fatal rhythm

WWRW: Fatal Rhythm by R. B. O’Gorman

It’s Wednesday!  What are we reading?  What is Jessica reading?  What are all the WWRW readers reading?  Make with the clicky to find out!


I just finished Fatal Rhythm by R. B. O’Gorman.

Sweet cover, right?  Fatal Rhythm is a medical thriller.  From the back:

In the pre-dawn hours of the graveyard shift, the ICU at the Houston Heart Institute is quiet, and quietly, patients are dying. Surgery resident Joe Morales must survive a two-month stint in an ICU rife with land mines—unexplained patient deaths, rival faculty, fellow-resident saboteurs, a cost-slashing administrator, a ruthless insurance executive, a seductive head nurse, a jealous wife, a critically ill son, an overprotective mother and an orderly distraught over his daughter’s death. Joe knows that an outstanding performance will secure a coveted cardiovascular fellowship. He must determine the cause of the suspicious deaths to salvage the career he’s always wanted.

Another powerful character is Dr. De La Toure, the head of the Houston Heart Institute and Joe Morales’s hero/nemesis.  Okay, nemesis is too strong a word, but you know how humans tend to pick someone to look up to and want approval from?  Yes, I just ended two phrases with prepositions.  Get over it.  I’m trying to.  Anyway, you know how we do that, humans?  Dr. De La Toure is that person for Dr. Morales.  Much of the plot is enriched by the interplay and complexities between these two characters: without spoiling much, Dr. Morales is shown in all the important facets of being a man–as son to a father-(figure), husband and father.  That piece was handled particularly well and came to a very heartwarming finish.

Speaking of finish!  This one had me guessing “whodunit?” up to the very last minute.  There were clues all over the place, and as soon as I thought, “Aha!  I know who’s the murderer!” that person would be exonerated, and then when we finally did discover the antagonistic forces behind the deaths, it was the kind of surprise that had me kicking myself for not having figured it out already.  All this makes for a satisfying ending.

I also loved the relationship between Morales and his wife.  I practically cheered out loud when the very things that would look like flaws, failings and imperfections in our characters were the very things that came to the rescue in the end.  I found this a lovely illustration of how humans may not be perfect, but we are valuable–a living tenet of Catholicism.

Speaking of Catholicism!  Our Lady of Guadalupe and the traditions around celebrating her played a prominent part in Fatal Rhythm.  This was done with a gentle hand steeped in culture, and the contribution this made to character development throughout the story was powerful–and believable.  Frankly, you don’t get that with most faith-based fiction.

If you’d like to read more about the author, I interviewed him on this Seven Quick Takes post.