Genre: Women’s Crime Fiction, Mystery
Published by Gallery Books
Publication Date: February 16, 2021
Review Copy From: Gallery Books via NetGalley
My Rating: 5
Synopsis (via GR)
Emma loves her life. She’s the mother of a precocious kindergartener, married to her soulmate—a loyal and loving police detective—and has a rewarding career as a doctor at the local hospital.
But everything comes crashing down when her son, Josh, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
Determined to save him, Emma makes the risky decision to sell opioids to fund the life-saving treatment he needs. But when somebody ends up dead, a lethal game of cat and mouse ensues, her own husband leading the chase. With her son’s life hanging in the balance, Emma is dragged into the dark world of drugs, lies, and murder. Will the truth catch up to her before she can save Josh?
We all have those authors that we patiently wait for their next book and Christina McDonald is one of those authors for me. After reading one of her previous books, The Night Olivia Fell I became a fan. I then read Behind Every Lie, and I was hooked. And she didn’t disappoint with Do No Harm.
An author once told me that if you weren’t pulled into a story within the first 20 or so pages, the odds were low that the book would keep your interest, and the author hadn’t done his/her job. Ms. McDonald definitely did her job since I knew after the first 2 pages that this book would be a page-turner.
One phrase kept coming up in the book and it was “the end justifies the means”, or does it? I’ll let you know.
Emma, a physician married to the love of her life, Nate, a police detective, and their beautiful 5-year-old son, Josh, had the perfect family. After losing both her parents in a horrific car accident when she was 8, she now had the ideal life she always wanted. Until that fateful day that Josh was diagnosed with an aggressive case of acute myeloid leukemia. The prognosis wasn’t good unless they tried a new treatment that needed to be started immediately. But their insurance only covered a minimum of what it would cost for this treatment and the rest, over $500 thousand plus, would be out of pocket. Both Emma and Nate knew they had to come up with a plan. Nate was hoping that if he took on a new case, one to find out who was bringing opioids and Fentynal into their community, he would get a promotion. But Emma knew that plan of action would take too long. So she risked everything. Her marriage, her career, and her integrity but didn’t the end justify the means, which was saving Josh?
She starts down a very dark path of selling drugs, stealing, and forging her co-workers’ prescription pads. It would only be for a short period of time, at least that’s what she thought. But then bodies start piling up and her past also catches up with her.
The suspense was heart-pounding. The setting and the characters appeared to be so real that I was pulled into and transported into the story that I felt like I was watching a movie in my head. When there was a scene where she was in danger, my breathing increased and the pages turning faster and faster. I was so afraid for her safety, even though I knew what she was doing was hurting people. When she was hurting emotionally, my heart went out to her. But didn’t the end justify the means?
The ending!!! The ending blindsided me!!!! An emotional, yet bone-chilling conclusion!!
Did the end justify the means in this story? The jury is still out on that one.
This is a novel that will be staying with me for a very long time. Highly recommend!!!