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    Review of TO THE BONE by Neil McMahon (see his website)

    HarperCollins, September 2003

    Emergency room Doctor Carroll Monks is disturbed when a beautiful woman fails to respond to his treatment. Healthy young women shouldn't die--and when he notices strange bruisings, he orders powerful and non-standard treatment. The treatment fails and Monks is left wondering if he failed, or if someone else was responsible for Eden Hale's death. Because Eden was recovering from breast implant surgery, there is the possibility of complications and Dr. D'Anton, plastic surgeon to the beautiful people, is an obvious suspect. After all, how did a woman like Eden even afford D'Anton's price?

    In this fast-paced story, author Neil McMahon introduces a string of suspects. The plastic surgeon, his sculpter-wife who once had an affair with Eden, the beautiful assistant, and the tough and secretive nurse all have possibilities. But as Monks and his friend, private detective Larrabee, investigate, they discover that D'Anton has been associated with other bizarre events and even a missing girl. Could Eden's death be only the tip of an obscene nightmare? McMahon occasionally steps into the point-of-view of a serial killer, indicating that Monks is onto something larger and more dangerous than he imagines.

    Monks makes an interesting character with his woman troubles, his problems with excess drinking (not the man I'd want working on me in an emergency room), and his obsession for discovering the truth. Playing to society's strangely ambiguous feelings about doctors who create beauty, McMahon maintains the suspense and keeps the pages turning.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 11/02/03

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