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Do No Harm

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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-sa 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?


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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-sa 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?

30 review for Do No Harm

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    Happy book birthday to this delicious, addictive, one of the best thriller books of the year🥳 Ohhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyy Gooooooood! I’m telling you, my friends; this is not only so far best book of the author but it will be probably one of the best, thrillingly jaw dropping, action packed and extremely most exciting and anticipated novels of 2021! Yes, we have a great winner! Taaataaa! And you have to cover your ears not to hear my screams after reading the last page because dear Christina McDonald Happy book birthday to this delicious, addictive, one of the best thriller books of the year🥳 Ohhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyy Gooooooood! I’m telling you, my friends; this is not only so far best book of the author but it will be probably one of the best, thrillingly jaw dropping, action packed and extremely most exciting and anticipated novels of 2021! Yes, we have a great winner! Taaataaa! And you have to cover your ears not to hear my screams after reading the last page because dear Christina McDonald accomplished her mission by aiming her literature gun at both my head and heart and pulled the trigger. Bang bang she shot me down with her heart wrenching words ! Bang bang I hit the ground, still thinking about the poetic, shocking ending. Bang bang, that awful sound (nope, thankfully it’s not coming from my bladder, that’s coming from my scumbag neighbors shout at me to shut the hell up!) Bang bang one of my favorite authors shut me down! Now I’m traumatized, shaken to the core, shocked, flabbergasted, pale, truly disturbed, heartbroken. Yes, this book made me question everything about between truth and lies, good and bad. Sometimes you have to do the wrong thing to do what’s the best for your loved ones! This is a epic, dark, extreme hurtful, damaging, realistic, soul crusher journey of a mother who can do anything for saving her child’s life in expanse violating all the rules, committing crimes, breaking the code of ethics and beliefs. Think about it: your child is about to die and only way to save her/him is an extremely expensive treatment method that you cannot afford even though if you work 24 hours a day for your entire life and sell your soul to the lord of capitalism rings. So what would you do? Do you violate rules and involve into criminal activities for the fastest cash flow? Or you just stand there and pray for the miracles? Emma is a doctor and she knows “do no harm” principle more than most of the people. When she was young , she lost her parents who have died in front of her eyes. She couldn’t have saved them. And right now, her boy Josh is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Their insurance doesn’t cover that form of illness treatment and they have no savings to pay the ultra unaffordable expanses. Her husband Nate who is a police officer, dealing with a new drug cartel case,thinks if he gets promoted, he may help to pay the entire bills but this kind of career rising move can take months. They don’t have much time so Emma gets the matter into her hands by writing fake prescriptions, selling opioids to find the money to pay the treatment expanses which drags her into dangerous crime world of drug dealers and junkies. But she is quiet experienced about the drug lords’ works because her own brother belongs there, recently got out from prison and he’s the guy who can help her to get enough money to keep her head above the water. But there is always risk to be drowned when you’re surrounded in a sea filled with vicious shark who can smell the blood from miles away. And Nate is so close to find his wife’s Weeds meets Breaking Bad and Nurse Jackie kind of secret life! I’m asking you the ugly question again: what would you do if you were in Emma’s shoes? Would you pray for a secret donator to give enough amount at GoFundMe campaign or would you wear your big girl pants and like a badass warrior fight dirty for your child’s every breath he takes? So this is depressing, poignant, heart ripping, mind numbing but also realistic, honest, a real ice cold bucket pouring down on your head and a heavy slap against your face! I think I will be haunted by this painful, effective family drama for a long time! APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE! APPLAUSE! I’m giving my well earned, five gazillion, provocative, horrifyingly thought provoking and unforgettable stars! Special thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for sharing this incredible ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions. blog instagram facebook twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***SO RELEVANT TO THE OPIOD CRISIS, BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE*** WOW, this novel blew me away!!! I loved everything about it, the unique plot, the well developed characters, the twists and turns, etc. As you know from the blurb Emma is a doctor still paying off her school debt and her husband Nate is a police detective. They have one son, Josh who is the light of their lives. Josh is precocious, funny, smart and loves all things Star Wars. The couple had been very happy, although both a little over ***SO RELEVANT TO THE OPIOD CRISIS, BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE*** WOW, this novel blew me away!!! I loved everything about it, the unique plot, the well developed characters, the twists and turns, etc. As you know from the blurb Emma is a doctor still paying off her school debt and her husband Nate is a police detective. They have one son, Josh who is the light of their lives. Josh is precocious, funny, smart and loves all things Star Wars. The couple had been very happy, although both a little overworked. The day that Josh comes home from school with some unexplained bruising they begin to get a little concerned, he’s also been feeling more tired lately. It’s not until a few days later, when Josh gets very ill while at Nate’s mom’s house that they take him to the hospital. Their world is then turned upside down as they get the diagnosis that he has a rare and insidious type of leukemia that could end his life within months!! Then a specialist is called in who offers what could possibly be a life saving treatment for Josh, but the starting price is almost $100,000!!! Emma and Nate vow to do whatever it takes to get the money for their son’s treatment, but they each have different ideas of how to get that money! Nate is convinced that if he gets a promotion and with a GoFundMe page started by his mom, they will be able to afford the treatment. Emma is certain that there will not be enough money and not soon enough. She takes matters into her own hands! Emma becomes involved in selling prescriptions for opioids for money, she even turns to her brother and former boyfriend for help. There are however some very dangerous people in this business and she is afraid for her life at times and does things she never thought herself capable of. Nate is working on cases to bring the opioid crisis in their small town under control by trying to find out who is supplying the drugs. If he solves this, he gets his promotion and raise. Meanwhile our little hero, Josh, continues to fight through the chemotherapy and other treatments to help with his leukemia. It is a hard struggle but this is on tough little boy!! WHAT I LOVED ABOUT THIS BOOK: While maintaining a roller coaster, page turning novel, Ms. McDonald addresses the many sides of the opioid crisis. There are people who have become addicted either because they were originally prescribed opioids and can’t stop using them or they have an addictive personality and have always used drugs of one type or another. She also presents the other side of the story which is often mislooked and understated. There are many people who really need Oxycontin and other opioids to live their life. There are those in chronic debilitating pain who now find that their doctors are hesitant to prescribe the drugs that they need because they are being watched so carefully. Some turn to the street for the drugs they need. Cost of medical care and specialized treatments are also addressed. It’s a real problem that has to be addressed by this country!! I felt so many emotions during this story. I felt love for Josh and sympathy for Emma and Nate who only want to save their son. My heart broke when things started to go so very wrong for them and the end was devastating. “The lies were woven around me, a spider’s web, swirling, tightening. I was becoming more and more entangled. I didn’t know how to get out now”. If you love a fast paced thriller that is well written and also has a strong message to convey, you will love this novel! I think this is the best novel yet by this talented author. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley. This was a buddy read with my good friends, Jayme and DeAnn, so much fun to read with!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    UDATE: Christina McDonald has joined us for a Spoiler free Q & A in our Behind the Page Group Hot Diggity Dang!!! I loved it, and I love Christina McDonald!! If you have not read this one, run to your device and get it now!!! It's one I recommend not to miss!! Warning: You will need to put on your lounge pants and lock yourself away with your favorite beverage because once you start this page-turner, you will not want to be disturbed! Well except maybe by this unforgettable story!! As a doctor, Em UDATE: Christina McDonald has joined us for a Spoiler free Q & A in our Behind the Page Group Hot Diggity Dang!!! I loved it, and I love Christina McDonald!! If you have not read this one, run to your device and get it now!!! It's one I recommend not to miss!! Warning: You will need to put on your lounge pants and lock yourself away with your favorite beverage because once you start this page-turner, you will not want to be disturbed! Well except maybe by this unforgettable story!! As a doctor, Emma has been taught to "do no harm," but what if the end justifies the means if it saves your child. When Emma's son is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, she is desperate to save him. Christina McDonald explores the lengths a mother will go to save her child while exploring the harm of one of our darkest realities we face today. Christina McDonald boldly and bravely explores a topic that can bring out that hot sensitive side to me, and I was a little worried that hot-temper of mine could come blazing out. However, after a couple of Q & A with Christina McDonald and getting insight into her writing, I knew I was in good hands. Good hands I was in!!! While creating an intensely exciting, suspenseful page-turner, she explores the dark reality of selling drugs and the effects of the opioid crisis. She delves into addiction from a few angles while showing us different sides of the crisis, opening up some questions to ask ourselves. She creates strong, convincing characters here by showing us their motivations and the effects their actions have on each other and the crisis. She layers in depths and insight into motherhood that pulled at my momma's heartstrings and I was turning the pages as fast as I could to see if doing harm ever justifies the means to an end. While Christina McDonald nails it by creating an emotional pull to the story, she weaves in thriller elements of suspense, tension to create that exciting page-turner. The stakes get higher as a heart-pounding cat and mouse game develops between Emma and her detective husband Nate. The lines become blurred while we see more into their relationship and I enjoyed the exciting dynamics between them. There are some things you might need to go with it and not think too hard about. For me, it was a perfect balance of reality and thrills to make it an exciting and entertaining domestic thriller!!! Do No Harm makes for a great one to reads with friends. Thank you to Debra for discussing this one with me!!! Do No Harm is a March Pick for The Traveling Friends!! I received a copy from Christina McDonald through NetGalley!! For more of my reviews and Q & A with authors can be found on our blog Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    A medical thriller with a unique storyline that kept me intrigued from start to finish?! Yes please! Wow! I loved The Night Olivia Fell and I loved this book also. This book will have you questioning your judgement of right from wrong....trust me you will! Would you do what Emma did? Sometimes it is just a gray area... A doctor, a wife, a mother...Emma is all...mostly she is a human being and she has to do what her entire soul is telling her to do...save her child....even if her husband is a dete A medical thriller with a unique storyline that kept me intrigued from start to finish?! Yes please! Wow! I loved The Night Olivia Fell and I loved this book also. This book will have you questioning your judgement of right from wrong....trust me you will! Would you do what Emma did? Sometimes it is just a gray area... A doctor, a wife, a mother...Emma is all...mostly she is a human being and she has to do what her entire soul is telling her to do...save her child....even if her husband is a detective. A physician takes an oath to Do No Harm, yet is that always as clear cut as one might think? What if it is something that indirectly might do someone harm? Oh this book had me invested from the very first page. So many important topics addressed, yet in a manner that it didn't overwhelm the storyline- the cost of medical treatment, opioid addiction, naloxone use- just because you have it, doesn't mean it will save you...devastating but true... I love that she worked that all into the story. So many fine details that I really appreciated. As an ER nurse..do I think this is realistic? Absolutely! This taut thriller that kept me glued to the pages could really happen and probably has....

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    How far will one woman go to save her child? How far would you go? Emma is a happily married doctor with a young son. She has everything she wants in life. She is happy, she has a good job and loves being a mother. But then her son, Josh gets sick and is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Insurance is great when it pays. But first there are deductibles, co-pays and procedures that insurance may or may not pay for. Stress upon stress is the last thing parents need when a child is ill. This aspe How far will one woman go to save her child? How far would you go? Emma is a happily married doctor with a young son. She has everything she wants in life. She is happy, she has a good job and loves being a mother. But then her son, Josh gets sick and is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Insurance is great when it pays. But first there are deductibles, co-pays and procedures that insurance may or may not pay for. Stress upon stress is the last thing parents need when a child is ill. This aspect of the book reminded me of the movie, John Q. Same premise of a parent going to extremes to save a child. Desiring desperately to save her son's life, Emma decides to do something illegal (sell opioids) to make money. She cannot tell her husband, a police detective, what she is doing to make money. What would you do in her shoes? What choices would you make? This book becomes a cat and mouse game where the stakes are high. Christina McDonald has created a gripping and moving book that touches on medial issues, motherhood, right vs. wrong, doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, moral and ethical issues, addiction, opioids, secrets, deception, family and marriage. Once I started reading, I found that it was hard to put this book down. The second part of the book flew by fast as I had to know just how things were going to turn out. Riveting, thought provoking, and evoking emotion. A Buddy read with Brenda. Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    What will a mother do for her kid? Will she donate an organ? Will she give her child away to give her or him a better life? Will she sell her body to earn money to bring food to the table? Or will she sell opiates to pay for a medical treatment that is cost-prohibitive? The last one is exactly the scenario Dr. Emma Sweeney is living. Emma has only wanted one thing since her parents died: to have a family. Meeting Nate and having their son, Josh has been the best thing that happened to her. She lov What will a mother do for her kid? Will she donate an organ? Will she give her child away to give her or him a better life? Will she sell her body to earn money to bring food to the table? Or will she sell opiates to pay for a medical treatment that is cost-prohibitive? The last one is exactly the scenario Dr. Emma Sweeney is living. Emma has only wanted one thing since her parents died: to have a family. Meeting Nate and having their son, Josh has been the best thing that happened to her. She loves her husband and adores her child. Emma is a doctor at a local clinic, she is still paying her student loans and her husband Nate is a detective. They live a modest life without luxury but they're happy. Then the blow comes, Josh is diagnosed with AML and he needs treatment right away. He can either have chemo and a poor prognosis or he can go with CAR T-cell therapy which will cost them 100k plus insurance. Emma, who knows time is of the essence and money is needed or the hospital won't help Josh, does the unimaginable. She decides to sell signed prescriptions of opiates for cash. She needs to be smart about it. She has old connections she can push to help her while making sure her smart husband, the cop, doesn't discover her. What a heartbreaking story! Christina McDonald does a great job at describing some of the broken pieces in medicine including the cost of cancer treatment, the opiate crisis, addiction, the power of insurance companies, to name a few. I was surprised how easy it was for Emma to leave her conscience behind. Yet, I understood her motives. I felt for her dilemma and her fear of losing Josh. However, I can't say that agree with what she was doing. The world of drugs is a dangerous and usually a lethal one. I had some minor issues with the story and it might because of my job. Nowadays, Eforce is becoming universal. PDMP is checked regularly. Most prescription pads are under lock and key and we never have opiates at the office. Despite the above, Do No Harm was a gratifying thriller. I do know now that whatever Christina McDonald writes next, I will read. Cliffhanger: No 4.5/5 Fangs MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    Huge thanks to Gallery Books for the ARC! This thriller was intense, this is my first book from this author and I'm definitely interested in reading more books from her! This thriller follows a doctor who's son has been diagnosed with cancer, her and her husband (who is a detective) can't afford the treatment for him, so she begins to steal oxy from the hospital to sell on the streets. This book has major Breaking Bad vibes, in the sense that it follows a parent who will do absolutely anything to Huge thanks to Gallery Books for the ARC! This thriller was intense, this is my first book from this author and I'm definitely interested in reading more books from her! This thriller follows a doctor who's son has been diagnosed with cancer, her and her husband (who is a detective) can't afford the treatment for him, so she begins to steal oxy from the hospital to sell on the streets. This book has major Breaking Bad vibes, in the sense that it follows a parent who will do absolutely anything to provide for their family who is battling cancer and so they turn to selling drugs to do so. I thought this book was action-packed from beginning to end, it was very intense and full of twists. This was a bit out of my comfort zone too because apparently this is a 'medical' thriller because we are following a doctor, but I enjoyed this book so much! I felt so much for this family and I like that we followed from the doctor's POV as well as the detective's POV. Because she is married to a detective it added the extra suspense of if she were to get caught, her own husband would be the one to take her down (much like Breaking Bad with Walt's brother in law working in the DEA). It was surprising, it was different, and I really enjoyed it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jayme

    Does the end ever justify the means? This is the theme that author Christina McDonald, in this, her third novel, explores. A mother would do anything to save her child. ANYTHING So, when Emma, a DR at a local hospital, discovers that her son, Josh, has a rare form of childhood Leukemia, she makes the difficult and risky decision to sell Opioids, to pay for an experimental treatment not covered by Insurance. That choice drags her into the dark world of drugs...and into a case that her husband Nate, Does the end ever justify the means? This is the theme that author Christina McDonald, in this, her third novel, explores. A mother would do anything to save her child. ANYTHING So, when Emma, a DR at a local hospital, discovers that her son, Josh, has a rare form of childhood Leukemia, she makes the difficult and risky decision to sell Opioids, to pay for an experimental treatment not covered by Insurance. That choice drags her into the dark world of drugs...and into a case that her husband Nate, a detective, is investigating. Blending the genres of family drama and thriller, both sides of the Opioid Crisis are explored in this engaging and timely novel. I was hooked from page one! If you look at a USAFACTS chart you will see that Opioids are the leading cause of overdose death by a substance, and have accounted for more deaths per 100,000 than car accidents or gun deaths (including suicides) in the last year. And, several sites list MEDICAL BILLS, as THE #1 reason cited for families having to file for bankruptcy in the U.S.. So, if you think this storyline sounded far fetched-MAYBE it ISN'T. All of these statistics are heartbreaking, and deserve attention.💔 I enjoyed discussing this one with buddy readers DeAnn and Dorie. I wonder if the author has had some personal experience with this crisis, as the book's dedication is to her brother-for being more than a statistic, for being strong. Thank you to the Publisher for providing a gifted copy, through Edelweiss. It was my pleasure to provide a candid review! Available Feb. 16, 2021.

  9. 5 out of 5

    DeAnn

    4.5 oxycontin stars (rounded up) -- now available! How far would you go to save the life of your son? What would you do to raise $100,000 in one month so that he could have a lifesaving procedure? You still have medical school bills, you own no assets so you can’t get a loan, and you can’t get this much on your credit cards. This is just the dilemma that Dr. Emma Sweeney faces with her son Josh. This sweet and beloved Star Wars fan has just gotten a cancer diagnosis. A revolutionary treatment will 4.5 oxycontin stars (rounded up) -- now available! How far would you go to save the life of your son? What would you do to raise $100,000 in one month so that he could have a lifesaving procedure? You still have medical school bills, you own no assets so you can’t get a loan, and you can’t get this much on your credit cards. This is just the dilemma that Dr. Emma Sweeney faces with her son Josh. This sweet and beloved Star Wars fan has just gotten a cancer diagnosis. A revolutionary treatment will likely save his life, but insurance won’t cover the full cost of treatment. Her husband Nate is a detective and doesn’t have a big paycheck either. It’s important that Josh get the treatment as soon as possible. You likely know from the book blurb that Emma turns to the shady world of selling prescriptions to raise the money. What makes this book so interesting is the moral and ethical issues that are raised. What about the legitimate patients out there that really need this pain relief and insurance now refuses to pay the full cost of the drugs they rely on to live a functioning life? What about the ethics of insurance companies that are making medical decisions against the wishes of doctors? These same insurance companies are announcing record profits. What about all the patients out there now addicted to drugs since their doctors prescribed opiates to help with the initial pain? It’s all very complicated! Emma is an orphan and spent her teen years in foster care. She’s good at compartmentalizing things which is good because this course of action seems to fly in the face of her training as a doctor – do no harm. And drugs are definitely harming her community. If she’s caught, she will lose her medical license and insurance. Emma has to grapple with the thought -- do the ends justify the means? The author did a great job of making me think about all those things as I read this book. It would be easy to judge Emma, but there are definitely some considerations the author gives us to think about. Soon there is a fierce battle with Emma forging more prescriptions to raise the money and Nate trying to solve the drug case. He’s closing in on all the players and there is an action-packed showdown that kept me turning the pages. The news stories just last week show that Purdue Pharma played a key role in fueling the decades-long opioid epidemic that has ruined countless families and taken too many lives. The drugs were diverted to the black market and doctors were paid to prescribe more Purdue drugs. The company was just hit with $8 billion in fines. I hope that this is the start of ending this terrible part of our country’s history. This was a fun buddy read with Jayme and Dorie and gave us a lot to discuss! Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGally for the copy of this one to read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Quick thoughts: It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Christina McDonald’s books since The Night Olivia Fell. She infuses emotion and sensitivity in her stories in a genuine way, and Do No Harm is no exception. Emma is a doctor, and her young son needs a live-saving treatment, an astronomically expensive treatment. Emma will sacrifice everything and finds herself on a slippery slope. Do No Harm is a quick page-turner, and I’m on pins and needles waiting for McDonald’s next book! I received a gifted c Quick thoughts: It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Christina McDonald’s books since The Night Olivia Fell. She infuses emotion and sensitivity in her stories in a genuine way, and Do No Harm is no exception. Emma is a doctor, and her young son needs a live-saving treatment, an astronomically expensive treatment. Emma will sacrifice everything and finds herself on a slippery slope. Do No Harm is a quick page-turner, and I’m on pins and needles waiting for McDonald’s next book! I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    Do No Harm is very intense in a good way. There are so many lies and manipulations throughout the book. Do No Harm shows how easy it is to start an addiction and the effects of addiction. Emma will do anything to save her son which makes her no longer worry about right and wrong. Emma reconnects with people from her past in order to sell opiods. Do No Harm is emotional, thrilling, and thought provoking. Not only was Do No Harm an enjoyable read, I also feel like I learned about human nature and Do No Harm is very intense in a good way. There are so many lies and manipulations throughout the book. Do No Harm shows how easy it is to start an addiction and the effects of addiction. Emma will do anything to save her son which makes her no longer worry about right and wrong. Emma reconnects with people from her past in order to sell opiods. Do No Harm is emotional, thrilling, and thought provoking. Not only was Do No Harm an enjoyable read, I also feel like I learned about human nature and addiction. Many of the characters lie and manipulate each other. Emma makes many bad decisions, but everything is to save her son. Do No Harm shows how many people can be effected by one wrong decision. Thank you Gallery Books, Kathleen Carter Communications, and NetGalley for Do No Harm. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I’m feeling somewhat conflicted about reviewing this book. It has rave reviews from so many reviewers who I would normally concur with, but the basic premise and the main character's behaviour just didn’t feel right to me. If you haven’t read the book yet, you might want to do so before reading my comments so you can form your own views first. This is what the publisher’s summary tells us: Emma is a doctor at a local clinic, married to a detective with with a four year old son called Josh. When I’m feeling somewhat conflicted about reviewing this book. It has rave reviews from so many reviewers who I would normally concur with, but the basic premise and the main character's behaviour just didn’t feel right to me. If you haven’t read the book yet, you might want to do so before reading my comments so you can form your own views first. This is what the publisher’s summary tells us: Emma is a doctor at a local clinic, married to a detective with with a four year old son called Josh. When Josh is diagnosed with cancer, Emma makes the decision to sell opiods to fund his life saving medical treatment. People are dying from the batch of opiods on the street and Emma’s husband, Nate is in charge of the investigation. I loved the moral conflicts the book raises by asking the question how far would you go to save your son? It’s a great question and fortunately one that most of us will never have to face, but I can’t help feeling most of us would desperately explore every other possible avenue before resorting to selling opiates. Although an application for a loan was turned down and her medical insurance left a shortfall, I just felt that Emma wasn’t conflicted enough in her choices and jumped too readily into selling drugs as the only way out for her. Particularly as she is a doctor, going against all her training and her experience in the hospital seeing the harm opiate overdose can cause. And it wasn’t just the ease with which she made the original decision it was her further choices as she went further down the path of corruption (view spoiler)[ especially knowingly going along with the oxycontin being cut with fentanyl when she knew this was what was killing people and then providing some of this opiate to someone she knew (hide spoiler)] . I also felt conflicted with Emma’s argument that she was helping people who have chronic pain and can no longer get sufficient supplies through their doctors to treat it. While I agree this is a real issue in pain control, there are still a large proportion of people without chronic pain addicted to opiates and Emma was putting everyone’s lives at risk, even those she claims to be helping. She also hadn’t thought through how to explain the money for Josh’s treatment to Nate who was bound to ask questions, particularly as he is a detective or be seriously concerned that she was putting his career at risk as well as her own. I also had issues with Nate being allowed to be in charge of the investigation into the drug ring despite the obvious conflicts of interest (view spoiler)[ that his wife’s brother Ben was involved in running it (hide spoiler)] . Apart from these issues, the novel is a real page turner and a suspenseful thriller and if some of the issues I mentioned had been handled differently it could have been a five star read for me too. For me it just seemed too easy for this women who started off as a respected, ethical doctor in a good marriage to a detective, a good mother with high moral standards could so easily be swept along a path of corruption without a lot of inner turmoil and hand wringing and a lot more careto hide who she was and what she was doing. The novel certainly raised a lot of questions and would be a great book for book club discussions. It also made me feel very lucky to live in a country with government funded healthcare so that no one needs to go into debt or sell drugs to fund their cancer treatment or organ transplant. Although, recent changes to prescribing of opiates for chronic pain have also occurred in my country and are causing concern that those who need these drugs most are suffering unneccessarily.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mary Kubica

    An intense, emotionally-charged wild ride! I've loved Christina McDonald's previous books, but this might be her best yet. Must read. An intense, emotionally-charged wild ride! I've loved Christina McDonald's previous books, but this might be her best yet. Must read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    Review to follow. Great medical thriller!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Woodward

    It's this system. Our medical system. It's failing all of us. Emma is in the medical field for all the right reasons. After the tragic passing of her parents, she wants to give back, to help, and to save lives. Becoming a doctor has given her so much, and police detective husband Nate and son Josh help round out her life, giving her a happiness she only dreamed possible. This picture-perfect suburban life comes crashing down around her when Josh is dealt a heavy hand: he has been diagnosed w It's this system. Our medical system. It's failing all of us. Emma is in the medical field for all the right reasons. After the tragic passing of her parents, she wants to give back, to help, and to save lives. Becoming a doctor has given her so much, and police detective husband Nate and son Josh help round out her life, giving her a happiness she only dreamed possible. This picture-perfect suburban life comes crashing down around her when Josh is dealt a heavy hand: he has been diagnosed with leukemia, and not your standard garden variety, but a leukemia with very few treatments, the most promising of which is astronomically expensive. Emma is still paying off years of medical school, and Nate's salary cannot possibly absorb this extra financial blow...especially when Emma learns insurance will hardly cover any portion of the special treatment that will give Josh a fighting chance. Emma then forms a dangerous plan and a future only a few prescription pads and her signature can buy: she launches headfirst into the dangerous world of opioid sales. The deeper she goes, the more tangled her web ultimately becomes, as Nate is investigating the very drug ring that Emma, her brother, and former high school friend are in...and needs to crack the case to secure a promotion. As Emma tries to keep her husband's prying eyes and suspicions at bay, will the heavy hand of justice unravel her carefully spun web? And will the treatments be enough to save Josh in the end? Christina McDonald has absolutely jumped on the topical and timely train with this novel, and I am so thrilled that she did! What I loved most about this novel was the careful balance she maintained between an exploration of the pure heartbreak our current medical system can inflict on a family and an engaging and fast-paced thriller. Having Emma as the center of the storm was also a well-reasoned choice, since she can ponder as a character the reasons why a patient might really NEED opiates, how the spiral of addiction (or even selling!) can start, and of course the ethical dilemma she faces as a doctor willing to risk her career to save her son's life. Everyone I know has a story to tell when it comes to our very broken medical system, and while Emma's story seems extreme, the sentiment behind her motives is all too familiar. When GoFundMe provides as many dollars as major insurance companies do to help cover medical treatments, there is something intrinsically wrong with our system, and we desperately need a change in our priorities and focus as a nation. I also really appreciated that McDonald worked in commentary on our lack of accessible and affordable mental health care, which has led so many people into addiction as they try any means necessary to self medicate. Plenty of twists and turns abound also, and there were definitely a few wonderful fake-outs to keep my pulse pounding! This story is absolutely riveting, heartbreaking, thrilling, and thought-provoking, and I am SO glad it was my first read from Christina McDonald! I hope someday we can live in a world where these type of scenarios truly ARE fiction, but until then, I look forward to more hard-hitting topics carefully wrapped in a suspenseful coating which leave me both heartbroken and desperate for more! 4 ⭐

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Belle

    McDonald takes the heart-wrenching premise that has become her trademark and ratchets it up a notch in Do No Harm, blurring the lines between good and evil in a doctor desperate to save her sick child. A gripping, emotional roller coaster with a sting in the tail.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Margitte

    I'm so between a rock and a hard place about this novel. Emma, a struggling doctor, married to Ned, a detective, makes the decision to sell opioids to save their little son struggling with leukemia. The novel is well written, with elements of suspense and surprise weaving through the plot. The young Josh provides the emotional cord to all the role players as well as the readers and act as the glue to keep the fast-paced thriller heading towards an unexpected denouement. The most important question I'm so between a rock and a hard place about this novel. Emma, a struggling doctor, married to Ned, a detective, makes the decision to sell opioids to save their little son struggling with leukemia. The novel is well written, with elements of suspense and surprise weaving through the plot. The young Josh provides the emotional cord to all the role players as well as the readers and act as the glue to keep the fast-paced thriller heading towards an unexpected denouement. The most important question that remains: Who were the heroes and who the villains? Did the end justify the means? In order to answer the question, you will have to read the book. What influence will this novel, and Emma in particular, have on the readers? My question-to-myself reminded me of J.D. Salinger's tales. I'm sure there are many more. The Salinger Contract by Adam Langer adressed similar questions. For instance: From the review: J.D. Salinger inspired more than dreamy-eyed romantics on a thriller-high with his tales, written in seclusion for more than forty years in Cornish, New Hampshire. He was also the bubbles in the champagne of the infamous John Hinckley(attempted onslaught on Ronald Reagan's life), Mark David Chapman(John Lennon's assassin) and later Jared Lee Loughner, who shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. From the Salinger novel: ~ “Every criminal would be an artist if he had the talent, and every artist would become a criminal if he had the guts.” Christina Mcdonald did an excellent job in pulling all the strings of the opioid crises together in one place. In-depth research was involved to pull this off. By building a story around it to make it palatable to readers, she reaches a wider audience than those who rely on non-fictional reports and documentaries for more information. I did not emotionally connect to any of the characters, but did invest in Ned to find a solution to the out of control situation created by Emma. Alas, the thriller turned out way different than anticipated. Surprising? It is for the reader to decide. I will go with four stars. It's absolutely worth a read: so relevant, affecting us all on some or other level. PS. Brenda had an insightful interview with the author in the Behind The Page Goodreads Group. The book is also currently discussed in The Traveling Friends Group.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    All the stars for Christina McDonald's Do No Harm! This medical thriller is a must read. How far would you go to save your child? Would you be willing to risk everything? These are the questions Emma faces when her son Josh is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Along with this diagnosis comes a heavy financial burden in the form of medical bills. Expenses that far exceed what she, a doctor, and her husband, a detective, can afford. And because of this, Emma's moral compass is challenged... I was All the stars for Christina McDonald's Do No Harm! This medical thriller is a must read. How far would you go to save your child? Would you be willing to risk everything? These are the questions Emma faces when her son Josh is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Along with this diagnosis comes a heavy financial burden in the form of medical bills. Expenses that far exceed what she, a doctor, and her husband, a detective, can afford. And because of this, Emma's moral compass is challenged... I was invested from start to finish. This book takes the reader on a roller coaster ride. A quick page turner that packs an emotional punch. Huge thank you to Simon and Schuster, Gallery Books and Christina McDonald for my copy!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Catherine McKenzie

    Fast paced My heart was in my throat through the trusts and turns and bade decisions the characters made up until the shocking end.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Suzy

    5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Wow. Just wow! Christina McDonald has knocked it out of the park again with this one. How far would you go to save your child? I could not get enough of this book. It was super addictive and had me hooked from the get go. Emma is a doctor at the local hospital and happily married to a police detective. When their five year old son Josh is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, they are obviously devastated. There’s hope - but the life-saving treatment he needs is very expensive - 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Wow. Just wow! Christina McDonald has knocked it out of the park again with this one. How far would you go to save your child? I could not get enough of this book. It was super addictive and had me hooked from the get go. Emma is a doctor at the local hospital and happily married to a police detective. When their five year old son Josh is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, they are obviously devastated. There’s hope - but the life-saving treatment he needs is very expensive - one that their medical insurance will not cover. Determined to save his life, Emma makes the risky decision to sell opioids to pay for it. When a drug deal goes wrong and somebody ends up dead, Emma‘s husband is the lead detective on the case. Can she keep this from him long enough in order to save their son? This book is a gripping, heart pounding adrenaline rusher filled with twists and heartbreak. I can’t wait to see what McDonald comes up with next! Thank you to NetGalley, Gallery Books and Christina McDonald for my advanced copy to read and review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jayne

    I am a huge Christina McDonald fan and, therefore, my expectations for Christina McDonald's newest book were sky-high. Although this book was very well written and brought needed attention to our country's ongoing opioid crisis, this not-so-thrilling "thriller" was disappointing. On the positive side, DO NO HARM's "What would you do to save your son?" premise was very, very compelling. Also, I really loved all of the ironies that comprised the book's core: Without telling her police detective husb I am a huge Christina McDonald fan and, therefore, my expectations for Christina McDonald's newest book were sky-high. Although this book was very well written and brought needed attention to our country's ongoing opioid crisis, this not-so-thrilling "thriller" was disappointing. On the positive side, DO NO HARM's "What would you do to save your son?" premise was very, very compelling. Also, I really loved all of the ironies that comprised the book's core: Without telling her police detective husband, a respected physician breaks the law by forging painkiller prescriptions to pay for her son's cancer treatment. Both sides of the law loved each other and were living under the same roof with the common goal of saving their son. Yes, coupled with the fact that this book was authored by Christina McDonald, I was very excited to read this book. From beginning to end, this book had problems. Overall, the book's storyline was unrealistic, contrived, and flawed: the respected physician's police detective husband was actually in charge of investigating the physician's brother in a drug-related case (since when is this not a conflict of interest?) The respected physician just happened to be a skilled forger (HUH?), and was able to easily steal prescription pads from her "small town" clinic without anyone immediately noticing. (How is this possible?) And how did all of those prescriptions pass the scrutiny of pharmacists? In today's world, it is NOT EASY to get a "real" pain medication prescription filled at a pharmacy. A person can't even purchase a bottle of over-the-counter Sudafed without showing an ID. I felt that the book's middle was muddled with too many characters (and dead bodies!) and the end of the book was predictable. Coincidentally, right before starting this book, I just finished reading Tom Hunt's KILLER CHOICES. Both books had similar plots: what should a person do when a loved one has cancer and there is no money to pay for the life-saving treatment? Tom Hunt's KILLER CHOICES nailed this premise, Christina McDonald's DO NO HARM did not. I listened to the book's audio version. The book's female narrator was good, but not great. The male narrator was robotic. Christina McDonald is a very talented author and I will definitely be looking forward to her future titles. I loved, loved, loved THE NIGHT OLIVIA FELL and, hopefully, Christina McDonald's next book will be a 5-star read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    A MEDICAL THRILLER FROM CHRISTINA MCDONALD OMG I'M SO EXICTED | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram A MEDICAL THRILLER FROM CHRISTINA MCDONALD OMG I'M SO EXICTED | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  23. 4 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    Go behind the scenes DO NO HARM and the author. Check out my fun and fascinating Elevator Ride with the Author Interview HOLY MOLY! "A stellar work of psychological suspense that will leave you breathless." From the author of The Night Olivia Felland Behind Every Lie comes another brilliantly crafted psychological thriller that will keep you guessing from the first page— (love her prologues) to the explosive jaw-dropping ending. "Does the END justify the means? Set in the small town of Skama Go behind the scenes DO NO HARM and the author. Check out my fun and fascinating Elevator Ride with the Author Interview HOLY MOLY! "A stellar work of psychological suspense that will leave you breathless." From the author of The Night Olivia Felland Behind Every Lie comes another brilliantly crafted psychological thriller that will keep you guessing from the first page— (love her prologues) to the explosive jaw-dropping ending. "Does the END justify the means? Set in the small town of Skamania, Emma is a doctor and married to Nate, a detective, and they have an adorable young son, Josh (a fan of Star Wars), who is in kindergarten. They do not have a lot of money due to school loans and rent a home from Nate's mother, but they have a good life. Emma's life has not been easy. She and her brother became orphans when their parents were killed in a car accident. Her brother has been in trouble, rehab, and prison, and she tried everything to help him. Now he is out of jail. Emma and Nate receive the worst news. Their son has a rare form of leukemia. To save his life, he must have a treatment that is not covered by their insurance. The cost will be more than $98,000 plus continued care. What will they do? They cannot let their son die. They have no way to attain this kind of money. from other doctors and calls her ex-boyfriend Gabe to hook her up with a distributor. (her brother's best friend). She was going to have to set up an OxyContin drug ring on her own. She works up a scheme to have the contacts sell the drugs to pay for her son's treatment. However, things do not go as planned, and she soon finds herself in the middle of a murder, drug rings, and constant danger. She risks it all to save her son. Her husband, Nate, is working on a case that is a little too close for comfort. Her brother Ben is connected to a crime. Soon Emma finds herself dealing with drug rings, creepy warehouses, murder, overdoses, and runs the risk of getting caught. Then she will lose her job, and if her husband discovers her scheme, he will lose his job. They must save Josh. She thinks if she can just get his treatment, she will stop. Life-threatening decisions to make. We meet everyday people who are hooked on oxy due to their pain management. They can no longer get the scripts from their doctors and turn to the dark side to attain them, which may not be safe. She thinks if she can just get enough money to save her son and she will stop. However, the danger starts closing in, and she does not know whom to trust. She took an oath to do no harm. Does the end justify the means? INTENSE! The author is a pro at writing emotionally-charged topics of mothers, their struggles, and saving their children— combined with gripping plots and rich characterization. A terrifying dilemma for two parents who took oaths to serve and proposes the question —how far we would go to protect those we love? "Some criminals are born. Others are formed by circumstances." Filled with sharp insights, a gripping tale of marriage, parenting, families, secrets, addiction, greed, and the healthcare and the severe destructive opioid crisis — ripped from today's headlines. You will fall in love with little Josh and his courageous fight with cancer. Christina Mcdonald delivers her BEST yet!!!! A multi-layered plot with twists and turns with each turning page keeping you on the edge of your seat. You know something dark and sinister is coming; however, you are unsure how it will play out. I am a massive fan of the author's work, but trust me, this one is "off the charts great!" If you can only read one thriller this year, DO NO HARM is the one! OMG! Once you start reading, you will NOT be able to put this one down. Compelling, dark, twisty, and a definite must-read! If you loved "Breaking Bad" (a huge fan), crossing moral lines, DO NO HARM is even better. Movie-worthy. Be prepared to be WOWED!! It will force you to take a serious look at the opioid crisis from the inside out, and propose a question for families everywhere: How far would you go when trying to protect your child from dying? Get this one on your pre-order list now. Positioned to be one of the best thrillers of 2021. For fans of Lisa Gardner, Lisa Unger, Hank Phillippi Ryan, and Karin Slaughter. A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. Thought-provoking and ideal for book clubs and further discussions. Read more about this on my blog: #JDCMustReadBooks Read My Reviews: 2019 The Night Olivia Fell Top Books 2019 Q&A with Christina 2020 Behind Every Lie Top Books of 2020 Q&A with Christina

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kendall

    Wow this one definitely gets your heart pumping! I read Christina's debut novel The Night Olivia Fell and was instantly in love with her writing. Do No Harm is another thriller that will leave you wanting more from Christina! McDonald definitely shakes the lines up between good and evil in a doctor who is desperate to save her child. Do No Harm is a gripping and emotional wild ride! I am looking forward to what Christina McDonald will be writing next :). Thank you so much to Gallery/Scouts Press Wow this one definitely gets your heart pumping! I read Christina's debut novel The Night Olivia Fell and was instantly in love with her writing. Do No Harm is another thriller that will leave you wanting more from Christina! McDonald definitely shakes the lines up between good and evil in a doctor who is desperate to save her child. Do No Harm is a gripping and emotional wild ride! I am looking forward to what Christina McDonald will be writing next :). Thank you so much to Gallery/Scouts Press for the arc in exchange for an honest review. 3.5/5 stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    debbicat *made of stardust*

    "The lies were woven around me, a spider's web, swirling, tightening. I was becoming more and more entangled. I didn't know how to get out." Emma and Nate...happy and loving parents to 5-year-old Josh. Emma is a doctor and Nate a detective. Their life is pretty close to perfect and you feel a little jealous of that perfectness early on...but then... Josh gets a shocking diagnosis of cancer and the hospital needs like 100K to treat him. Emma and Nate do not even have savings; they are renting a ho "The lies were woven around me, a spider's web, swirling, tightening. I was becoming more and more entangled. I didn't know how to get out." Emma and Nate...happy and loving parents to 5-year-old Josh. Emma is a doctor and Nate a detective. Their life is pretty close to perfect and you feel a little jealous of that perfectness early on...but then... Josh gets a shocking diagnosis of cancer and the hospital needs like 100K to treat him. Emma and Nate do not even have savings; they are renting a house from Nate's parents. They are mushily happy until they are not. Emma knows they have to come up with a lotta money fast. Nate thinks it will all be ok bc maybe he can get a promotion. Maybe. Emma can't wait for that. She gets involved very quickly with selling opioids and writing illegal scripts with the help of her ex-boyfriend and her brother; both with shady backgrounds in drug dealing. There is so much depth to this plot. A lot of questions you never want to have to ask yourself. It is a cat and mouse game between husband and wife. Nate is involved in investigating cases surrounding this drug ring and Emma is heading it up! Would you do it??? What if you believed you were helping those who needed the opioids anyway, and docs could no longer prescribe them; those with chronic pain that never get any relief and can't live their lives bc they can't stand or get out of bed? Does that make it any better? If it saves your son, who can't get the treatment w/o all of that money...what then? Is it worth it? You will have to decide. I honestly don't even wanna think about what my answers to those questions might look like and I hope I never have to. I read this in two sittings which I never seem to be able to do. It was indeed a page-turner. And I highly recommend it. McDonald is a very talented author. This is my third read by her. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a digital ARC to read for review. I really enjoyed it!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    Oh my goodness - this book was amazing!! It was so addictive and really tugged at the heart strings. Makes you think about what you would do in the same situation. I was hooked right from the start and the ending - wow!! The narrators were fantastic too

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Kelley

    Happy publication day!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Thank you to Netgalley & Gallery books for the chance to read and review an early copy of McDonald’s new thriller, Do No Harm out 2/12! “No one action defines us - it’s the journey that determines if we’re a good person or not.” This book is GOOD! It’s so unique in its premise of following a female doctor, married to a detective, who decides to get into the opioid dealing business to pay for her son’s cancer treatment and life. This book really goes into what is Happy publication day!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Thank you to Netgalley & Gallery books for the chance to read and review an early copy of McDonald’s new thriller, Do No Harm out 2/12! “No one action defines us - it’s the journey that determines if we’re a good person or not.” This book is GOOD! It’s so unique in its premise of following a female doctor, married to a detective, who decides to get into the opioid dealing business to pay for her son’s cancer treatment and life. This book really goes into what is right and wrong and who really gets to determine if someone’s acts are justified or not. It truly blurs the lines of what truly is right and what’s not. It asks the one question of how far would you go to save your own child? I’m not a mother but clearly, if I had a child I would do whatever I could for them. I mean I would do anything for my nephew, so I can only imagine if it was my own child. It’s clear that McDonald put a lot of effort into this thriller because it’s quite intricate and there are a lot of moving pieces that come together slowly. It’s as if you’re solving the crime while our main characters husband does. Jumping between his and hers POVs we get to see where each one stands on the present issues. There was a lot of information in here about the opioid crisis and how addiction can affect the brain. I appreciated that and I learned a few things! Overall, this was an EXCELLENT medical/crime thriller. It was so unique and really caught my attention from the very first page. The big reveal at the end was a tiny bit expected but also not expected at all at the same time. This will definitely go down as being one of my favorite thrillers! This was the first time I ever read a book by Christina, and it will most surely not be the last! Auto-buy author for me! “Sometimes you’re dealt a losing hand you might win, sometimes you’re dealt a winning hand you might lose. You just gotta play the cards you’re dealt.”

  28. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Harding

    This is a gripping page-turner with a heartwrenching moral quandary at its core. Christina McDonald writes from the heart about the devastating consequences of addiction, and the power of maternal love. DO NO HARM is tense, moving, and disturbingly relevant. I devoured it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    ReadingTilTheBreakOfDawn

    "Sometimes we have to do the wrong thing for the right reasons." OMG! This is the third book I've read by Christina McDonald and I appreciate all of her stories for different reasons. But this book....What an intense and wild ride! I couldn’t put it down! What would you do for your child? How far would you go to this side of illegal? Do No Harm answers these questions along with so many others that we are forced to deal with in America and intertwines it into a well told and fast paced emotional p "Sometimes we have to do the wrong thing for the right reasons." OMG! This is the third book I've read by Christina McDonald and I appreciate all of her stories for different reasons. But this book....What an intense and wild ride! I couldn’t put it down! What would you do for your child? How far would you go to this side of illegal? Do No Harm answers these questions along with so many others that we are forced to deal with in America and intertwines it into a well told and fast paced emotional psychological thriller. Emma is a doctor at a local clinic. Her husband, Nate is a police officer in their small town. And they have the cutest son, Josh that steals a lot of scenes he is in. They aren't wealthy, but they are a happy family that are devoted to each other and to their child. So, when they get news that their sweet child is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and that their insurance won't pay for the majority of it, what are parents supposed to do? How far would you go to save the ones you love? Emma's protective side takes over and she will go to any means necessary to make sure her son lives, even if that means going behind her husband's back and doing something that is illegal and just happens to be something he is investigating as well. Ms McDonald doesn't only deal with a parent's love for their child, but she also mixes in some serious issues we have in America and I loved that she combined that with her page turning story. She touched on medical care that no one can afford, highly addictive prescription drugs, and the people who actually need those prescription drugs to deal with pain and cannot get those medications. She did this in a way that didn't feel off. It fit with the storyline and pushed the story forward in a very real way. This book was gripping from the very beginning. I liked the family and the characters, for the most part. I understood the actions of the parents and how each of them reacted. But where her story really shined was adding in the elements of our societal issues we have and did it in a very authentic way. It made you question how we live and how we can do better. Even if you have to pull yourself away from some unrealistic parts of the story, it's never for long because you will want to know what happens next. Do No Harm was well plotted out and perfectly paced. The main characters and how they reacted seemed very real. Some of the side characters were a bit much, but they 100% added to Nate's case he was investigating . If you want a story that will pull you in right from the beginning and will captivate you throughout, you've got it. It's fast-paced with everything I want in a good family suspense thriller and I didn't want it to end. The ending was crazy intense and a bit unexpected, but overall this was a strong book with some pretty amazing elements that will stick with me.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    A dark look into how far a mother would go to save her child After a tough childhood, where she was orphaned and spent time in foster care, Emma finally has the life she's always wanted. A successful doctor, she has a loving husband, Nate, and a young son, Josh. But that all stands to change when Josh, who is only five, is diagnosed with leukemia. Even with her hospital insurance, Josh's potential life-saving treatment will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Determined to save Josh no matter A dark look into how far a mother would go to save her child After a tough childhood, where she was orphaned and spent time in foster care, Emma finally has the life she's always wanted. A successful doctor, she has a loving husband, Nate, and a young son, Josh. But that all stands to change when Josh, who is only five, is diagnosed with leukemia. Even with her hospital insurance, Josh's potential life-saving treatment will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Determined to save Josh no matter what, Emma makes the decision to sell opioids. Her choice puts her directly against Nate, a local police officer, who is investigating the death of a potential drug dealer. Emma will do anything to save Josh--does that include murder? "I felt like I'd been dropped down a rabbit hole with the wolf sitting right outside. And the wolf was my husband." This is a brutal dark read that pulls you into Emma and Nate's dilemma immediately. Personally, I found it hard to read about Josh's illness. I have a difficult time with books about kids being sick. But, McDonald is an excellent writer, and she does a wonderful job portraying stricken parents, pushed to the brink, who would do anything for their child. For Emma, it's turning to selling drugs. For Nate, it's working constantly to solve his current case, which means a promotion that could brings additional money for their family. The story is told from each of their perspectives, ratcheting up the tension with each chapter. Emma, it seems, really has no limits on what she would do for Josh. McDonald makes the reader question: how far would you go to save your child? The book also offers a nuanced perspective on the opioid crisis, versus the usual "drugs bad" stance we get in many novels, which I appreciated. The entire novel makes you think and question standard perspectives in so many ways. It turns good versus evil and right versus wrong on its heels. And it offers a dark and insightful look into drug addiction and chronic pain and how families support each other (or don't). Overall, this isn't an easy read, but it's a well-written and compelling one. It's timely, with an excellent perspective on the drug problems facing Americans and leaves the reader questioning much about right versus wrong. 4 stars. I received a copy of this book from Gallery Books and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review. It is available on 2/16/2021. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

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