“A refreshing read without vulgarity or profanity, Critical Condition is an insightful and suspenseful thriller.”
Dr. Shannon Frasier, renowned surgeon and faculty member at Southwestern Medical in Dallas spent the last 10 years dedicating her life to her career. In med school her "almost fiancé" Todd was shot down and killed before her eyes. Shannon was totally helpless and determined never to feel that powerless or devastated again.
Shannon hosts a dinner with her boyfriend Dr. Mark Gilbert for Dr. Le Duan Kai and his wife. They are celebrating Dr. Lee's success at finishing his residency. Loud bangs erupt, and Shannon runs out into her front yard only to spot a victim of a drive-by shooting. The extent of the man's wounds prove fatal, and once again Shannon is powerless. She wonders about the victim's identity and why he is killed on her property.
A long interrogation exhausts Shannon, and just as she settles in for a good night's sleep, she receives a call from her ne'er do well sister, Megan. She is sobbing, asking Shannon for a place to stay. She and Tony Lester, the man she lives with, got into a fight, and Megan is now afraid of him.
The next day when Shannon returns home from work, she is confronted by Megan aiming a gun at her. Her face holds the look of terror. Is Megan, a reformed alcoholic and addict to pain killers capable of killing—even though she was recently released from rehab as sober?
Throughout all this chaos, Shannon's pastor father is diagnosed with leukemia. How much more is Shannon able to take?
Always in control, Shannon is helpless in her current situation. She lost her faith after Todd's death and now realizes she can only trust Mark and God. Relying on his deep belief in God, Mark proves to be her rock. He is frustrated by their relationship for he wants Shannon to marry him, but she keeps putting him off.
Mark Gilbert's character is somewhat farfetched. A strongly religious man, he never loses his patience or gets angry, which is implausible. One example of this is: "At first Mark wondered if he should encourage Shannon to ask God for strength and direction. If he caught her just right, it could be a great opportunity. Then again, if his suggestion hit her wrong, it might undo any progress she's made in that area. He settled for ‘What can I do?’"
Dr. Mabry is the author of several medical dramas, all with strong inspirational undertones, demonstrating faith while not being preachy. He offers many scenarios that are aptly described so a layperson is able to understand the activities in a hospital setting. A refreshing read without vulgarity or profanity, Critical Condition is an insightful and suspenseful thriller.