Kirkus Review for Grievous Bodily Harm renews my faith

 

TITLE INFORMATION

 

GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM

 

A Toni Day Mystery

 

Munro, Jane Bennett

CreateSpace (292 pp.)

$15.00 paperback, $5.99 e-book

ISBN: 978-1481218993; June 22, 2013

 

BOOK REVIEW

 

Sassy pathologist Toni Day shines in this modern-day mystery of corporate shenanigans and hospital politics.

Within hours of taking the reins as an administrator at Perrine Memorial Hospital, the slick but charismatic Marcus

Manning begins pressuring Day to resign. When she resists, demanding details about the alleged complaints regarding

her job performance, Manning implies an alternative solution: If she’ll have sex with him, she can keep her job. Shortly

after this conversation, he offers the same deal to another female physician, kicking off an involved campaign of

blackmail and extortion—until he drops dead at the company picnic, the victim of a toxic lemonade. Finding herself a

suspect in the case, Day throws herself into clearing her name and revealing the real killer. Little does she know that

she’ll find more than her reputation at risk. As she gets closer to the truth, she confronts a killer whose vengeful plans

allow for plenty of collateral damage. The villainous Manning is almost too evil—he lies, he cheats, he sexually harasses

co-workers, he abuses his wife, he beats his children, etc.—which makes for an impressive array of plausible suspects

for his murder, though it detracts from the quality of his own character development, which elsewhere is expertly

nuanced. Dialogue is fresh and witty: “Beauty is only skin deep, but asshole goes all the way to the bone,” Day quips

early on in the book. Award-winning author Munro (

 

Too Much Blood, 2012, etc.) worked for years as a pathologist, and

her experience lends authenticity to the work. Overall, plotting and pacing are satisfying, though some of the plot twists

strain believability; for instance, how many times can one man be surprised that his private conversations were recorded

on a hidden cellphone? There are other minor missteps, including the shockingly permissive attitudes of the police, but

the effect isn’t too troubling, and the strong, action-packed conclusion will likely leave readers wanting more from this

talented writer.

A smart, enjoyable summer read.

Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media LLC, 6411 Burleson Rd., Austin, TX 78744

indie@kirkusreviews.com

These guys didn’t like Murder Under the Microscope at all, and said so in no uncertain terms. So either they used a more sympathetic reviewer, or maybe I really am a better writer now!

Or both.

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