I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for excellent medical thriller Sometimes People Die by Simon Stephenson. Thank you to Sofia Saghir and Borough Press for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
About the book:
The year is 1999. Returning to practice after a suspension for stealing opioids, a young Scottish doctor takes the only job he can find: a post as a senior house officer in the struggling east London hospital of St Luke’s.
Amid the maelstrom of sick patients, over-worked staff and underfunded wards a darker secret soon declares itself: too many patients are dying.
Which of the medical professionals our protagonist has encountered is behind the murders?
About the author:
Simon Stephenson originally trained as a doctor and worked in Scotland and London. He previously wroteLet Not the Waves of the Sea, a memoir about the loss of his brother in the Indian ocean tsunami. It won Best First Book at the Scottish Book Awards, was a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, and a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year.
His first novel, Set My Heart to Five was a Bookseller Book of the Month and was described by the Daily Mail as ‘Funny, original and thought-provoking.’ It has been optioned by Working Title Films to be directed by Edgar Wright from Stephenson’s screenplay.
He currently lives in Los Angeles, in a house where a famous murder took place. As a screenwriter, he originated and wrote the Benedict Cumberbatch starrerThe Electrical Life of Louis Wain and wrote the story for Pixar’s Luca. He also contributed to everybody’s favourite film, Paddington 2.
Sometimes People Die is a shocking and at times thought provoking medical thriller by Simon Stephenson. After a suspension for stealing opioids, an unnamed young Scottish doctor takes a job at struggling East London hospital St Luke’s. A slow burn of a novel, the story begins to gain momentum as it becomes apparent that there is a much darker secret at play here than just an underfunded hospital with overworked staff. Too many patients are dying, but who is responsible for the murders? And does our unnamed doctor have any idea who it is?
Sometimes People Die gives a fascinating insight into life as a doctor in a busy, underfunded hospital, going into detail about medical procedures and the stress overworked staff are put under. Interspersed between chapters is information on infamous real life murderers such as Dr Crippen and Harold Shipman, which I have to admit did make for an interesting read. But it was the murder mystery at the heart of this story that kept me interested throughout, as the young doctor inadvertently finds himself under suspicion of murder when a patient is found to have died from an overdose of the very same opioid that he was suspended for stealing.
Sometimes People Die is an intelligent and suspense filled medical thriller that really does make you think, the story twisting in ways I could never have imagined when I started it. Filled to the brim with dark humour, it isn’t a fast paced read by any means, but is a murder mystery that reads very much like a medical memoir in places, as Simon Stephenson draws on his own experience as a doctor to bring an authenticity to the story that I very much enjoyed.
An absorbing, fascinating and at times shocking read, Sometimes People Die is a thought provoking medical thriller that I would recommend.
Sometimes People Die by Simon Stephenson is available to purchase now: