Tuesday, July 31, 2012

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥: The Magruder Transplant by Jack Chase

Release Date: May 19th, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published)
Page Count: 276
Source: Complimentary copy provided by Katherine Stone (the author's beautiful wife and partner in crime) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thanks, my dear!)

A dying cardiologist is in desperate need of a donor heart that no one believes will become available in time to save him. An innocent young woman is brutally raped and murdered in a crime whose trail has long-since grown cold, and the state's most powerful political figure, its senior United States senator, hides his son from the authorities investigating the crime.

It is the relentless convergence of these disparate threads, that drives the narrative of this emotionally-intense romantic thriller, unraveling a web of deception, blackmail, and murder and ultimately revealing the tragic secret that lies at the heart of The Magruder Transplant.
What Stephanie Thinks: Medical thrillers shine proudly with books like The Magruder Transplant paving the genre. I enjoyed this book profoundly. Jack Chase, who is a doctor himself, really does well with its medical aspects; they're very realistic and accurate. He explains medical phrases and conflicts in Layman's terms to make them not only understandable, but also compelling. Chase's voice is descriptive, but only to a necessary point; it definitely isn't overly flowery, which is just the way I like it.

The mystery of Pace Magruder's shady heart transplant donation emerges and becomes troublesome, not to mention suspicious, when he won't just give the issue up, like the doctors and the donor's family will him to. In wanting to repay the donor's family, he discovers a scandalous inconsistency that puts the power over the state's most powerful man straight into his hands. Pace is a cardiologist, so he knows his stuff; his expertise, wit, and collaboration with Courtney, an investigator who herself, won't let go of a case that everyone else wants closed, propel him to solve the obscure secret once and for all... if he can even make out alive.

I love how there are a several different plots, including Pace's heart transplant, Courtney's determination to solve the rape and murder case, and the corrupt senator's scheme to cover up his tracks, as well as his own shocking revelation along the way. All of these little storylines come together to create the big picture of The Magruder Transplant seamlessly. 

The minor romance thread was a little far-fetched. I feel Pace's relationship with Courtney should have developed way further before they went at it as lovers. It does show well their character traits—Pace, the lady killer and Courtney, the attractive, lovable girl—but frankly this novel would have good even with the romance storyline spared.

Deep in subject matter, but simple in structure, this book is fast-paced, clever, and a solid, engaging read. The mystery, like I said, is extremely complicated, but Chase's effortless tone prevents it from being confusing; his style is very clear, which I was impressed by. With delightful plot twists, wry humor, scintillating suspense, and realistic, scary-yet-real-life dialogue, The Magruder Transplant is a gripping novel that surprises until and satisfies at the very end.

Stephanie Loves: "'I'm afraid it might be over,' [Courtney's father] said [of his latest love interest, Widow Johnson].
'I'm sorry. Anything I can help with?'
'I doubt it. She was really into kinky sex.'
'I mean a woman who weighs more than two hundred pounds.'
'You'd think she'd try to be a little genteel about things.'
'There is no Widow Johnson, is there?'
'I have wonderful memories of your mom, sweetheart. That's all I need.'"

Radical Rating: 8 hearts: An engaging read; highly recommended. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥