professional musician in various blues and jazz groups. Medicine was his chosen discipline and he went on to have a distinguished career in his speciality, neurosurgery, which he determined on very early in his studies. Serving on the faculties of the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, he earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity. In 1992, he was recruited by the prestigious ‘Swedish Medical Centre’ to develop a Neuroscience Institute. Ten years later, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a start-up Med-Tech company, and now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical centre in the Pacific Northwest.In the early 1970’s Wyler developed a love of reading thrillers, and later decided to leverage his medical knowledge by writing himself. After the publication of his first two medical thrillers, ‘Deadly Errors’, and ‘Dead Head’, in 2005 and 2007 respectively, he retired from full time day to day medicine to devote more time to his writing. He has also served as Vice President of the ‘International Thriller Writers’ organization for several years.He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands, and he continues to develop new plots from real-life situations met during his career. His writing has been described as ‘right up there with the best’ and on another occasion, developing a high-speed plot with a ‘startling but all-too-plausible premise’.

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Dead Ringer 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fast and interesting read. The reason I gave it three stars was because of all the vulgar language on almost every page. I will be the first to admit that i drop the occassional f-bomb and that my language is far from stellar but this book goes above and beyond the boundaries of what is appropriate. The language is appalling and I find it funny that the filthy language starts about one or two pages after the sample ends. Other than the horrible language, it is a fast and easy read. I did feel like some ideas werent fully developed in the book and that the author didnt fully explain things a few times as well. Neat ideas though and quite a fun read.
kopsahl More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by Allen Wyler. It was an interesting story and does make a reader think about how easy it could be for someone to harvest body parts for medical schools for the purpose of teaching. Neurosurgeon Lucas McRae discovers his best friend Andy Baer’s head is on his demonstration table in Hong Kong. At first Lucas thinks he is imagining it but when he gets home he is unable to locate him. His wife and Andy’s ex-wife could care less about what has happened to Andy; Lucas owes Andy to find out what happened. Also on the case is Detective Wendy Elliot who is already hot on the trail of a corrupt funeral director who might just have something to do with not only Andy’s disappearance but a whole slew of prostitutes. How can a small time funeral home be able to provide the amount of cadavers demanded by these huge corporations? The reader is aware just who the killer is and this does not take away from the plot but instead adds intensity. Wyler never goes in depth with the medical details making it appealing to novice readers yet a somewhat complex plot line that will attract even the advanced readers of medical thrillers. The characters are relatable to an average person and while I thought that some parts were a bit weak and the flashing back and forth from past to present to explain some relationships was distracting, I did enjoy the overall story. (ebook was provided by publicist for an honest review)
Humbee More than 1 year ago
I wasn't prepared for the visceral impact it would make on me in the first chapters when Allen Wyler's protagonist, Dr. Lucas Macrae unwrapped his "fresh head" specimen for his brain surgery demonstration in Hong Kong and found the head of his best friend staring up at him. Wow! Huge impact for a novel and a great way to start this one running. It never stopped tearing down the proverbial tracks from that moment. Fast paced and relevant, this one had me on my toes. I've never experienced or heard of any of the matters this book covers so I was reading wide-eyed and riveted! Allen Wyler doesn't let go of his readers. He's not prepared, evidently, to let anyone up for a breath. "Dead Ringer" is non-stop thriller material. The story of body parts delivered for medical study and instruction is as creepy as it is fascinating. The mystery of how the body parts are procured is down right gory and spine shivering. I couldn't get enough of the book. Made me wonder about myself at times to be so fascinated! LOL His characters are crisp and charming...even the criminals are interesting and absorbing. The criminals sit right on the edge of disgusting, but were engaging enough to have kept me wanting to follow everything they were planning and doing. The young police woman was heroic as well as being brilliant and brave. Great role model for the prostitutes she championed. And, Dr. Mcrae was the epitome of a great friend, unrelenting in his search for truth; and, with the unstoppable curiosity of a scientist. Each of these characters was easily worthy of a book of their own so carefully were they drawn for the reader. Allen Wyler is an accomplished writer who takes us to the edge of reality and drops us into a horrendous scenario. Makes you wonder about cremation and donor programs and choosing your mortuary very carefully! This is a medical suspense novel that will find you tearing the pages off as you read scary and moving along so quickly that you can't help gripping the book with blue fingers. Even when I put it down, I was thinking about it and having to talk about it with my husband. A book you have to talk about with others! I highly recommend this one. Can't believe a major publisher hasn't picked it up!
Celticlady1953 More than 1 year ago
Dead Ringer is one of those books that grabs you right from the beginning and does not let you go until the last page has been turned. I started reading Robin Cook many years ago and got hooked on this type of story. Dead Ringer is about the body part business and how a good thing that can help many people with legally donated body parts, turns to something sinister and evil. All for someones greed for money. Allen Wyler is a gifted writer who is able to tell a great story with the knowledge that comes from experience. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as a matter of fact as soon as I finished it, I went and bought the author's first book. Definitely a 5 star in my book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a new author for me. This was a very scary, exciting story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and unfortunately for me I couldn't put it down. Fours hours later I was ordering the next book. The point of view of a neurosurgeon is an interesting one. The problems with government oversight and being mainpulated by law enforcement happens so often now, I could relate.
bybs54 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book...a fast page turner and keeps one wondering. I will be reading more of his books for sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To the writers of the reviews on Sept. 3, 18, and January 8, I love your reviews. So well written without giving away the story. People take notice, this is how a review should be written. I read every word and they convinced me this would be a good read. It was like a breath of fresh air reading a review the way it should be written. Thank you, thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was kinda dull and repetitive
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vivalamama More than 1 year ago
From the premise alone I was excited to read Dead Ringer, and I’m glad to report that I wasn’t left disappointed. You’re pulled into the story from the first page. There isn’t a horrific back-story info dump, or drawn out, worthless descriptions of the setting. From the first page you’re met with a story in motion, nicely blended with description, dialogue, inner monologue, and setting. It was a pleasant change to read a book that moved at a good pace from the beginning. Writers write best when they write what they know, and Wyler did a superb job of doing just that. He has taken his expertise as a neurosurgeon and his love of thriller novels and used it to help craft a fantastic novel. The characters were wonderfully sculpted from the first page, showing us just enough to have the sense that we know them, without boring us with their entire life story. They all have their own voice and mannerisms, their own history and pain. They’re diverse, yet not so much that it would seem impossible for people like that to ever actually interact with each other. The plot pace was spot on, and that of a pro. Never once did I feel a lull in the plot or a moment where I lost my focus on the story. Not having read any of Wyler’s previous works, from his writing I can tell you that he’s a man that studies the craft, and puts what he has learned to good use. The twists come at the precise moment, and some even managed to surprise me. Overall this was a fantastic read. Wyler is a lover of this genre, and has the potential to rise above the rest as an author of the genre. I loved the character development, the plot twists, and idea of the story as a whole. Wyler has taken what, done poorly, could be a very cheesy idea and molded it into what should be a bestselling novel. I would recommend this book to any fan of thrillers, suspense, and even mystery. **I received a free copy for review
Laurie-J More than 1 year ago
The book opens with gifted Neurosurgeon Lucas McCrae at a conference in Hong Kong. He is there to demonstrate a new procedure he developed and perfected. However, he gets a severe jolt when he discovers what appears to be his best friend’s head on his demonstration table. Lucas returns home only to find his friend Andy missing and nobody but Lucas seems concerned about this disturbing news. This story was easy to read and highly addictive. Once I began I did not want to put the book down because I was kept fully engaged. Lucas quickly became obsessed with finding Andy. This obsession led him finally to put together enough of the puzzle that one police detective began to suspect a correlation between a case she was investigating and Andy’s disappearance. Before long, Lucas and Sergeant Wendy Elliott are working jointly to unravel the baffling case. Meanwhile, Lucas must also contend with an unhappy marital situation that is swiftly deteriorating. The main villain in this story is positively inspired. Never have I encountered a fictional character so utterly slimy. Bobbie Ditto is an odd duck who works out an ingenious money-making system that perfectly fills a high-demand niche service. He takes recycling seriously and believes whole-heartedly that he is actually providing a much-needed service to society. He will terrify you. Lucas is a loyal friend, and as the narrative unfolds bits of his past come to light that help us understand his tenaciousness. In fact, all the main characters get similar treatments. Not to excess, but enough so that motivations and personality conflicts do become better understood. The story ended well; I felt satisfied and replete by the end. I received this book free from the author’s publicist in return for my honest review. Except for the free digital book, I received no additional compensation of any kind. Reviewed by Laurie-J
JBronder More than 1 year ago
We start when Lucas is preparing to use a cadaver’s head to teach other neurologists a specific technique. When he uncovers the head, he is looking at his best friend, Andy. Becoming obsessed, he questions the courier about where the head came from. He also tries to get his wife and Andy’s ex-wife to check on Andy since he cannot seem to get him on the phone. When Lucas gets back to Seattle, he keeps looking for Andy. Not finding anything, he finally goes to the police to report a missing person. Detective Wendy Elliot used to work the streets as an undercover prostitute to catch John’s. While on the street, she become close to one of the girls, Lupita, when she was saved from a possible rape. Something has happened and Lupita has disappeared. There was a strange SUV that was called in to the police in an alley by where Lupita was working. The SUV belongs to Ditto’s Funeral Home. After interviewing Robert Ditto, something about him catches her eye. Wendy knows he had something to do with Lupita’s disappearance and is going to find out what. Robert Ditto came from a family of undertakers that had little. He is obsessed with not wasting anything and money. Since he runs a funeral home, he discovered that you can get good money for a cadaver. He has a plan where people can sign up to have the body donated to science for whatever experiment. When done, the body will be returned and cremated for free for the people. He targets low-income people with little money to help build business. But business is good and he has more requests for bodies than he can fill. This is a really good thriller. I feel for Lucas and Wendy. They are both trying to find someone that they care about that no one else does. Lucas also has been fighting with his wife and this just adds more fuel to the fire of things that are pushing her away. The only thing that I didn’t really like was the ending. It was very abrupt and probably would happen in real life. But it felt too abrupt. It almost felt like there was no other option to end the book. Beyond that, this is a really good book. I read Dead End Deal and really liked it. I enjoyed Dead Ringer and will probably read more of Allen Wyler’s books. If you like medical mysteries/thrillers, check out both of these books. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.