"strong medical thriller"
She is a young beautiful woman who went from porn star to
an actress having good parts in daytime drama. She has
just had breast augmentation surgery and the boyfriend who
was supposed to be staying with her left her alone and in
pain. As time goes on the pain becomes unbearable and Eden
Hale is barely able to make the 911 for an ambulance before
becoming unconscious. By the time the she arrives at Mercy
Hospital in San Francisco, she is barely breathing.
Dr. Carroll Monks works on Eden but nothing he does is
helping and he has no idea what is wrong with her until he
sees bruising spreading across her skin. He administer a
drug in hopes of stopping the blood from clotting but she
dies before the drug can take affect. His peers criticize
him for his treatment protocol but when the pathologist
finds a toxin in Eden's blood, Carroll thinks she was
murdered. He starts asking too many questions and winds up
almost getting killed by a person who wants attention
deflected from the plastic surgeon and those who work for
After reading TO THE BONE, readers will have second
thoughts about having cosmetic plastic surgery done to
them. This story is fast moving, action-packed and gives
the audience a glimpse into the world of the affluent who
will do anything to look young and beautiful. Neil McMahon
is an excellent storyteller whose work can be favorably
compared to Michael Palmer and Robin Cook. The protagonist
of this tale is likable and vulnerable and will hopefully
star in more books.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted August 8, 2003
Late one hot summer night, a beautiful young actress named Eden Hale - only hours removed from breast-augmentation surgery, and writhing in pain - stumbles to the telephone and dials 911. Within minutes, an ambulance rushes her to San Francisco's Mercy Hospital. But by the time she arrives, she is dying, fast, of a mysterious, unrecognizable condition.
Dr. Carroll Monks, the ER physician on duty, races to sort through her baffling symptoms in the few minutes he has left to save her. Monks has a sudden insight and, against the advice of his peers, risks a radical treatment, which will prove to be either a brilliant manuever or a potentially deadly mistake. It fails. Eden Hale, vibrantly healthy and barely twenty-five years old, is dead.
The fallout is immediate and intense. The plastic surgeon who operated on Eden - Dr. D. Welles D'Anton, whose reputation as a surgical guarantor of perfection and agelessness has conferred on him a guru-like status - blames Monks for her death. Criticism from Monks's hospital colleagues quickly follows and the threat of a lawsuit is not far behind. Monks's career is in jeopardy, but his own guilt and uncertainty are what haunt him worst of all.
Convinced there's a hidden cause to Eden's death, Monks starts to delve into her past. Despite roadblocks that spring up in his path, he soon learns that the former prom queen was not the all-American girl she seemed to be: she was caught up in the world of pornography, and was even, possibly, having an ilicit affair with D'Anton. Then Monks uncovers a secret that is far more frightening: other young women in D'Anton's care have wound up missing, dead, or horribly disfigured.
In his search for the truth,Monks is drawn into a culture of unimaginable wealth and vanity - only to discover that he is being used as a pawn in a decadent game of glamour and cruelty, one that places him in the crosshairs of a deadly psychopath.