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Do No Harm - a tense thriller that begs the question, "does the end justify the means?"

What would you do to save your child? Would you compromise everything you’ve ever stood for? Lie to those who love you? Risk it all?


That’s the intriguing dilemma for Emma in Do No Harm. She is a physician married to Nate, a policeman. When their young son Josh gets sick, money is needed to pay for a lifesaving medical procedure that is not fully covered by insurance creating a desperate need for money. The family lives outside of Seattle in the small town of Skamania, a community that is in the midst of an opioid crisis.


All efforts to find a way to fund the needed treatment fail and Emma does the unthinkable – she decides to raise the money by selling prescriptions for oxycodone getting herself deep in the middle of the local drug trade. When a murder takes place, Emma finds it harder and harder to hide her actions as it is her husband who is the investigating officer in the murder and the growing epidemic. She knows that time is running out.


This taut, suspenseful book not only raises the issue of Emma’s actions but the failings of a medical system that either denies people in need of pain medication due to lack of insurance or over-prescribes opioids creating addicts. There are no easy answers.


Author Christina McDonald has created a dark story where the lines between good and bad are completely blurred. It is fast-paced yet exhausting. I suspect there will be two extreme camps on this book as other than adorable, Star Wars-loving Josh, most characters are not particularly likeable, including Emma. I thought Do No Harm was very thought-provoking and worthwhile.


Many thanks to NetGalley and Gallery Books for the opportunity to read this tense thriller in advance of its publication date.


Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Mystery / Thriller.

Publication Date: February 16, 2021.


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