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Dead Wrong

Dead Wrong by Allen Wyler focuses on a neurosurgeon named Dr. Tom McCarthy who stumbles upon a sinister top-secret government plot involving stolen memories. He become entangled with a young psychiatrist named Dr. Sarah Hamilton when she treats Bobbie Baker, a patient who has vivid memories of a child she never actually had, following a traumatic attack that nearly killed her. Since these odd memories can't be explained, Hamilton asks for Dr. McCarthy's help in figuring things out, especially when her patient's life is placed in danger when Bobbie overdoses on a prescription that appears to have been prescribed by Hamilton and someone claiming to be Bobbie's doctor keeps fishing for her medical info. With her career possibly on the line and her patient's life at stake, Dr. Hamilton must find answers.

Meanwhile, Dr. McCarthy's office is invaded by two Department of Defense agents, Warren Sikes and Elroy Washington, who claim he has stolen secret government documents. McCarthy is completely confused and feels like they have the wrong guy, but when the agents start firing guns and killing his co-workers, he realizes his only chance to sort out this mess is to escape and figure out what is going on.

Soon, McCarthy is on the run in the nooks and crannies of the hospital and he has enlisted Dr. Hamilton to help him, despite the fact that he is being portrayed on the news as a crazed doctor who snapped and killed people in his office. When the pair put their heads together and compare patients, they discover Bobbie Baker is not an isolated incident and something much deeper and more malevolent is going on. Will the pair be able to survive with murderous government agents hot on their trail, or will their discovery of the plot die with them?

When I first began reading Dead Wrong, I was immediately drawn in by the sheer terror conveyed by characters who had such strong memories that apparently didn't actually belong to them. I really enjoyed the brief time that was devoted to the handful of characters that were experiencing these vivid memories that were not their own. Soon, the story shifted to focus on McCarthy and Hamilton and their attempts to outwit an agent who has a single-minded goal - to eliminate evidence by eliminating them. While at times, the book traveled at breakneck speeds, I found a good bit of it implausible. I just couldn't buy into a neurosurgeon being able to escape the clutches of trained government killers. You're a doctor, not Jason Bourne, you know? There was some brief explanation of research McCarthy did previously in the Middle East, but info gathering and hand-to-hand combat training are not the same thing. While I enjoyed the book for the most part and thought the relationship that evolved between McCarthy and Hamilton despite their appalling circumstances was a pleasant touch, I didn't love Dead Wrong, I just liked it. I look forward to checking out future Wyler novels to see if I enjoy them even more than this one because I enjoy his fast-paced writing style, I just didn't quite buy into this one.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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