Do Me No Harm is the first book I have read by Julie Corbin so I wasn't sure what to expect.
A FAMILY HELD TOGETHER BY LIES BUT ABOUT TO BE TORN APART BY A DEVASTATING SECRET . . .
When her teenage son Robbie's drink is spiked, Olivia Somers is devastated. She has spent her adult life trying to protect people and keep them safe - not only as a mother, but also in her chosen profession as a doctor. So she tries to put it down to a horrible accident, in spite of the evidence suggesting malicious intent, and simply hopes no-one tries to endanger those she loves again.
But someone from the past is after revenge.
Someone closer to her family than she could possibly realise.
Someone who will stop at nothing until they get the vengeance they crave.
And, as she and her family come under increasing threat, the oath that Olivia took when she first became a doctor - to do no harm to others - will be tested to its very limits.
I sat and devoured this book in one sitting it was so thrilling and gripping that it just didn't feel safe to put down!
Each of the characters had a great depth to them which is great considering the amount of characters that were involved in this storyline. Olivia is a great character in this book she brought all kinds of emotions from vulnerability to tough and focused woman when trying to discover the truth and we see the lengths she would go to to protect her children and I genuinely felt for Olivia when we found out the secret she was hiding from her past.
I don't often read mystery/thrillers as I find with so many twists and turns, I often lost track with what's going on and who are on the good side and who are on the bad side but with this book it wasn't the case, there were twists and turns but everything flowed smoothly so you don't lose track and it becomes quite clear who is on the dark side!
Some parts were a little predictable but there was such a big storyline that it really didn't affect the likeability of this book. I loved the romance that is slowly blossoming under the dark storyline it helps to lighten this tense read.
A compelling and gripping read that needs to come with muscle relaxants!
Dr Olivia Somers is minding her own business, trying to raise two kids alone in the wake of her divorce, when everything goes wrong and her son, Robbie, ends up in hospital. It's hard to work out what really happened, or even if Robbie is giving her the full story, but when there's a further incident, this time involving a break in at their home, it becomes clear that these are no random attacks, and someone is out to get them. With the help of a friendly (and handsome) detective, Olivia tries to piece together the puzzle to work who is behind the trouble, and it's a race against time to figure it out before the next unwelcome surprise from the culprit.
This was an easy to read book with an effective mix of suspense and reveals, and even though it was quite clear early on who might be behind it, and what might have triggered the attacks, the exact details which only come out slowly bit by bit kept it interesting. Although it's mainly set in the present, there are some chapters of memories slotted in at key moments, both to keep you hooked and to fill in some of the back story.
Culprit aside, the characters in this story are reasonably straight forward. Phil, Olivia's ex, is an unpleasant man, and this doesn't change - he doesn't suddenly turn out to be a hero or misunderstood or anything else. O'Reilly is a nice clear thinker who doesn't wholly approve of some of Olivia's attempts to interfere with the investigation, and her family (siblings, parents) are fleshed out enough to give you a good feel of why she is the person she is today. I thought Leila was one of the more interesting characters, especially with the revelations that came out as the plot thickened, and her working with Olivia too added an extra dimension.
This book is lots of things - part detective story, part family drama, very small part romance - and I thought they worked well together. I don't tend to read a lot of dark mysteries, so I liked the way the other elements balanced this out somewhat and I was as keen as anyone to find out the why as well as the who and the how. Sometimes new information didn't seem that relevant, but over time it became clear why it had been introduced, such as the comments about head lice or the imminent wedding, adding to Olivia's feeling that she was losing control further.
I enjoyed this book and found it a bit meatier than some that I read. Set it Scotland, it's not too regional (having an Irish heroine helps) and this allowed the focus to stay on the story and the characters rather than the in this instance not overly important setting.
Do Me No Harm loses a star because I feel any book that has three doctors (Olivia, Phil and Leila) playing such pivotal roles needs to have any medical references sense checked, and there were a few points in this one that stuck out as poorly researched, or at the very least overlooked (such as when Olivia suggests a smear test to detect chlamydia). It didn't do the story much harm, but as someone who works in health it bugged me that something like that had got through various edits and proof reads. Otherwise, an intriguing and engaging story that I would read again.
This review first appeared on www.thebookbag.co.uk
Do Me No Harm is out now in paperback and on Kindle.