Friday, February 14, 2014

Adult Thriller: Wendell Black, MD

Wendell Black, MD
by Gerald Imber
Bourban Street Books/HarperCollins Publisher
416 pages
ISBN: 9780062246851

Praise from the publisher's web site:

“Wendell Black, a middle-aged police surgeon for the NYPD, evolves into an action hero reminiscent of John McClane, Bruce Willis’s character in the Die Hard series, in plastic surgeon Imber’s well-written first novel.”
Publishers Weekly
“A high-stakes debut…. The scenes are filled with clever language and rich descriptions…. A heck of a story, with a hero who deserves a series of books.”
Kirkus Reviews
Fiercely crafted prose and an exciting premise will have readers racing to finish this  intriguing novel. Readers will struggle to  figure out who the good guys are and who the bad guys really are.
Wendell Black is a doctor who works for the New York Police Department. He does a little of everything--he stops by and makes hospital rounds to see how wounded or sick cops are doing, he sees sick police officers and places them on sick leave or gives them the  green light for duty. On a flight back to New York, Dr. Black is called upon to revive an unconscious passenger. He fights for her life, but the woman cannot be resuscitated. The police are called in when the body is taken into custody at the Medical Examiner's office. They find that the  passenger is not a female after all but a man who has had a recent breast implant operation. The implants are not normal; they are filled with heroin. The narcotics investigators call in Dr. Black for an interview.

This is no ordinary drug case; Alice Sheppard,  Black's "girlfriend" and co-worker  introduces him to a doctor she met in London--Farzan Byarshan. Byarshan tells Black that he suspects the dead passenger was a mule for a terrorist sect. When Dr. Black takes this  theory to the police, they don't buy it. Narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, Black suddenly has all sorts of company:  MI-6, the feds and Homeland Security and New York's finest  jump into the fray.

 Alice suddenly vanishes after the murder of Byarshan, and  police suspect her. They question Dr. Black again, but he denies knowing Alice's whereabouts.

Imber uses his knowledge of police work and his years working in medicine to create a believable story that will instill fear in the minds of all readers. The smuggling ring and the bio-terrorism threat are possible and plausible  in a post 9/11 world.

Readers who enjoy police/detective novels by writers Ed McBain and Elmore Leonard will love Imber's new hero Wendell Black. Here is hoping that Wendell Black will appear in  a series.

Highly recommended for adult readers and mature high school readers. Mature subject matter.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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