Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: Do No Harm by Robert Pobi

by Robert Pobi
Release Date: August 9, 2022
2022 Minotaur Books
Kindle Edition; 432 Pages
ISBN: 978-1250793645
ASIN: B092T9F97Q
Audiobook: B0B61ZVLD4
Genre: Fiction / Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher

4 / 5 Stars

Lucas Page is a polymath, astrophysicist, professor, husband, father of five adopted children, bestselling author, and ex-FBI agent—emphasis on "ex." Severely wounded after being caught in an explosion, Page left the FBI behind and put his focus on the rebuilding the rest of his life.

Lucas Page's wife Erin loses a friend, a gifted plastic surgeon, to suicide and Lucas begins to realize how many people Erin knew that have died in the past year, in freak accidents and now suicide. Intrigued despite himself, Page begins digging through obituaries and realizes that there's a pattern—a bad one. These deaths don't make sense unless the doctors are being murdered, the target of a particularly clever killer. This time, the FBI wants as little to do with Lucas as he does with them so he's left with only one option—ignore it and go back to his normal life. But then, the pattern reveals that the next victim is likely to be...Erin herself.
My Thoughts
Do No Harm is the third book in the Lucas Page thriller series, and in this one Lucas is still recovering from the events of the previous book.  An astrophysicist by profession, he has this interesting way of looking at the world, almost disdainful and condescending, but something I though was hilarious, as people struggled to keep up with a mind so sharp as they struggled to see the patterns and thoughts that flitted through his mind so easily.  Missing an eye, arm, and leg meant that people who didn't know him often misunderstood him or underestimated him and I loved those interactions, as exasperating as they could be for a reader.
While Lucas has no interest in getting involved in another case, it inevitably find him when he attends a medical bash and discovers that a high amount of doctors have committed suicide or have died through natural causes the previous months.  As he begins to delve deeper, he begins to see patterns that no one else sees and this is where the action takes off.  Once it gets going, the author certainly knows how to keep up the tension and suspense and I had a hard time putting this one down.  Plus, I worried for Erin, being part of the medical community, and that something terrible was going to happen to her.  Having read the previous books, I know the author is not afraid to have terrible things happen to his main characters.  
The writing style was riveting as well, as the author blends action with humour and family life, but this actually adds to the tension as you develop empathy for the characters and start to worry that something might happen to one of them.  It was fast-paced, and as soon as I began to relax a little bit, something happened and sent the action flying along again. To be honest, this was a mixture of thriller, suspense, police procedural, and family life all rolled into one great story.  
Lucas is a bit difficult to get to know and I don't think I would have felt as much empathy for him if I hadn't read the previous books as he comes across as aloof and a bit snotty.  He doesn't connect very well with others and you only see the genuine person when he is with his adopted kids and his friend who watches them when he is working.  He and Erin work very well together as she is kind and compassionate and often tells him to play nicely with others; their interactions constantly make me smile and I believe are used as comedic relief from the high tension of the other scenes in this book.  We do get to see those rare moments when Lucas lets down his guard, and I have to appreciate the author's skill when he lets us get a glimpse of the real Lucas.   

Do No Harm was a clever, action-packed suspense book with much needed levity thrown in through family interactions.  Personally, I can see this series on Netflix or Amazon Prime one day, and I was visualizing who would play the main characters as I read.  The plot was interesting and the character development was good, and I am happy to say the twists and turns led me down a merry path so I had difficulty figuring out the answer to this one, although I had my suspicions.  I really enjoy Lucas Page as a main character as he has such a unique personality, and I am curious as to what will happen to him next. Hopefully, there will be a book four in this series.



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