Do No Harm
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Do No Harm

3.09 of 5 stars 3.09  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Everyone knows about Virginia: about her stellar reputation as a gynaecologist; about her commitment to her women patients. But does anyone know about the knives? Everyone knows about Faisal too: about his gentle charm and his delight in his family. But does anyone know he's a traitor?
Paperback, 326 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Fig Tree
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Simon Tesler
A compelling and intriguing story, but a little too leisurely in its execution. (A common fault in most modern literary fiction I feel). Readers attracted by the blurb, as I was, may be disappointed to find that the narrative drive only really gets going well beyond the halfway point, after pages and pages of very well-written but ultimately superfluous character background and scene-setting. We are introduced, often in considerable detail, to characters or events which serve no real purpose wit...more
Carol Topolski’s first novel was called Monster Love. It was extraordinary. Dark. Disturbing. Flawed. But still extraordinary.

And so when I saw Do No Harm, her second novel I was torn. I was intrigued, but I was also a little scared.

In the end, of course, I had to pick it up. I found a very different book, but those four words still applied.

Dark. Disturbing. Flawed. Extraordinary.

Do No Harm is the story of a doctor.

Virginia Denham is a doctor at the very top of her profession: she is a consultan...more
Feb 12, 2011 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Darkly funny, incredibly detailed portrayal of insanity. The character Virginia is a literary triumph. My only gripe(s) with this book are firstly the way the story kept jumping back and forth in time and between various characters who are drawn into Virginia's orbit. Early on this was quite confusing. And then there's the implied reason for Virginia's madness: I don't feel her emotionally vacant mother is just cause. However, it's possible a person can be born with madness rather than made, so...more
I was so excited when I saw that Carol Topolski had a new book out. I loved 'Monster Love' and hoped this book would be nearly as good.

It wasn't.

The writing was good but when the cover and the blurb builds up the story (i.e. doctor turns bad) I was, naturally, expecting this to happen early on in the book and for the story to follow along those lines. It didn't - I spent the whole book, it turned out, waiting for something to happen. It did, eventually, but it was a damb squib and thoroughly dis...more

Having not read Topolskis first novel Monster Love, I had no expectations.
I like a good page turner though, and that's what the blurb on the back promised.
No such luck unfortunately.
I had to wade through the long, drawn out first half of the book.
A very, very slow build up to the actual story.
It gathers up some speed towards the end, but the end is predictable and disappointing.
A few medical mistakes, a woman heavily in labour in the third stage springs to mind, think she means first stage!
Tori S
Plodding and was quite a chore to get through as it didn't really hold my attention. I'm glad I read Monster Lovefirst because I don't think I would have read it after this one.
Rita De oliveira
Do no harm, de Carol Topolski, é um dos livros mais estranhos que tenho lido nos últimos tempos. Comprei-o pela capa (again...) mas também porque teria algo a ver com We need to talk about Kevin.

Todo o livro se desenrola em torno de Virginia, uma ginecologista obstetra brilhante, admirada pela sociedade médica e com quem qualquer aspirante deseja trabalhar. Virginia é uma mulher solitária, que vive para o trabalho e que piscologicamente não é assim tão estável, a julgar pelos ataques de apetite...more
Sam Still Reading
Aug 19, 2012 Sam Still Reading rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who enjoy mystery/thrillers
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: liked the sound of the book
I spotted this book in Kinokuniya one Saturday morning, complete with a sticker that said, ‘If you like Sophie Hannah’ (I do – a lot), ‘you’ll love Carol Topolski’. Generally I am somewhat suspicious of these stickers, but my holiday must have relaxed me so I turned to the back cover to read what it was about. It appeared to be about three doctors – Virginia, who has a secret about knives; Faisal, who has been a traitor to someone else and Gilda, who sounds fun-loving but has a secret involving...more
At first the book is very confusing in the very way it's written. One chapter for each character. The book mixes up the years and travels from past to present back to past. After the dizziness of traveling in time, I found myself completely addicted to the story and with a terrible hunger for knowing where the author wanted to bring me. The reading took me a while though. I had to stop several times, finding myself sick and disgusted by what I was reading. The ending was worth putting myself thr...more
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Annabel Kantaria
Creepy, dark and clever.
Strange book, I really enjoyed Monster Love and was so looking forward to this. The writing was excellent but the story line didn't pick up for me until the last fifty pages when it steamed along nicely. The only character I actually liked was Fasail . A darkly written book that took me forever to read.
Virginia is an excellent gynaecologist but has a dark past which affects her interrelationships. Her past comes back to haunt her when she discovers her mother's secret, a discovery that tips her over the edge. Thrilling read with lots of elements, including medical harm, S&M and self-harming.
Amy Jackson
weird but not in a bad way
Intriguing premise. Ambitious. But directionless and ultimately fails to take off (the multiple timelines and storylines, though most of them tie up together, are simply confusing and irritating). What were the editors thinking?
Natalie Richards
I was disappointed in this book having really enjoyed the disturbingly good Monster Love. I did finish it but really couldn`t wait to be done with it as it was very repetitive and could have been at least 100 pages shorter.
Precious Williams
Read this yesterday. The book and its heroine sooooo dark that I was unable to sleep. May have to re-read before I can post a proper review, still terrified. LOL
I must admit that I thought this would be great after 'Monster Love', but it didn't grip me and I ended up wondering why I was reading it. Disappointing!
Not as easy to read as her forst book. Different narrators in different times made it confusing, but it was worth it - a right good chilling yarn in the end!
So disappointing after the brilliant Monster Love.
Sonia Puri
A bit weird for me could not put it down as i was dying to read it. my understanding of it was not all there so wouldn't blame the writer though.3 stars.
What damage is done to our children when they are raised without love? This book is a reminder of the problems that may manifest themselves.
Ursula Kibido
Great reads, have never read any of her books before but I though this was dark and twisted. A flawed character that makes for a riveting read
Wow, so much promise, it was a terrible read. That's several hours of my life I will never get back.
Kellie Kemp
Loved the story it was great.Will be interested to see what other people think of this book.
I wonder what sort of mind this author has to write about such very strange and warped characters!
Elizabeth Sum
Scary...left me breathless in amazement at the perversities the mind is capable of
Colette Bell
WASN'T AS good as Monster Love, but I still liked it alot
Great read! A little disturbing, but a great read.
Denise Lee
A real disappointment I don't even know how to start...
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