Review: Tampa radiologist Mike Esposito's first novel, Locked In, is a medical thriller that tells the story of the dedication of a large number of physicians, the greed of a very few, and the consequences their actions have on everyone.
After years of education, undergraduate college followed by medical school, honest men and women who have dedicated themselves to their chosen specialization decide to devote their lives to their patients and their families. Then something goes wrong. The physician becomes vulnerable because of an unexpected debt or other personal circumstance. But someone comes along with a solution: a simple referral. If that doctor will refer to a lawyer a situation where they are aware of a mistake made in the care of a patient, they will be paid an hourly rate plus a percentage of the settlement from the resulting malpractice lawsuit. No one need know who made the referral, and everyone benefits: the wronged family gets most of the settlement payment, the referring physician gets a nice infusion of cash, and the negligent doctor is hit with higher insurance premiums, a minor price to pay for causing so much suffering. When one such physician succumbs to the temptation of easy cash and then changes his mind, will those who are involved in the scheme trust him to walk away? Or will they try to stop him, and how?
Locked In is an effective thriller in that it provides a reasonable backstory as to how and why an otherwise honest physician finds himself in a situation whereby he feels the need to cross the line in his profession, to compromise his morals and integrity. A lucrative practice leads to an ever more luxurious lifestyle with large homes, expensive cars, vacation retreats, and high-spending spouses. A house of cards that can easily come crashing down. And it does.
There is an astonishing amount of detail here, about the medical profession, malpractice laws, and the diagnosis and treatment of patients, yet it is all seamlessly integrated into the fast-moving plot. This is one book that's hard to put down once started and the conclusion is completely unexpected. Lock In is highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Locked In.
Acknowledgment: Durban House provided a copy of Locked In for this review.
Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Locked In: Tampa, Florida
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Locked In by Mike Esposito
Publisher: Durban House
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: July 2007
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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