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Monday 2 January 2012

The Surgeon's Blade by Faith Mortimer

I have said this twice before when reviewing Faith’s books, and I will say it again, because the compliment is warranted all the more.  There is no doubt that Faith is well on the way to becoming the 21st century Agatha Christie.  Christie’s Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple will live on for many years;  look out for Diana Rivers who will be making her name as a modern-day, fictional amateur sleuth.  She appears in two of Faith’s books as well as this one and this is one more mystery for her to solve.

Pretty blonde nurses are going missing and being stalked in two hospitals – in London and in Southampton…..

Libby Hunter is a pretty blonde nursing sister working in a Southampton hospital – a perfect employment location to pursue her love of sailing.  Not only does she get to sail in prestigious yacht races, but she can indulge her passion in the sport with her new yacht-owner boyfriend, Nigel, a prominent, successful, wealthy, good-looking and eligible surgeon.  However, a head injury sustained during a race on Nigel’s boat gives Libby two dilemmas – temporary amnesia and an attraction to the helicopter rescue pilot who transports her to hospital for treatment.

As Libby’s memory gradually recovers, she becomes confused by Nigel’s behaviour and actions and by her feelings towards her hero pilot whose support is becoming invaluable.  If that wasn’t enough, she is further unsettled by an intruder into her home one evening – worrying because nothing was stolen or disturbed…….in the meantime, the hospital stalker is stepping up a gear….or two….

This is a page-turner that keeps you on your toes.  Why does Nigel keep disappearing to his London flat?  Why is his ex-wife there?  Why is Robert so supportive, yet mysterious, especially about the attractive woman and baby Libby sees him with?  Why is the gentle, amateur dramatics aficionado, but uncommunicative hospital porter, Peter, so worried about Libby?  What is troubling him about his sighting of the stalker?  Each time you are led down a path of suspicion, you are diverted down another.  If you think you are going to outwit this author, think again.

Faith is a very methodical and organised author.  Her attention to detail is impeccable.  Her knowledge and/or research of the sailing fraternity and amateur dramatics is detailed and faultless.  Faith sets an immaculate scene and no stone is left unturned.  She carefully makes each character believable and imaginable and the dialogue is natural and uncontrived.  The result is a perfectly flowing, effortlessly readable and thoroughly enjoyable book.

This is the third of Faith’s books I have read (see The Assassin’s Village and Children of the Plantation) and all I can say is, well done, very well done once again, Faith.  Next please! 

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