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Chop Shop

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  62 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Neurosurgeon Lucas McRae is invited to Hong Kong to demonstrate a specialized surgical procedure. When he removes the formalin-soaked towel covering the cadaver head, Lucas is shocked to see it resembles his lifelong friend, Andy Baer. He convinces himself it can’t be Andy, but upon returning home to Seattle he discovers Andy has vanished without a trace. Lucas resolves to ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Medallion Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Devi Nair
Dec 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks

Check out the complete review at Dead Ringer > Review

Dead Ringer is a thriller with a different concept of crime. The concept of crime goes to a different level and a different logic altogether. The story is nice but it could have been better. It felt a bit slow with not too much action, but only a lot of thoughts and planning. With a bit more of action, it could have been so much better.

The story does not start till almost 60% of the book. Till then, the characters are just speculating and t
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Writers are always told to ‘write about what you know’ and in the case of author Allen Wyler, that phrase hits its mark.

Wyler is an internationally renowned neurosurgeon and he has created a realistic and likeable protagonist in the form of neurosurgeon Dr. Lucas McCrae, the lead character in his latest release, DEAD RINGER. McCrae is a well-developed character with flaws and issues giving him a more ‘average guy’ feel that superior surgeon.

The story begins with a typical medical conference in H
Jessica Bronder
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We start when Lucas is preparing to use a cadaver’s head to teach other neurologists a specific technique. When he uncovers the head, he is looking at his best friend, Andy. Becoming obsessed, he questions the courier about where the head came from. He also tries to get his wife and Andy’s ex-wife to check on Andy since he cannot seem to get him on the phone. When Lucas gets back to Seattle, he keeps looking for Andy. Not finding anything, he finally goes to the police to report a missing person ...more
Allizabeth Collins

After reading Allen Wyler's previous novel, Dead End Deal, I was excited to sample another thriller fit for the big-screen - Dead Ringer - and I was not disappointed! Wyler's ability to capture the reader's attention with the first sentence and hold it until the last is remarkable. I almost did not want to put the book down for trivial things - like sleeping or eating - because I might have lost out on the tension that had been building up. The characters and plot-line were well-develope
Moonlight Gleam
Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story begins with neurosurgeon Lucas McCrae in Hong Kong, about to perform a medical demonstration. Lucas soon discovers that the head that he is using for the demonstration is that of his best friend, Andy Baer. Lucas doesn’t believe what he sees before his eyes, and when returns to Seattle, it’s confirm that his friend is indeed missing.

Meanwhile, Seattle Police Department’s Sergeant Wendy Elliott is searching for her friend who has also gone missing. Wendy wishes she had a better lead th
Babus Ahmed
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When neurosurgeon Lucas McRae goes to demonstrate specialist procedures at a symposium in Hong Kong, he is horrified to identify one of the cadaver heads as belonging to his best-friend, Andy. Could this really be Andy whom he saw a couple of weeks ago looking healthy? On returning to the U.S. he can't get hold of Andy and no one seems to care that he's missing, until he meets Detective Sergeant Wendy, who has been following a trail of missing prostitutes. Could these disappearances be linked?

Brenda Youngerman
This subject matter is beyond deplorable yet Wyler handles the situation with ease. The pages just seemed to turn themself as Lucas McCrae's world is literally ripped away from under him. The characters are believable and I found myself despising the bad guys (exactly what you want to do when you read a good book!)

I loved the fact that Wyler is also a Sandford fan and he mentioned him several times in the book.

I highly recommend reading this book!!
Blood Rose Books
Allen Wyler is a neurosurgeon and teacher of neuroscience and has now decided to try his hand at a medical thriller that will have you questioning what happens to your body after you die:

Dr. Lucas McCrae is a well respected neurosurgeon who has managed to specialize in some very difficult specific surgeries, therefore, he is often sought after to give demonstrations world wide. Right now Lucas is in Hong Kong getting ready to demonstrate the techniques he has mastered, but he has felt a pit in
Holly Full Moon Bites Book Reviews
May have slight spoilers.

I kind of went out on a limb when agreeing to read Dead Ringer and I really wanted to like it. It is not really a genre I read much of (not unless there is a lot of romance in the main plot). I didn’t dislike this book. I want to say that first of all, if you are looking for a straight forward mystery novel I think you might really like this but for me the book was just okay.

The basis of the plot is that there are people (mostly homeless people and working girls) disappe
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Dead Ringer, neurosurgeon Dr. McCrae sees the head of his best friend at a medical conference demonstration in Hong Kong. This is unsettling, to say the least because the last time he saw his friend, Andy, he was alive and well and living in Seattle. McCrae later discovers that Andy is indeed missing. To get to the bottom of it, McCrae gets together with Sergeant Wendy Elliott and a gang member, Ruiz, whose sister is also missing. The three determine that a funeral home is murdering prostitut ...more
Don Sloan
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in awhile, a book comes along that gives you the creeps, right from the start. Dead Ringer is just that kind of book.

"A dark, ill-formed premonition punched Lucas McRae in the gut so hard it stole his breath."

This is the novel's first sentence, and it means trouble for McRae, who finds the severed head of his best friend waiting for him on a dissection table in Hong Kong. McRae is from Seattle, and he just saw Andy not 24 hours before flying to Hong Kong to stage this surgical demons
Kathy Martin
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very engaging and readable mystery. It begins with neurosurgeon Lucas McCrae doing a demonstration in Hong Kong and seeing that the head he is using is that of his best friend Andy. He can't believe that this is possible and the man who brought the heads from Seattle insists that it is not his friend. When Lucas gets home, he immediately begins trying to contact Andy with no success. Andy doesn't have anyone else to care about him. Lucas' wife hates him, his ex-wife hates him, his emp ...more
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Neurosurgeon Dr Lucas McCrae is in Hong Kong to carry out what should be a routine medical demonstration. When he uncovers the cadaver head he is to perform the demonstration on he is shocked to discover it is his best friend Andy Baer. He convinces himself he must be wrong but a niggling concern grows out of control when he returns to Seattle to discover Andy is missing. Elsewhere Detective Sergeant Elliott is looking into the disappearance of a prostitute she has befriended while working under ...more
Darian Wilk
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
From the premise alone I was excited to read Dead Ringer, and I’m glad to report that I wasn’t left disappointed.

You’re pulled into the story from the first page. There isn’t a horrific back-story info dump, or drawn out, worthless descriptions of the setting. From the first page you’re met with a story in motion, nicely blended with description, dialogue, inner monologue, and setting. It was a pleasant change to read a book that moved at a good pace from the beginning.

Writers write best when t
MY Rating 4.5 STARS

The book opens with gifted Neurosurgeon Lucas McCrae at a conference in Hong Kong. He is there to demonstrate a new procedure he developed and perfected. However, he gets a severe jolt when he discovers what appears to be his best friend’s head on his demonstration table. Lucas returns home only to find his friend Andy missing and nobody but Lucas seems concerned about this disturbing news.

This story was easy to read and highly addictive. Once I began I did not want to put the
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Ringer was gripping, entertaining and a welcome addition to the medical thrillers family.

Lucas McCrae is one neurosurgeon you don't want to mess with. Not only is he brilliant, but he's also fiercely loyal to his friends. After the shock of seeing his best friend's head on the demonstration table he's determined to find out not only why his friend is dead, buy also how he died. Lucas is the type of character that you admire. He is down to earth, caring and compassionate. He's your everyday
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This is the first book I have read by Allen Wyler. It was an interesting story and does make a reader think about how easy it could be for someone to harvest body parts for medical schools for the purpose of teaching.

Neurosurgeon Lucas McRae discovers his best friend Andy Baer’s head is on his demonstration table in Hong Kong. At first Lucas thinks he is imagining it but when he gets home he is unable to locate him. His wife and Andy’s ex-wife could care less about what has happened to Andy; Luc
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First the pharmaceutical companies now the body parts business. Wyler once again has made me a little freaked out about what goes on within the business of medicine. This is the second book by Allen Wyler that I have read and my favorite. It starts off with quite a surprise.

What happens when not enough people are donating themselves to science? Where do the cadavers and body parts for research and education come from? Dead Ringer shows how easy it is for people to disappear off the streets and e
Book Him Danno
I didn’t know what to expect with this book, the author is a neurosurgeon and that sounded…well boring to me. I was wrong….BOOM the book started with a splash and just got better from there. You know what it’s like to run into people you know when on vacation? Strange and yet somehow interesting…well this is even more interesting and yet disturbing at the same time.

Have you even seen someone that looks just like someone else and yet they aren’t that person you know? Strange and yes it happens,
Kathleen Kelly
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dead Ringer is one of those books that grabs you right from the beginning and does not let you go until the last page has been turned. I started reading Robin Cook many years ago and got hooked on this type of story. Dead Ringer is about the body part business and how a good thing that can help many people with legally donated body parts, turns to something sinister and evil. All for someones greed for money. Allen Wyler is a gifted writer who is able to tell a great story with the knowledge tha ...more
My Book Addiction and More MBA
DEAD RINGER was a great medical thriller. I was hooked right from the first page. It was definitely a page turner and the author did a fantastic job keeping my interest. The characters were well developed and I felt a part of them. It was a tough book to put down but I did need to sleep. One of the first books that I have ever wanted to stay up and read all night. It is a definite “must read”

Rating: 4.5

Reviewed by: KellyR

Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
I wasn't quite sure I was going to like this book. I thought the medical side of it might turn me off, however this book was great. I received it as an ARC from the publisher, and it needs a bit of finishing work, there is a few places where the wrong word is used (the instead of they for example) but I'm sure that will get picked up in final edits. This book was definitely a little outside what I would normally pick up, but I really enjoyed it, and will consider Wyler's other novels as future r ...more
Christine Staszko
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I read through the story, I thought I had finally found a 5/5 star Allen Wyler book. I couldn’t put it down and I really wanted to see how the author would end the story. It’s very disappointing because the book is great except for the last twenty pages. However, the conclusion of the book is just as important as any other part, and you can’t skimp on the writing at this point unless you want the novel to fall flat at the grand finale.

Check out the full review on

*I received a
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun little mystery thriller, first I've read by this author.

Mr. Wyler starts out kind of rocky... with a repetitive boiler plate template to develop his character's personalities and idiosyncrasies. However, after the first couple of chapters he really hits his gears and the rest of the story has excellent writing quality.

I love how he gave the story a twist at the end. It's always fun when the unexpected happens.
J&B Reviews
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Ringer defines justice versus law.

This is a good medical mystery involving body harvesting via a murderous funeral director and his loyal henchman. The characters are believable in their hero or villain roles. The ending comes down to a pay back scenario rather than a drawn out court room showdown.
A fabulous medical mystery thriller! This one is about the illegal harvesting of body parts. A neurosurgeon goes to Hong Kong for a demonstration of a procedure only to unwrap a "fresh head" and to find it's his best friend's! Thus starts his quest to find out how it got there...a fast-paced whodunit and much more. I loved this book.

Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Such a great idea... but so badly done. Ugh. I'm surprised I got through the entire thing.
Joey Chesser
average book I was left hoping for more medical mystery
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
an excellent read
Lillian I Smith
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of WYLER's best

Moves right along You may think you have it figured out, but then again in the end, maybe not. Good summer read
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