Thursday, 15 September 2022

Blog tour: Sometimes People Die by Simon Stephenson (Thriller, 9/10E)

 1st September 2022, The Borough Press, Ebook, Review copy

Book Summary

The year is 1999. Returning to practice after a suspension for stealing opioids, a young Scottish doctor takes the only job he can find: a post as a senior house officer in the struggling east London hospital of St Luke’s.

Amid the maelstrom of sick patients, over-worked staff and underfunded wards a darker secret soon declares itself: too many patients are dying.

Which of the medical professionals our protagonist has encountered is behind the murders? And can our unnamed narrator’s version of the events be trusted?

Nayu's thoughts 

With hospitals being quite a large part of my life, I found the concept of murder in a hospital really exciting. Due to my passion for hospital dramas I understand almost all the medical terms and jargon and understood all the processes that the doctor carried out. Sometimes People Die is an accurate title, but sometimes people are also killed, which is the case in this book. What I liked quite a lot is the protagonist, who admittedly I and other characters felt could be the culprit for a time, is really far from perfect. He is not someone I can relate to on pretty much any level but that's why he was so interesting. Due to his shady past he is not in a great hospital, but he does meet some genuinely kind staff members. There are some who are not kind but he gets used to their abrupt manner. And thankfully he gets to move out of the initial accomodation because that just was not the best place for him.

I like that somehow throughout the entire novel (I think) he is never really named. He does end up in a relationship, but it felt like something he felt he ought to do rather than really wanted, which seemed so odd to me. He himself is not a bad doctor, he isn't the best but he does his job fairly well despite the weird deaths. There's definitely a sense of fear during the time he gets blamed for the murders, every time the police came I wondered along with him if it would be the time they would formerly arrest him. He develops a rapport of sorts with the investigating officers, although as the story progresses that doesn't necessarily help him out. There is a shocking turn of events which I won't spoil but does affect his previous addiction, and seeing him spiral was not pleasant, but he does eventually get the help he needs. He is the only one who feels that the alleged murderer is not necessarily the correct one, and he gets to journey out of London in the attempt to discover the truth which was a total shock and cleverly executed.

I liked the snippets about other historical murders that came every few chapters, but as the tension mounted in the plot I did find these distracting and while I suppose it was like an alternate point of view, I just wanted to get on with the story rather than learn how evil some doctors can be in the past. I probably won't reread this as a lot of the wow factor came from not knowing anything, but it is a really good thriller and I highly recommend it. I did sit down for several hours and couldn't stop reading until I finished it! 

Check out all the stops on the tour: 

Suggested read

For other good thrillers try No Smoke Without Fire by Claire S Lewis (Thriller, 9/10E)


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