The Inquisitor: A Medical Thriller
Peter Clement has been writing medical thrillers for a number of years, utilizing his experience as a hospital emergency room physician to bring an edge-of-the-seat feeling to the events that he describes so succinctly and realistically. Clement does not pull any punches in his descriptions of his medical procedures, and his novels require our undivided attention. Always a good writer, he has polished his rough edges to the point where he is becoming an A-list thriller writer. His latest, THE INQUISITOR, featuring Dr. Earl Garnet, firmly ensconces his position there.
THE INQUISITOR opens with a terminally ill cancer patient being relentlessly questioned by a voice, whispering in the dark, asking her to describe what she sees during the final moments of her life. As the story unfolds Garnet begins to notice a pattern --- a cluster, if you will --- of deaths at St. Paul's Hospital, which leads him to suspect that someone on staff may be prematurely terminating the lives of patients. The hospital and its staff, already stressed by the SARS epidemic, is at a breaking point, and virtually everyone --- even trusted members of Garnet's own emergency room staff --- is a suspect. What Garnet does not suspect is that his investigation, initiated with the intention of protecting the innocent, is directly putting members of his staff at risk --- and his wife, pregnant with their second child, is ultimately in the greatest danger of all.
THE INQUISITOR is, quite frankly, impossible to put down. It is by far Clement's best work, a heart-racing thriller that leaves the reader guessing the identity, and motive, of a diabolical murderer until almost the very end.
For those readers heretofore unfamiliar with Clement, and Garnet, THE INQUISITOR will make true believers of them. Recommended.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 28, 2004