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Tuesday 19 January 2021

Tropical Doubts by David Myles Robinson


It's January 2021, after the most awful 2020, so the Hawaiian setting of this courtroom drama was a welcome contrast to our horrid miserable wintry British weather: sand, warm sunshine, glistening waves and jolly Hawaiian shirts. The backdrop really cheered me up!

However, there's a tragedy in the folds of the brightly coloured shirts and holiday weather: a medical procedure gone wrong, leaving a patient (Giselle) in a vegetative state. The grieving husband (Manny) wants to sue for malpractice. Pancho Gonzalez is the man to take on the job. Despite being a criminal defence lawyer, losing three cases in a row means he's got to up his game somehow. Not only that, Manny and Giselle are old friends and like family to him. All in all, time to add another string to his bow. But then it all goes a bit pear-shaped when one of the attending doctors dies suddenly and Manny is accused of his murder. Pancho not only has to prove Manny's innocence but also has to win the malpractice case. 

What a well-written, well-edited (oh, how that delights me!) medical legal thriller. It's sharp, well-dialogued, well-characterised. I'm overloading the 'wells' here, but this had me firmly engaged from the start to the twist-in-the-tale finish. I even learnt a few Hawaiian words and phrases along the way. 

A smart, polished and very accomplished novel. Mr Myles has taken up residence in my 'read more of' list.

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