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Monday, April 8, 2013

Stress Test by Richard L. Mabry, M.D. (Book Review / Nook HD Contest Giveaway)

In association with Litfuse Publicity Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Stress Test by author Richard L. Mabry, M.D.!

Book Review

Stress Test by Dr. Richard L. Mabry, M.D.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publishers
Publication Date: April 9, 2013
Format: Paperback - 320 pages / Kindle - 628 KB / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 1401687083
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller

BUY THE BOOK: Stress Test

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Litfuse Publicity Blog Tours.

Book Description:

They may not have enough evidence to convict him, but they have enough to ruin his life.

Dr. Matt Newman thought he was leaving his life in private practice for a better one in academic medicine. But the kidnappers who attacked him as he left his last shift in the ER have no such plans-they just want him dead. Bound and in the trunk of his car, Matt's only thought is escape. He does so, but at a price: a head injury that lands him in the ICU . . . where he awakens to discover he's being charged with murder.

Sandra Murray is a fiery, redheaded lawyer who swore she was done with doctors. But when Matt calls, she knows she can't walk away from defending someone who is truly innocent.

Matt's career is going down the drain. His freedom and perhaps his life may be next. But with the police convinced he's a murderer and the kidnappers still trying to finish what they started, finding the truth-and the faith to keep going-will be the toughest stress test Matt has ever endured.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Dr. Matt Newman knew all about the high. He’d experienced it many times. The high was intoxicating, even when the low inevitably followed. Of course, sometimes there was no high at all, no pleasure, only the sadness, the melancholy. How many times had Matt asked himself if it was worth it?

It began tonight, as it frequently did, with a phone call that rolled Matt out of bed after less than an hour’s sleep and sent him speeding to the hospital. A teenager lay bleeding to death from internal injuries, the victim of a car crash that killed the girl riding with him.

Tonight, Matt’s efforts were rewarded with a high unmatched by anything from a glass, a bottle, a syringe. Tonight there would be no heartbreak of telling a grieving family your best hadn’t been enough to save their loved one. Tonight, Matt could savor the high—at least for a little while. This case was a good way to go out, to leave private practice behind.

But already Matt’s exhilaration was giving way to fatigue. His eyes burned. His shoulders ached. His mouth was foul with the acid taste of coffee left too long on the hotplate. He was running on fumes.

The pneumatic doors closed behind him with a hiss like an auditory exclamation point. As Matt moved from the brilliance of Metropolitan Hospital’s Emergency Room into the mottled semi-darkness of the parking garage, he imagined the weight of responsibility slipping from his shoulders. Tomorrow, Tom Wilson would take over his patients and his practice. Tomorrow Matt would assume his new position as assistant professor of surgery at Southwestern Medical Center here in Dallas. He’d teach medical students at Southwestern, and instruct residents at Parkland Hospital, always emphasizing not only the science but the art of medicine. Matt knew he had a lot to give. He could hardly wait.

One of the benefits of the new job was supposed to be a more structured life: less on-call time, responsibilities shared with other faculty members, assistance from residents in patient care. Matt was looking forward to the change, not just for himself, but for the way it might benefit his relationship with Jennifer.

Matt couldn’t give up medicine entirely—he’d invested too much of his life in it, and it remained a passion with him—but he also felt a passion for Jennifer, perhaps even loved her. She was beautiful, witty, and fun to be around. She might be "the one."

It wasn’t hard for Matt to spot his silver Chevy Impala in the darkest corner of the deserted garage. There weren’t many cars still there at two a.m., and soon there would be one fewer. He fished his keys from the pocket of his white lab coat and thumbed the unlock button on his remote. His hand was on the door handle when something yanked him backward and cut off his air in mid-breath. Matt dropped the keys and reached up with both hands to pry at the arm that encircled his neck.

In an instant Matt was slammed facedown to the cement floor. He heard a crack and felt the knife-like agony of breaking ribs. The searing pain in his chest made each labored breath more difficult. A weight pinned him to the ground like a butterfly on a specimen board.

Matt struggled, but his assailant held him fast. Fire shot through his shoulders as his arms were yanked together. There was a quick rip of tape and in seconds, his wrists were bound tightly behind him. Rough hands encircled his ankles with more tape, leaving him helpless and immobile. At the same time, someone else grabbed his hair and lifted his head. Matt gave a shrill cry before three quick turns of tape muffled his voice and turned the world black.

He tried to lift his head, but stopped abruptly when something hard and cold pressed against the back of his neck. Matt lowered his face onto the garage floor and went limp. He felt hope escape like air from a punctured tire.

There were murmurs above him, questions in a high-pitched singsong, answers from a harsh rasp like grinding gears. At first the words were indistinguishable. Then they became louder as the exchange heated. 

"Why not here?" Was there a faint Hispanic accent to the whining tenor?

"The boss said not at the hospital." The growling bass flung out the words, and spittle dotted the back of Matt’s neck. "I know just the place to get rid of him. Let’s get him into the trunk of his car."

In the darkness that now enveloped him, Matt struggled in vain to move, to speak. He strained to hear what was said. He could only make out a few words, but they were enough to drive his heart into his shoes. "Get rid of him."

He angled his head to catch the sounds around him: a jingle of keys, the sharp click of the trunk lock. Hinges squeaked. Matt had a momentary sensation of floating as he was lifted, carried, dropped. His head struck something hard. Splashes of red flashed behind his closed eyelids, then vanished into nothingness.

Matt floated back to consciousness like a swimmer emerging from the depths. How long had he been out? Hours? Minutes? A few seconds? At first he had no idea where he was or what was happening. Little by little, his senses cleared. He tried to open his eyes but there was no light. He tried to speak, but his lips were sealed. He cried out, but the result was only a strained grunt. Finally, he heard the faint sound of voices from inside the car, a menacing rumble and a high-pitched whine. The voices brought it all back to him.

He was on the way to his death. And the trunk of his car would be his coffin.

My Book Review:

Dr. Matt Newman has his life on track: he is trading in his hectic surgical practice for the prestigious position teaching medicine, and he is in a relationship that is heading towards marriage. But everything changes for Matt when he is kidnapped in the hospital parking garage. Somehow he manages to escape the kidnappers and ends up in the ICU. When he wakes up he learns that he is a prime suspect in a murder investigation, a woman's body was found in the trunk of his car with his wallet underneath her. And to make matters worse, his girlfriend breaks up with him, and his new employer reconsiders the job offer leaving his world completely turned upside down. 

Someone wants Matt dead and he doesn't know who or why ... all he knows is that he is innocent and being framed for the woman's murder, and he's scared for his life. Just when everyone has given up on Matt, feisty Defense Attorney Sandra Murray steps in and takes on his case. Can Sandra prove his innocence before the hired killers get to him, or before he is wrongly sent to jail for a murder he didn't commit? Proving his innocence is going to be a stress test for Sandra and Matt!

Stress Test is a fast-paced page turning medical suspense thriller that immediately grabs the reader's attention. Author Dr. Richard L. Mabry utilizes his extensive medical experience to weave a riveting multi-layered tale written in the third person narrative with enough drama, suspense, murder, medical terminology, and twists and turns that keeps the reader engaged and guessing what will happen next. The reader can't help but follow along as Matt's faith is put to the test while Sandra works towards getting him exonerated for a crime he didn't commit, only to have someone trying their hardest to stop her efforts by trying to kill him.

The storyline has a nice mixture of medical thriller, romantic suspense, and Christian faith that flows seamlessly throughout the story and isn't overly done. With interesting characters, dialogue and interactions; a richly descriptive setting in Dallas; and a riveting mystery storyline that will keep you guessing until the surprising conclusion; author Dr. Richard Maby's masterful storytelling makes Stress Test a must read for medical thriller fans!


About The Author

A retired physician, Dr. Richard Mabry is the author of four critically acclaimed novels of medical suspense. His previous works have been finalists for the Carol Award and Romantic Times Reader’s Choice Award, and have won the Selah Award. He is a past Vice-President of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of the International Thriller Writers. He and his wife live in North Texas.

Stress Test by Dr. Richard L. Mabry ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Litfuse Publicity

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A Nook HD 

Richard Mabry is celebrating the release of Stress Test with a Nook HD Giveaway! Enter today.

One winner will receive:
  • A brand new Nook HD
  • A $15 gift certificate to
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 27th. Winner will be announced on 4/29/13 at Richard's blog.

Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning.

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