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Doing Harm

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,728 ratings  ·  558 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.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by St. Martin's Press (first published February 1st 2014)
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Kelly Parsons Thanks so much for your questions and so sorry for the delayed reply! I'm still familiarizing myself with Goodreads and all of the terrific ways it en…moreThanks so much for your questions and so sorry for the delayed reply! I'm still familiarizing myself with Goodreads and all of the terrific ways it enables me to interact with readers. I'm thrilled you enjoyed DOING HARM. As to your question: 1) I find time to write whenever I can: weekends, mornings, nights, vacations; 2) yes--I tried to make the medical aspects of the story as authentic as possible; 3) the characters were amalgams of people I've encountered over the years; 4) no; 5) no--Steve is nothing like me! Thanks again, and my second novel, UNDER THE KNIFE, is due out on February 7, 2017. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Lynn Mercurio Why not just read the book?
Why not just read the book?

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,728 ratings  ·  558 reviews

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Stephen King
Best damn medial thriller I've read in 25 years. Terrifying OR scenes, characters with real texture. ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it

Steve Mitchell is a senior surgical resident at Boston's University Hospital, and hopes to get a permanent position at the institute when he completes his residency next year.

University Hospital is among the best facilities in the country, and Steve wants to be a surgeon at the hospital AND teach at the associated medical school.

As the story opens, Steve is sharing a moment with his daughters, Katie (5) and Annabelle (10 months) before leaving for a cocktail party with his wife Sally. Katie is
Dec 05, 2013 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
Judy D Collins
Kelly Parsons' DOING HARM, a medical thriller, which kept me listening, on the edge of my seat, until 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 thi
Dec 13, 2013 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 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Move over, Robin Cook and Michael Palmer! Kelly Parsons is a talented medical thriller author and a force to be reckoned with!

To quote Stephen King, "Doing Harm" was the "best damn medical thriller I've read in 25 years". Yes, it was that good.

Even though this book was written in 2014, the dialogue/plot was not dated. The book was fast-paced and impossible to put down -- boasting strong character development and many twists and turns. The author is a physician and the book was replete with descr
Jun 07, 2014 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
Mary Beth
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
Once upon a time, I was a Robin Cook junkie. I loved psychological thrillers, but give me a medical thriller and it was like getting candy on Halloween. When I saw Doing Harm on NetGalley, the junkie woke up and hit the request button.

Dr. Steve Mitchell is a 4th year surgical resident in a prestigious hospital. His ego is inflated to the size most physicians never attain. Why that is I have absolutely no idea. Yes, he's the chief resident but, he is still just a resident. Residents are put on e
Cathe Fein Olson
Apr 04, 2014 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
Feb 03, 2014 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
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book on Goodreads, and it was generally a good read as far as mystery/thrillers go. Although for me the best part was actually the view of how hospitals work and surgeons function. It felt real and had interesting details. The plot itself was a bit too predictable and straight forward as far as mysteries go. Having said that, I would happily read another book by Parsons, and hopefully he will use his knowledge and talent to build a more sophisticated plot.
Kelli Wilson
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Blah blah, then finally pretty exciting. I almost added this to my "DNF" list. Nothing of interest occurs in 1st third. If you can make it past the incessant and long winded inner monologue of the main character, the last 2/3rds really pick up. Though, I can't say for sure whether or not it's worth while. Several beginning chapters of droning.

If you read this review 1st, I recommed reading chapter 1, skip next 3-4 chapters, and you might very well enjoy this one!
Feb 02, 2014 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
Jun 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
Let's hope this author is a better doctor than a writer.
Tasnim  Hatem
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Medical thriller books are pretty good!
The end reminded me of a quote which says "The best way to fight chaos is with chaos."
Marilyn Rondeau
Jan 28, 2014 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 18, 2014 rated it liked it
This is more than a 3 star but not quite a 4. 3.5 star.

It's tense. And the plot held interesting concepts. Although it really is not a who dun it, because you know who dun it. And I don't doubt it could happen in real life either.

But it was too glib, too long winded, too "cool" in the telling? You definitely had to have interest in long technical descriptions of all the minutia of certain surgical procedures. And I have patience for that and also for the family scene toddler hilarity minutia inv
Linda Strong
Feb 02, 2014 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
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This definitely kept me on my toes and I loved the concept of it. Too many grammatical errors to give 5 stars. If you like medical thrillers, this is a good one to try
Angie Boyter
Nov 28, 2013 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
Feb 13, 2014 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
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a fun and entertaining ride, I think is not unusual to get interested by MD cases and thrillers they are very accelerating and this one is no stranger, following the trail of bad decisions by a neurologist intern and his students on charge this story will get you get up of your seats, very fast paced and unexpected a really fun read, I've recommended it before and will keep doing it so if you in to MD cases and thrillers then this is the book for you, also fun fact the author is a neuro ...more
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I can't remember the last book I read with my hand covering my mouth, afraid what will happen next (but knowing anyway). I found this book to be very exciting. I'm looking forward to the next book by Dr. Parsons. ...more
Apr 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2014 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.
Cecily Kyle
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wheel-a-thon-iv
First, my bad in thinking the author was a woman, turns out its a guy. Second the story was very riveting and I enjoyed the medical side of it as well. Definitely was a bit predictable as I have been watching lots of different medical shows since I was young enough to understand them. However, still kept me intrigued until the very end.
Great Read!
Jordyn Redwood
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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KELLY PARSONS is a surgeon and professor at the University of California, San Diego. He lives with his family in Southern California.

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