Title: Stress Test
Author: Richard L. Mabry
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Inspirational Medical Suspense
Release Date: April 2013
Stress Test captured my attention from the start and wouldn’t let go. It’s the first title I’ve read by Richard Mabry and I’m looking forward to reading more by this talented author in the future. Highly recommended for fans of medical romance and medical suspense who haven’t already had the pleasure of reading it. And yes, I’m a little late to the review party, as this title was released a year ago, and there’s already a more recent title available from this author (Heart Failure), with yet another due out in April (Critical Condition). Still, I couldn’t resist adding my voice to the existing critical acclaim for this one.
About Stress Test:
As the story opens, Dr. Matt Newman’s life is on the brink of significant change, but the changes in store for him aren’t the ones he had planned. He’s working his last night as a private practice surgeon, about to embark on a new career in academic medicine, and contemplating proposing to his girlfriend. Instead, he’s attacked and kidnapped by people intent on killing him. He escapes with a head injury and wakes in the hospital ICU to find the police believe he’s not a victim, but a murderer. To top it off, his girlfriend breaks off their relationship, wanting nothing to do with the suspicions surrounding him. And his new job, likewise gets put on hold.
I have to admit, I have a soft spot for a novel featuring a handsome hero in distress, so Dr. Matt Newman was instantly appealing. I’ll also admit that the cover drew me in before I ever read a word. Just look at that cover. Doesn’t Matt look like he could really use a hug? I was curious to read his story, and within the first chapter, I was fully hooked. I cared about Matt and was rooting for him the whole way through.
The plot is full of suspense, danger, and unexpected twists and turns that kept me wondering. How could things possibly turn out well in the end? And who is behind the attacks against Matt and why? There’s also a thread of romance throughout the story, which I enjoyed. It was well written and proceeded at a believable pace.
Throughout the story we see Matt’s Christian faith grow from nominal to an important part of his life. As he faces the adversity into which he’s thrown he begins to learn to lean on God, and his interactions with Joe, Rick, and Sandra reinforce that and encourage him to continue to grow in his faith. I thought the faith element was handled well, coming across as genuine and not preachy.
I haven’t read many medical themed novels before, but I found the medical details fascinating. Richard Mabry did a great job orienting the reader by explaining unfamiliar terms and concepts without letting those details intrude on the story or slow the pace.
Overall, a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I look forward to reading more books by Richard Mabry in the future. Highly recommended to fans of medical romantic suspense, as well as to fans of romantic suspense in general.
An electronic copy of this book was provided to me free of charge by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley, for review purposes. Opinions expressed in this review are my own. To read more of my reviews, articles, and writing updates, please consider subscribing to my blog at karencollier.com.
To learn more about author Richard Mabry, check out his Web site at www.rmabry.com or his blog at rmabry.blogspot.com. He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.