Book Review: Lip Reading by Harry Kraus

Title: Lip Reading
Author: Harry Kraus
Publisher: David C Cook
Genre(s): Medical Suspense, Christian Fiction
Published: March 2014

About Lip Reading (From Publisher, David C Cook):

She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself.

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.

My Reaction:

Lip Reading offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of pharmaceutical research, while keeping the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next.  Its lifelike characters face moral dilemmas and unexpected plot twists along the road to a bittersweet, yet satisfying ending.  Fans of medical suspense won’t want to miss this one, and I’d also recommend it to anyone seeking a thought-provoking read.

Book group participants take note, as well.  There’s plenty of fodder here for a good discussion.  There’s the question of whether Becca or Mel is the more suitable match for Noah.  There are several discussable instances in the book where characters act against the wishes of another character… with that person’s best interests in mind.  With characters facing difficult choices with multiple right answers, it would be interesting to see members of a book group debate how different choices might have led to different endings to the story.  I know I spent more time than I should have trying to come up with alternative endings.  :-)  You’ll also find a set of discussion questions in the final book, though it didn’t appear in my advance reader copy.

I think that the part of this book I admired the most was the way its message about God’s grace was intrinsic to the characters’ personal growth and the situations they faced, rather than tacked on as an afterthought.  For example, Becca’s ah-hah moment near the end of the book seems realistically presented as a culmination of past influences throughout her life, and not just a spur of the moment decision in a moment of fear.  I enjoyed seeing how interactions in her past that seemed to have no impact at the time did have a major impact down the road.

The medical details included in the book were explained in such a way as to make sense to a non-medical reader, without the explanations intruding on the flow of the story.  I was thoroughly intrigued by the research problems involved in creating artificial blood, and wound up doing a Web search to find that researchers really are close to a solution.  How cool is that?  (Disclaimer: I did major in biology as an undergrad, so maybe my inner nerd is showing?)

Anyway, I found Lip Reading to be a thoroughly enjoyable story and gladly recommend it.  Thank you to the publisher, David C Cook, for providing me with an electronic copy through NetGalley for review purposes.  Opinions expressed are my own honest opinions.

Besides writing, author Harry Kraus is also a surgeon and medical missionary to Kenya.  To learn more about the author and his other books, check out his Web site at

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