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Doing Harm

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,969 Ratings  ·  368 Reviews
“It's amazing that there are so many different ways to die in a hospital that have nothing to do with being sick…”

Steve Mitchell, happily married with a wife and two kids, is in line for a coveted position at Boston's University Hospital when his world goes awry.His over-reaching ambition causes him to botch a major surgery, and another of his patients mysteriously dies. S
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by St. Martin's Press (first published February 1st 2014)
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Stephen King
Best damn medial thriller I've read in 25 years. Terrifying OR scenes, characters with real texture.
Dec 15, 2013 Marvin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads, suspense
Now this is what I call a medical thriller!

Doing Harm is Kelly Parsons' debut novel and it is an excellent start for the physician turned writer. In fact I would call it the best medical thriller I've read since Robin Cook in his Coma days and that's going back a bit.

The premise involves surgeon Steve Mitchell who is seen as an excellent doctor looking forward to an outstanding future. But a bad call in judgement threatens his career. When one of his patients dies after what seems to be another
Dec 05, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, debut
My sincere thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan publishing for the opportunity to read Doing Harm" before its February 2014 debut.

As a fan of both Robin Cook and Michael Palmer I was thrilled to learn there was a new doc on the block. Kelly Parsons, a board-certified urologist has proven himself worthy to join this team. Parson's medical knowledge is apparent from the get-go as he explains treatments and procedure like any good doctor should.

Stephen Mitchell, Chief Resident at prestigious Boston Un
Mary Beth
Mar 24, 2014 Mary Beth rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 03, 2014 Christine rated it liked it
Things are going great for Chief Resident Steve Mitchell. With the help from his outgoing and charming wife Sally, he learns he is a top candidate for his dream job in Boston after he completes his surgical residency. However, when a patient under Steve’s care dies, his job prospects are less secure. With the help of a friend, Steve tries to get to the bottom of some suspicious events going on in the hospital, but he puts himself and his family in the targets of a dangerous killer.

This is a uniq
Jul 07, 2015 Trinity rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
I was really excited to read this book because of the amazing reviews. I'm wondering how many of them were paid for it. I'm sorry but this book was ridiculous. First of all I feel like the author has no respect for women. The not very pretty and emotionless wife, the hot crazy murderer, the pale and anorexic ocd lawyer, the other anorexic date at the dinner party... wtf seriously?

Then we have Louis.. if you're going to write about a Marine, do it right. Once a Marine, always a Marine. You never
Ryan Dejonghe
Jul 23, 2014 Ryan Dejonghe rated it it was ok

“Like a good CSI episode.” That’s how one of my friends described this book. I agree with him. The writing was capable, informative, and overall entertaining. However, the plot was entirely predictable and the female characters had no umph.

What got me to read this book was Stephen King’s quote, “Best…medial thriller I've read in 25 years. Terrifying OR scenes, characters with real texture.” This reminds me why Gabrielle Zevin’s character A.J. Fikry called these blurbs “the blood diamonds of the
Nov 30, 2013 Angie rated it it was amazing

James Patterson meets Atul Gawande
Dr. Steve Mitchell is a senior surgical resident at a prestigious Boston hospital with excellent prospects for a faculty position at the institution’s medical school. He’s married to a wonderful wife and has two delightful children. Life can’t get much better. Then his patients start dying, and Steve realizes that the deaths are not accidents. Steve has to stop the deaths before his professional future is irrevocably destroyed…but he can’t tell anyone what is ha
Linda Strong
Mar 13, 2015 Linda Strong rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Dr. Steve Mitchell is a bright young surgeon who has a brilliant future ahead of him, that is, until patients start dying all around him.

The psychopath who has latched onto him is revealed really early in the book. Her reasons why are as twisted as her mind. She wants to play a game .. a game in which more people are going to die if he can't stop her. And she is good, very, very good at what she does.

The book has the feel of Fatal Atraction. There were moments, especially toward the end that my
Cathe Olson
Apr 04, 2014 Cathe Olson rated it it was ok
It seems to be a new trend that professionals in certain fields try to write novels that takes advantage of their knowledge. I recently read Snapshot, a law-type thiller which was written by a former Federal prosecutor--and now this one, a medical thriller written by a urologist. While these authors have a lot of knowledge on what they are writing about, they are unforunately not writers.

In the novel Doing Harm, the plot is pretty ridicolus, the characters are one-dimensional, the killer is rev
Judy Collins
A medical thriller, which kept me listening, on the edge of my seat, until the end of the epilogue and closing interview with the author. A gripping debut for a major fiction career for Parsons!

The audiobook narrator, Robert Petkoff, was a solid reader with a soothing voice, and his performance of some of the patients - a total riot with his sarcastic tones and character private thoughts. Would highly recommend the audiobook, as a narrator can make or break a book, and in this case, Petkoff had
Feb 04, 2014 Jimmmunchel rated it it was amazing

By Kelly Parsons.

There are many ways to die in a hospital…being sick is only one of them.
What a great tag line for what I consider to be the best medical thriller written in the past 20 years. Talk about doing my best to get through the day and after everything quieted down getting back to the medical infra structure .that makes DOING HARM by Kelly Parsons work so well.
Chief resident Steve Mitchell is a doctor with big plans for himself. He has a wife who spent many years in human res
Feb 04, 2014 Dianne rated it really liked it
How long has it been since you’ve read a good medical thriller where the main character is being railroaded, patients are suffering and dying needlessly and even though the psychopath responsible is known to the reader, there really doesn’t seem to be a way to prove it? Dr. Steve Mitchell is an excellent surgeon with a bright and promising future who thrives in the operating room until one fateful surgery begins a downward spiral in his career and his confidence. When he continues to make mistak ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Ben rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2014 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Is there an alternate ending? I mean the entire story was remarkable especially for an author's debut novel. He carries the reader through the entire book at breakneck speed. At the end though, he lost his rhythm and the story falters from there. It was a cop-out ending which only got worse. If I was his editor, I would have handed back the manuscript and told him to redo it - make it believable.

What does the Bible say about pride? That it goes before destruction? That is the case with Dr. Mitch
Jordyn Redwood
Mar 06, 2014 Jordyn Redwood rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 16, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Dr. Steve Mitchell is a good surgeon. He is also in charge of training the new medical students. Steve is hoping to also further his career. If all goes right then, Steve will have everything...great career, wife, and children. Sadly, luck is not on Steve's side. First his patient goes into kidney failure and his next patient, he almost kills. It seems that there is something more sinister happening at the hospital like a serial killer that wants to teach Steve a lesson.

This book did not read l
Marilyn Rondeau
Jan 28, 2014 Marilyn Rondeau rated it it was amazing
Steve Mitchell, chief resident at a prestigious teaching hospital in Boston has everything going for him. Ambitious, intelligent, confident and at the top of the heap for a coveted job to join the faculty - his future is practically a given! But in the space of a few days, a patient dies, a simple surgery turns into a disaster, and Steve realizes a killer is on the loose in the hospital. Indications are pointing in his direction, and Steve is aware he is being set up by a cold blooded psychopath ...more
Apr 01, 2014 Nicolle rated it did not like it
Did not finish. Oh, Dr. Parsons, I was so excited to read your interview in BookPage. I thought that we'd finally have a fresh voice in the medical thriller genre, but I was disappointed. The protagonist wasn't the least bit sympathetic, there was gratuitous sex and profanity throughout, and the antagonist (along with their motive) was revealed just halfway through. That's when you lost me. I could have handled any one of these shortcomings on its own, but the combination did me in, making me lo ...more
A Book Vacation
Jan 21, 2014 A Book Vacation rated it really liked it
To see my full review:

This was a good mystery novel, but it takes a while for it to really get going. From the get go we are immersed in Steve Mitchell’s life, learning about his daily routine, his hopes and fears, and his extreme talent for surgery. He has a great life, though perhaps he’s a little too cocky about his abilities, which in turn causes him to begin making mistakes--mistakes that cost lives and put him under intense scrutiny and his job on the line. It's very
Feb 04, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This is a great audio. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys thrillers. The plot had so many twists and turns, I never knew where it was headed next. I hope this author writes another book.
Feb 05, 2015 Isabel rated it really liked it
I almost gave up on this book because the beginning was so slow and I found myself wondering if there was a plot to the story (I listened to it in audio form). Then chapter five happened and everything changed! Wow! This was a medical roller-coaster thriller. I loved the realistic medicine stuff not to mention the diabolical antagonist! Even my husband couldn't help but listen along when he entered the room, then he would ask me later about the parts he had missed. I wanted to rate this 4 1/2 st ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Kristen rated it it was amazing
You'll be hooked on the first page in this thrill ride for debut author Kelly Parsons. I had the privilege of reading this via Netgalley with his debut medical thriller, Doing Harm. Told in first person and in real time, you'll be taken in with action-packed, page-turning, adrenalin-rushed novel. Dr. Stephen Mitchell is an upcoming surgeon in a prominent university hospital with a promising career as a medical professor. He loves his career as a surgeon and his family, too. When when he meets me ...more
Jenny Maloney
The author of this novel is obviously an intelligent dude. While some readers may find medicalese a difficult language to navigate, I thought it made this thriller waaaay more thrilling than it would've been otherwise. When our main character, Chief Resident Steve Mitchell, is up to his elbows in tumors and delicate procedures, it's hard to look away. You feel every placement of Steve's instruments in this story and Parsons does a pretty good job of explaining all of the procedures and the stake ...more
Jul 20, 2014 Mary rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Pretty entertaining, to my surprise, if rather far-fetched. I've been an RN for nearly 30 years and have almost always worked in a hospital setting, in fact for the last 14 years I have worked at a teaching hospital, so I felt a sneaking sympathy for Dr. Mitchell as one thing after another went horribly wrong with his patients, even if a lot of it was his fault. I didn't buy the killer's motivation and Evil Abilities at all and the Secret Squirrel stuff with the resident who used to be a Special ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

I am giving this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. This book took quite plot twist and turns which kept the pages flying. While some readers may find some of the medical scenes a bit too realistic, I loved what those details brought to the story. This book was written by a doctor and the surgery scenes definitely were a
Dec 01, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in exchange for a review. Gripping from beginning to end. Told from the first person, the narrator is a brilliant but flawed man who seems to have his life in order. Steve attempts to balance a budding medical career and a wife and family. It appears as if he is able to balance it all until a new intern appears and sets into motion chaos, death and destruction.

The intern exploits Steve's weaknesses and easily manipulates him, setting him up for medic
Megan Treseder
Jun 09, 2014 Megan Treseder rated it liked it
A diverting thriller that distracted me on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The only problem that I had with it was that even I figured a lot of things out before the main character, and that is unusual. I love the surprise and the "gotcha!" moment at the end of a good thriller or mystery, which was kind of lacking here. It was a fascinating look into the world of medicine, specifically surgery, and the detailed accounts of surgical procedure were surprisingly not boring.
May 03, 2015 Lebra rated it really liked it
Really good read. I especially like the use of effective and accurate medical terminology. As a Surgical Tech, I completely felt like this could be my day in the OR. The storyline moved at an easy pace and I would recommend this book for all medically inclined.
This isn't my usual genre of reading material, so I don't have any points of reference to really review it. Parsons not only writes as a doctor, but is one. I'd say one-third of the medical description was fine because it was necessary to the plot, but another third made me squeamish and the final third put me to sleep. This isn't a "who dunnit" because that's revealed pretty on. I thought the villain was painted with too wide a black brush.

There were red herrings that were never fleshed out and
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KELLY PARSONS is a board-certified urologist with degrees from Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins, and he is on the faculty at the University of California San Diego. He lives with his family in Southern California. This is his first novel
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“The moment we’re born, we start dying. We spend our lives dying.” 2 likes
“The moment we’re born, we start dying. We spend our lives dying. Some of us just get there sooner. You never know when you might hop off the local and end up on the express to death. Think about it.” 0 likes
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