Monday, February 3, 2014

Staff Review: Death Without Cause
Wahlert High School and University of Iowa graduate Pamela Klauer Triolo now lives in Texas.  When she emailed the Library last summer to ask if we’d like to accept a copy of her first novel, I was pleased to find Death Without Cause was already on our shelves.  Now that I’ve read her book, I’m equally glad to report that I want to read The Imposter, the next title in her planned series of health care mysteries featuring nurse Santos Rosa, but it doesn’t have a release date yet.

Robin Cook and Tess Gerritsen are authors of medical thrillers I’ve read in the past.  Pamela Triolo compares favorably; a bit less graphic and a touch more cozy.  All three authors use their medical backgrounds to give an insiders’ view of health care settings, professional ethics and politics. 

The first chapter of Death Without Cause begins with Santos and fellow nurse Patrick Sullivan facing a tense code blue emergency when a local public figure scheduled for a routine knee replacement begins hemorrhaging.  The following chapters alternate from Santos’ point-of-view to the thoughts of an unnamed hospital employee who is plotting a deadly game for patients.  I like that many of the chapters are relatively short; some are less than a page long.

Triolo’s cast of characters and well-plotted storyline kept me absorbed.  The good guys weren’t perfect, and the bad guy wasn’t inexplicably evil.  His motivation, if not his identity, was revealed as the story progressed.  There was a balance in not only the characters, but the action as well.  Details of Santos’ family life and friendships counter the riveting medical action.  Triolo’s time spent working in hospital is evident in her knowledgeable account of how staff respond to unexpected and unexplained problems for patients.  If I ever end up in a critical care situation, I’d want a team like Santos’ co-workers from the Texas Medical Center in my corner. 

The descriptions of Houston reinforce my desire to visit Texas someday; I’d like to attend the Nutcracker Market.  Maybe Pamela Triolo will be there autographing copies of her next book.

 - Michelle, Adult Services

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