You may remember this post from last year in which I talked about LCC and CJ Lyons and her debut, Lifelines. Left Coast Crime, being the one and only con I've attended to date, is still one of my favorite experiences of recent years. And the authors I met there were wonderful people.
Well it's time again for another CJ Lyons release. Each new installment to her series literally blows me away. Her work stands out for me for a number of reasons, the primary one being that she's a great writer. It's as simple as that. She's a great writer. The second reason is that I love medical thrillers. I always have.
Robin Cook and Michael Palmer were the two biggies in the genre when I started reading them in the early 90s. As I buzzed my way through each one, I couldn't help but wish that I were smart enough to enter the medical community and solve some great medical mystery. Alas, I am not. The sciences as pertaining to medicine were never my strong point in school.
One of the great things these authors did (and still do, and this includes Lyons), in addition to creating fabulous intense plots, was to explain things in a way that made me feel as though I understood them. I might never be able to enter an operating room and perform brain surgery, but the medical thriller heavyweights made me think I understood it all -- without making it feel as though I was sitting in a classroom.
Medical thrillers then got a big push with the premiere of ER in 1994. I watched all of two seasons before I felt as though the stories were being rehashed. My interest was briefly renewed in 2000 with reruns, but not for long.
And now we have Grey's Anatomy, which is wonderful. It's still one of my favorite shows on tv. I think there's more variety than on ER. I'm sure others would disagree, but that's how I feel. You get equal parts medical mystery, drama, and personal stories.
Something happened, though, back there before Grey's began airing, where it seemed as though medical thrillers were not as prevalent on the bookshelves as they once were. I'm not sure if no one was writing them or if they just waned in popularity for a while, but my well of new medical thriller reads seemingly dried up. Palmer and Cook are still out there, but I wasn't finding any others for a while.
But now I have CJ Lyons! Her depth of character is one of my favorite things about her Angels of Mercy series and Urgent Care, the latest release, is no exception. Here's a bit about the book for you:
Nora has been hiding a secret from those around her. It's been two years, and she's told almost no one about the terrible assault she managed survived. But when a fellow hospital employee is found, murdered and brutally abused, Nora is sure that she could have prevented it simply by telling her story. Determined to help police solve the murder, she finally comes forward, but with the killer still out there, everyone knows that Nora could still be a target. Meanwhile, Lydia receives some shocking news about her own past, Gina struggles with her family, her career, and her new status as hero, and Amanda must solve a medical mystery that has so far stumped all of her colleagues.
Each new part of the series delves deeper into the characters' lives. I was hooked after reading just a few pages of Lifelines and I am happy to say that Lyons has never let me down since. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Urgent Care officially hits shelves today and I recommend you run out and buy it now. Don't wait! As an added bonus, just in case you still need convincing, CJ has included an excerpt on her website, so you can get a little taste before you buy.