Source: Review copy
Publication: 26 May from Simon and Schuster
Narrators: Lucy Paterson, Sarah Feathers, Jane Collingwood
Listening Time: 10hrs 26 minutes
My thanks to Simon and Schuster for an advance audiobook for review
My child has been taken. And I’ve been given a choice….
Kill a patient on the operating table. Or never see him again.
The man lies on the table in front of me.
As a surgeon, it’s my job to save him.
As a mother, I know I must kill him.
You might think that I’m a monster.
But there really is only one choice.
I must get away with murder.
Or I will never see my son again.
I’ve saved many lives.
Would you trust me with yours?
Do No Harm is a thrill ride from start to finish. Jack Jordan’s characters stand out from the page and their narrative drives the book forward at a relentless pace. Told in three first person voices, this is perfect fare for audiobook listening and our three narrators more than did it justice.
Our key protagonist is a cardiothoracic surgeon who, when we meet her, is due to perform a coronary bypass on prominent politician, Ahmed Shabir. Anna Jones is at the top of her game in Redwood Hospital and although she is in the midst of a difficult divorce, she is more than able to do her job with skill and precision and her outcomes are always good.
Ann is mother to 7 year old Zack, the light of her life. So when Zack is kidnapped and Anna is told by his kidnappers to do the unthinkable and break her Hippocratic oath, the dilemma she faces is one that causes her major anguish.
Our second narrator is scrub nurse Margot Barnes. Margot is at the bottom end of the hospital food chain. She has some serious issues of her own to deal with, including serious debt and not least of problems is her seriously deranged brother and she survives by scrimping and stealing. When she sees something that no-one else has noticed, she reckons she has an opportunity to put all her money worries aside for good.
Finally, we hear from Detective Inspector Rachel Conaty. She has a trauma in her past that she can’t get over and she carries a massive chip on her shoulder that impacts on her professional life as she tries to fathom what’s going on with Anna.
Do No Harm is gripping, propulsive and full of intense emotion. You really feel for Anna when she is faced with an impossible dilemma. To rescue her son she must kill her patient. Jack Jordan lays out Anna’s soul-searching anguish so clearly that as a reader you really feel for her. All they along you hope and pray for a different choice, but as you read, the position only becomes more stark and your heart is in your mouth as you wait tor Anna to make her impossible decision.
Interspersing Anna’s chapters we learn more about the personal lives of both Morag and Rachel as we hear directly from them. Neither has had an easy life either and who they are and the decisions they make in this scenario are very much also shaped by their experiences.
Jordan manages to make both Anna and Morag feel like real people and they go through the gamut of emotions which ultimately drives them to do some pretty extreme things but for the most believable reasons. Even though they may not always be likeable, you do want them to succeed.
Verdict: Jack Jordan’s writing is nail-bitingly tense; his plotting clever, twisty and his pace relentless. Do No Harm is a tale of the power of motherhood and the extreme lengths that people will go to to protect their children. It works really well as an audiobook and I’m sure just as well on the printed page. It’s an all-consuming rollercoaster ride and I really enjoyed it.
Jack Jordan is the global bestselling author of Anything for Her, My Girl, A Woman
Scorned, Before Her Eyes, and Night by Night and an Amazon No.1 bestseller in the
UK, Canada, and Australia. After selling at auction in the UK and numerous foreign
territories, Do No Harm is set to be the thriller of the summer in 2022. The idea for
Do No Harm came to Jack after undergoing a minor medical procedure where he
had to be sedated and trust strangers with his welfare. After the anaesthesia wore
off, Jack began scribbling his notes, wondering to himself just how iron-clad a
surgeon’s oath is, and what it would take to break it..