Morrow, August 2002, 24.95, 400 pp.
Dr. David Spier is in charge of the UCLA Medical Center emergency room and he takes his responsibilities very seriously. When someone sprays lye on the face of one of the nurses standing in the outdoor vestibule, the E.R. is shocked. The victim's brother is a cop who vows revenge on the person who blinded and disfigured his sister. When a second nurse is also victimized, the police conclude that the perpetrator has something against nurses.
When the police find and arrest him near the hospital, the perp is covered in lye. The police take him to the emergency room where David treats him and prevents the officers from doing him bodily injury. Fearful that if the police take him out of the hospital he will never arrive at the prison alive, David delays his release and in doing so inadvertently gives him a means to escape. When the perpetrator hurts a third nurse, David vows to track him down and bring him in because he feels guilty that his actions enabled the nasty deed to occur and the woman attacked means a lot to the idealistic doctor.
Gregg Andrew Hurwitz is the heir apparent to Robin Cook if this medical thriller is an indicator of the chill level that leaves readers reconsidering any visit to an emergency room. The protagonist is a heroic figure with strong ethics, but is vilified by the press and his peer's for his role in the antagonist's escape. This makes him endearing, empathetic as well as sympathetic to the audience who will hope he triumphs. DO NO HARM is a compelling read.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner