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Medical thriller set in SOUTHERN ENGLAND

27th May 2022

Do No Harm by Jack Jordan, medical thriller set in Southern England.

Medical thriller set in Southern England

The blurb for this book on Amazon doesn’t give much away because I think this is a hard novel to review without giving a spoiler. The simple premise is that Dr Anna Jones, a very skilled and experienced surgeon, who has found her niche at fictional Redwood Hospital, arrives home one day and discovers a number of men, probably of Eastern European origin, in her house. They are installing surveillance equipment and they have advised her that they are holding her son hostage and have also killed his childminder, her neighbour.

What do they want? They want her to kill the patient on whom she will be operating over the weekend, a top secret assignment, as he is a high profile politician and potential future leader of the Labour party – Prime Minister one day, perhaps. If she acquiesces, she will see the safe return of her son.

Phew, that is a powerful opener. Of course, the reader doesn’t know how Dr Jones will respond. Will she kill her patient? Does she even have what it takes to make the decision? How will she marry her lioness care of her son with her moral compass?

She is being trailed by investigative duo Conaty and Ryan who have a whiff that her child has somehow gone missing, atthough she hotly denies it whilst she assesses what to do; Conaty certainly is following her instincts. Her superior, however, is not buying her surmised version of events. The child is supposed to be on holiday with his uncle in the West Country but even the uncle is being evasive and side-stepping the police’s demands for an interview.

Dr Jones is an efficient woman, she likes to be in control – a valuable skill in the operating theatre. But she is a woman who has a foible, however. She suffers from trichotillomania, compulsive plucking of hair, so she pulls and pulls to relieve stress and she is in fact without eyelashes because of her affliction. She is therefore a woman who is not all she seems. She is also in the midst of a break up with her husband, so there is a lot going on for her long before this particular trauma is foisted upon her. What an utter and scary mess all round.

There is a lot of surgical detail.. and blood. It all feels authentic and the tension is kept at a good constant. It is set over approximately one week in early Spring 2019 and because the story progresses almost hour by hour, there is a good sense of bristling pressure on the main character. I listened to this as an audiobook and found it a gripping listen.

Setting is not strong.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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  1. User: Yvonne @Fiction_Books

    Posted on: 27/05/2022 at 8:14 am

    I find that when a book has quite a small physical footprint, the setting often isn’t that strong.

    Similarly, when the location names are fictional and I have to try and second guess where they might be, because I really do want to know, that also can make the setting and sense of time and place, very weak for me!

    Great review though, I do enjoy a good medical thriller, even though I am scared witless of hospitals and have a really bad phobia about them.

    This one is definitely heading for my ‘wish list’ xx


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