Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sharon St. George - Spine Damage - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Paulo Ferrara, a young Portuguese man, lies comatose in the Intensive Care Unit of Timbergate Medical Center, shot in the spine. The neurosurgeon who would normally be in charge of his care has left town to attend to an injured daughter, and the only other neurosurgeon, the rude and egotistical Dr. Godfrey Carver, is about to be suspended for not completing his continuing education requirements. The unpleasant duty of ensuring that the staff obey the rules lies with Aimee Machado, the medical center's forensic librarian and Continuing Education Coordinator. Aimee and her pilot boyfriend Nick live together on her grandparents’ llama farm. While dealing with Dr. Carver, Aimee learns the circumstances of Paulo’s injury and enlists Nick’s help. Aimee is half Asian and half Portuguese, and her parents live on Faial, one of the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal. Faial is the closest neighbor to Pico, home of Paulo and his family. Paulo came to rural Northern California in search of his fifteen-year-old sister Liliana, who vanished two weeks ago. Nick’s wealthy employer Buck Sawyer takes an interest in the girl’s plight as well, especially when they learn that she left the Azores on a superyacht. Not only is Buck a yacht owner, but he is also on a crusade against drug trafficking, and Paulo and Liliana have clearly stumbled onto a criminal operation of some kind. The trail leads Aimee and Nick from Timbergate, to the Azores, to San Francisco. Paulo’s condition is deteriorating, and he might never be able to explain what got him shot. Can Aimee, her brother Harry, and Nick unravel the mystery in time to save Liliana? Book 4 in the Aimee Machado Mystery series, which began with Due for Discard.

My Review

"Man, you're making me hope I never end up in a hospital."

Apparently, there's more drama going on behind the scenes in these places than many of us would care to think care about. In SPINE DAMAGE, Sharon St. George gives us an eyeful into the many varying personality types that make up the average hospital, and the friction they cause. As a reader—let's be honest—it really made me want to avoid being stuck in one of them any time soon.

"If I'd heard him call his employees his girls one more time…"

It's clear that surgeons are on the top of the pecking order. They act like divas and get away with it. Why? Because they possess skills that not many people have, and they know it, and they're not ashamed to use this knowledge to their advantage by lording it over their co-workers, and even some of their patients.

It's not surprising that most of them are playboys, an acceptable, albeit sadly predictable lifestyle for men with big, fragile egos. I guess it's a given in medical communities that surgeons have women on the side. And if these women aren't living in their hometown, then they're somewhere the docs are likely to travel to on a frequent basis, like Florida for a yachting trip or to visit the family.

One in particular, Dr. Godfrey Carver, is labeled "the poster boy of bad behavior." His surgical privileges are about to be suspended because he can't prove whether or not he actually completed his continuing education credits. The book pivots around his crucial lapse in judgment when a young Portuguese man is shot by an unknown assailant. The police really need to talk to him, but he keeps slipping in and out of a coma, and good old Dr. Carter is the surgeon assigned to his care.

Now it's up to Aimee Machado, our heroine, to verify the existence of Dr. Carter's missing educational credits, and she's quick to point out that she has "to be sure his loathsome personality isn't coloring my judgment." And that's not an easy thing to do when he threatens to have her fired by bullying her into fudging the paperwork for him. But she holds firm, not about to be intimidated by any doctor, "no matter how brilliant he was in the operating room."

She's up against the "us vs. them" mentality of hospital administration vs. medical staff, but she's not about to go down without a fight. She doesn't care how much Dr. Carver enjoys the limelight. He's slip shot with his post-op work, not to mention the fact that several nurses have filed harassment charges against him. This time, Aimee's determined to hold him accountable for his actions so that a young man, far from home, can have a second chance at life.


Spine Damage can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $16.78 paperback
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 328
Release: May 15, 2017
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603815819
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Sharon St. George’s writing credits include three plays, several years writing advertising copy, a book on NASA’s space food project, and feature stories too numerous to count. She holds dual degrees in English and Theatre Arts, and occasionally acts in, or directs, one of her local community theater productions. Sharon is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and she serves as program director for Writers Forum, a nonprofit organization for writers in northern California.

Links to connect with Sharon:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

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  1. Connie, thanks so much for your insight into the character of Aimee Machado and her nemesis. You've captured their essence so well!

    1. Thanks Sharon. I can't wait for the next one.

  2. The medical emergency caught my interest.

    1. Mary, thanks for commenting.

    2. Mary, thanks for your comment. I'm glad you mentioned the medical emergency. I try to include at least one medical situation in each book.