Elaine's Reviews > STIGMA

STIGMA by Philip Hawley Jr.
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's review
Nov 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: kindle, medical-thriller-medical-drama, mysteries-thrillers-suspense
Read from November 01 to 03, 2011

Practiced doctors in a United States children’s hospital are stumped and cannot make a diagnosis when unbeknownst to them, a rogue vaccine is given to young Guatemalan patients. The company that released the vaccine will stop at nothing to keep it hush. Involved is someone working at the children’s hospital, someone who just about sold his soul in a weak moment and doesn’t know what he’s gotten himself into.

Because of Dr. Luke McKenna’s aggression, it would be easy for him to be framed for much of the crime and for local detectives to finger him as the guilty. He takes out a massive steroid-taking ex-football player in the hospital's ER among other Rambo-like scenes.

The events take some of the hospital’s doctors to Guatemala where a fire breaks out in one of the small villages and where one doctor discovers markings on people of one of the tribes is similar to the marking seen on a small Guatemalan boy in her ER room.

There were parts of the story that seemed to be missing and I found myself wondering “How did we get from there to here?” I’d go back and read it and discover that nope, I hadn’t missed anything. The reader is left a bit puzzled.


I very much enjoyed most of the book however further on, it became replete with a one-man Rambo-esque fight against the bad guys where the main character overtakes a small militia. Seriously? The author took what could have been an amazing book and turns it into something less with this. Why is it the "good" main characters always end up living while the bad guys die? Only in books and on television. Of course, too, Frankie ends up in the United States and Luke gets cleared of all laws that he's broken.

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