books

Gwen Hunter

Books

Dr. Rhea Lynch: Delayed Diagnosis (2001),  Prescribed Danger (2002), Deadly Remedy (2003), Grave Concerns (2004)

See also: Faith Hunter


Dr. Rhea Lynch


Delayed Diagnosis (2001)

Dr. Rhea Lynch fled to Dawkins county South Carolina after her engagement fell apart. Returning home after a camping trip she discovers that her best friend is lying at home, seriously ill, and no one seems to know what happened, and her husband (also a doctor) is keeping her at home and refusing to allow any family or friends to see her.

“Is a doctor legally allowed to permit his patient to vegetate?”

I turned and looked at Mark, his face lit by the overhead lights. Choosing my words carefully, I said, “There is no law that governs the method of care given a patient in a particular medical situation. To create such a law would be to tie a doctor’s hands, legislate medical care, which is half art anyway. So, yes. A doctor can allow his patient to receive less than adequate care.

Looking into her friend’s state seems to have riled someone up, as bad things suddenly start happening.

“I didn’t look at Mark though I know he stared at me. “Did they take anything?”

“I don’t know. It’s your house. But there were some clean places in the dust, so I’d guess so.”

I liked the medical bits in the story, although I did find myself rather horrified at the conditions under which a rural ER doctor is expected to operate.

It was interesting, and I’m glad I read it, but I’m also glad I got it on sale.

Publisher: Bella Rosa Books
Rating: 7/10

Prescribed Danger (2002)

The second Dr. Rhea Lynch mystery.

A couple is rushed to the ER after having escaped from captivity. The woman is in labor and her health makes everyone involved concerned. When it is discovered the couple were forcibly tattooed with racist images, things go from bad to worse.

This is a very interesting story, in that she does not hesitate to kill of children. It’s not that I like stories where children die, but in the situation that is described, children and the elderly would be badly affected.

Because this story is also about an epidemic that hits the area.

I have been fascinated for years by epidemics, and here were get to see the probable protocols put into place, and all the other things that might happen in the case of an epidemic.

Ordinary civil rights could be abrogated at will. If a patient was diagnosed with the atypical virulent pneumonia, now called simply AVP, then he could not sign out of the hospital, could not refuse treatment and isolation, and could not leave against medical advice.

I’m not sure if other people would find those be interesting, but I very much enjoyed reading about all the details. Which is good because I was pretty sure I knew who was behind the Bad Things.

I do like the secondary characters in this story, which again is good because the mystery part was kinda obvious to me. Not that that is inherently a bad thing, but since it isn’t a police procedural, we don’t watch the case building against the criminals and the search for evidence–not really–which does take something away from the mystery.

But like I said, I do enjoy the secondary characters.

Old women in this county have more power than you can imagine. You want something done, just tell a man’s grandma. It’ll be done a lot faster than if you tell the man.

I’m not sure I truly believe that–at least not everywhere–but it’s a nice thing to consider.

Publisher: Bella Rosa Books
Rating: 7/10

Deadly Remedy (2003)

The third Dr. Rhea Lynch mystery.

A faith healer has come to down, and that means work for Dr. Rhea, when people get heat stroke or do stupid things like stopping their medicines. But it’s the case of a quadriplegic that is most interesting–a teen who broke her spine in a car crash.

Add to that a car accident that brings to light some extremely damaged teenagers, and the hospital has problems.

Also, after several weeks away Rhea’s housekeeper has returned.

Face impassive, her head nodded to the counter. “That a bribe? Think you can buy your way outta the mess a’ this house?”

“God, I hope so.”

The mystery was interesting, in that it wasn’t obvious who was behind everything, and things were not quite as I thought they were. Also, there were two different problems that collided only because they met at the hospital, and I thought that was interesting as well.

As I said with the first book, it’s interesting, but I’m again glad I didn’t pay full price.

Publisher: Bella Rosa Books
Rating: 7/10

Grave Concerns (2004)

The fourth (and last) Dr Rhea Lynch mystery.

A lot happened in this book, including Rhea finally deciding if she truly loved Mark or not.

Several things here.

One, I don’t particularly like Mark.

Two, ELI! He’s not precisely the Eli of the Jane books, but he is very very close, including the war service and the tech-whiz younger brother.

Three, I’m not sure how I feel about how things panned out for Risa. I’m glad she got a happy ending, but I’m not sure it didn’t feel forced.

Lastly, the mystery. It was interesting. And awful (what with their being mass murder). I’m also not certain how I feel about Rhea becoming the temporary coroner. I suppose things happen like that in the south, but it still felt weird. But of course that was the only way to get Rhea in on the investigation.

So, interesting, but I didn’t love it, and I’m glad I didn’t pay full price for the books.

Publisher: Bella Rosa Books
Rating: 7/10