Posts Tagged ‘charles c. anderson’
This excellent story starts with a real kick and it only gets better. Dr. Elita Romanov came to, not knowing where she was but was aware that she was wounded, and the guy who’s head was bobbing up and down between her legs was not supposed to be there. She slowly came to her senses as to what position she was in and what might be around to help her get this rapist off of her and get away. The guy was a member of a local gang member of the Plagues, a gang that ruled the neighborhood where she worked. The author tells her method of attempting a get-away and disposing of the rapist and getting away from the other gang members she could hear in the next room. Dr. Katherine Taylor had begged the hospital administrator for more protection as one after another of her staff was attacked, all to no avail. Many of the patients were high on drugs and alcohol and were in part a cause of some of the attacks, some in and some out of the hospital. Parkview Emergency Room was not a safe place to work.
Dr. Taylor and a new nurse, Jennifer, got together with a few others, some on staff and some off, and decided that maybe it was time for them to take some action since the hospital or the police would not. Parkview was in a declining area of the city but the employees had to be safe. When a new patient came to the door of the ED, the staff never knew what they were getting into. If it was late the doors had to be unlocked to admit a patient, otherwise they could just come inside for treatment. The many patients from the gangs had so many diseases so the staff knew they were susceptible to catching anything so, despite the care they took, they still never knew. Jack Hopkins was the most feared leader of the Plagues. Everyone feared him, his gang members, the police, and the hospital staff. There was a nearby park made for the neighborhood but controlled by the Plagues. Good citizens avoided the park.
Those trying to clean up the gang also suspected that some of the local police were crooked so they didn’t know whom to trust. Eventually some of the gang was found in the park killed by what appeared to be a sniper. This seemed to awake everyone but they still would not cooperate in stopping the attacks. The killing continued while the nurses and doctors got more involved in obtaining information of the gang and their locations. To advance the removal of the gang, acetaminophen laced chocolate bars and moonshine was devised and given or left for gang members. This worked great and sent many of the Plague to the ED, some alive and some too far gone. Read the rest of this entry »
Our nation’s health care system is in shambles. The emergency rooms of many of America’s inner-city hospitals are like war zones, where patients, nurses, and doctors don’t know from one moment to the next if another patient might lunge out and attack him/her. In the fantastic medical thriller novel, The First To Say No, retired ED Doctor Charles C. Anderson has penned an exciting, page-turning read about an example of one of America’s dysfunctional emergency rooms and what drives a female doctor who has been raped several times (Dr. Elita Romanov) to get her much justified revenge. Romanov and Dr. Kate Taylor, who is also fed up with the increasing numbers of violent attacks on hospital employees, decide that they need to be the first to say no, and fight back against the violence. Anderson’s novel will open your eyes about the dangerous situations that the medical profession faces every day that they work in the U.S.’s emergency rooms.
One aspect of the novel that struck me from the beginning was that it is told primarily from the point of view of its main female protagonist, the aforementioned Dr. Kate Tayler. Either sex faces many challenges while toiling in any emergency room; but, for women nurses and doctors, they additionally face the possibility of being sexually assaulted and raped. These sorts of attacks are becoming, sadly, increasingly more common, and I salute the author for bringing the dangers that ER doctors/nurses encounter to the attention of America’s conscience.
What’s more, the author tells Kate’s story with a very dramatic and compelling flair that is guaranteed to hold and maintain your interest. It’s one of those sorts of books you won’t want to put down, or turn your Kindle off, to even sleep at night. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I suddenly discovered that my wife or daughter had been raped; I wouldn’t be able to see straight, probably, and I’d desire to get revenge, just as Dr. Elita Romanov and Dr. Tayler do, though I might not carry it off with the panache that they do.
As The First To Say No opens, Dr. Romanov is tied to a table in one of the lairs of the Plagues, an inner-city gang that has been terrorizing the city’s ED, and the city, in general. She’s been raped multiple times by various members of the Plagues while unconscious, and is being raped by a Plague when she regains her consciousness.
Her hands are not tied very well, and her legs are free. She pretends to still be unconscious, and waits for the right moment when the Plague seems to be too engrossed in what he’s doing to pay much attention to her. Then, the resourceful Dr. Romanov kills her attacker in a manner that would make the Bond villain in Octopussy proud. She takes his gun, and uses it quite effectively to dispatch the other two Plagues in the adjacent room.
The book moves at a breakneck speed, and there is plenty of action in it to satisfy any fan of the thriller genre. It feels somewhat strange, on one level, to be rooting for a person (Dr. Tayler) who plots her revenge and seeks to wipe out the Plagues from her city; but, on the other hand, reading what these scummy individuals did to her and to other people, and how they take over an entire park in the city and bribe the police, makes you cheer her on.
Dr. Tayler enlists the help of other women who work at the hospital who have been victimized by the Plagues. Through Tayler’s eyes, and the gifted writing of Dr. Charles C. Anderson, we get an intimate look into what daily life is like in emergency rooms across the U.S. There are still those altruistic, dedicated individuals who, thankfully, want to become the nurses and doctors of the future, to help heal and cure the sick, injured, and dying people they meet in the ER.
We are introduced to one example of this when Dr. Kate Tayler orients a new nurse, Jennifer. She details an unromantic, very realistic picture of what it’s like to be a doctor or nurse in many emergency rooms. One important piece of advise Dr. Tayler gives her is to tone down how she dresses: “Be more prudent when you dress for work on your next shift. The more attractive you look, the greater your chance of being assaulted in the pit.”
The First To Say No is a novel that will open your eyes, grab your attention from the very first page, and won’t let go of it until you’re finished reading the book. How Dr. Tayler eventually gets the entire town to work together to drive the Plagues out is awe-inspiring. From having read his blog, I know of the author’s genuine concern with the decline of the number of hospitals in the U.S., the rise of healthcare violence at hospitals, and the decline of America in general. I share his concerns, but in The First To Say No, Dr. Anderson lets his story and his skills at relating it speak for themselves. He doesn’t beat the reader over the head with the message he’s also included in his novel, but it’s there. I would highly recommend The First To Say No by Charles C. Anderson to anyone who loves to read medical thrillers.
There are many ways to become a marked man in this life. One is to have secrets that powerful individuals fear getting out and becoming public knowledge. For former Navy SEAL and medical doctor Andy Carlson, it’s also about having a deeply ingrained sense of morality. If the secret you’re guarding threatens countless human lives, and could potentially endanger national security, one’s priorities should shift from closely guarding secrets to deciding to throw in the towel as a good soldier. In the edge-of-your-seat page-turner, The Farm, by the talented author Charles C. Anderson, that’s just what Carlson does–he resigns from the SEALs, though he still remains a member of the Reserves. The evidence he discovers suggests that the U.S. government is secretly buying old Soviet tactical nuclear weapons for purposes other than disarmament.
Leaving behind his old life as a Navy SEAL, where he followed orders without asking too many questions, a life where he killed whoever he was either ordered to kill or who was an obstacle to his mission, and resuming his career as an emergency physician, does not mean other interested parties are through with him. Repercussions emanating from his final mission, in which he and his friend Josiah (Joe) Chambers are inserted into the Saudi Arabian desert by helicopter. Joe dies when the helicopter they’re flying in blows up during a sandstorm, but Andy, the first one out of the plane, survives. He carries out his mission, and rescues a then sixteen-year-old young woman from sexual abuse and possibly getting tortured and murdered.
Andy Carlson’s resignation from the SEALs and his return to his family’s ancestral farm in Virginia called “The Farm,” is not enough to deter certain interested parties from attempting to kill him and eliminate the possibility the secrets he knows will ever become public knowledge. The CIA is after Carlson, as are Russian arms dealers. Can one man hope to survive such a determined onslaught of pursuers?
The Farm is a richly complex novel, one that is extremely well-researched. Charles C. Anderson has created intense, larger-that-life three-dimensional characters, and, as in his novel The First To Say No, he displays an impressive knowledge of the medical profession and history. That’s because Anderson is, himself, a retired Naval officer, and emergency physician, and a weapons specialist, and he lives in Virginia at the actual plantation known as The Farm that’s almost like a character in its own right in his novel. Anderson writes with immense authority about the history of The Farm, Farmville, and Virginia, because he and his family have lived there for generations. It’s been in his family since 1743, and has played an important role throughout America’s history. Knowing that the place called The Farm is an actual plantation with tunnels and caves underneath it and the grounds where it’s built upon made the novel pop for me.
I had not known before reading The Farm how vital the place Hampton Roads which Anderson writes about is to America. Four nuclear carriers could be destroyed if a nuclear warhead went off there, at “the only shipyard capable of building those Nimitz class carriers.” This would be both militarily and economically crippling to the United States. As Andy tells the CIA agent, Lindsey: “The last time I heard, each carrier cost five billion dollars and each took five years to build.”
When Andy’s friend Joe Chambers died on his last mission in Saudi Arabia, Andy had to hold back his emotions, to get back to America alive and in one piece. The experience made him into a functioning alcoholic, and because of that experience, and others we read about in The Farm, it’s with good reason that Andy thinks of the Deputy Director of the CIA, James Harrison, as the Weasel. Harrison is a cunning, resourceful person, but he’s also very self-serving. Carlson discovers that the Weasel’s interest in Russian nuclear warheads has nothing at all to do with a desire to make sure Russia is complying with disarmament. Instead, he has something much more sinister in mind:
“Is that your goal, to disarm these warheads permanently?” Andy asked.
“What else could we do with them?”
“You could use them to blame some nuclear terrorist act on somebody else,” Andy said.
“You’re asking me to believe the best from you when all I’ve seen is your worst side.”
Andy has a few tricks up his sleeve, like his intimate knowledge of The Farm, its tunnel and cave systems, and other aspects of the fortress-like plantation, and three allies who I won’t get into much in this review as they’re mentioned elsewhere in other reviews. Reading about the strategies he uses against the CIA and Russians was very fascinating. Will Andy’s expertise with weapons, his medical knowledge, and The Farm itself, enable him to outwit and defeat his foes? Read the excellent novel The Farm to find out!
Reviewed by Cy Hilterman
Action packed story that reads like you are there in person. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Carlson was a U.S. Navy Seal. He was as rough and tough as they come. He was part of a mission to be inserted into Saudi Arabia by helicopter, dropping by rope to the sand below. Luckily for Andy he was the first one down the rope because the helicopter’s engines must have sucked in too much sand, causing a turning, twisting, motion and crashed and burned before any others could get out of the helicopter. Andy, along with his equipment, was thrown about but fortunately far enough away from the crash site to avoid extreme injury and loss of much of his needed equipment. Andy was sad that his fellow Seals and the crew lost their lives but he knew he had a dangerous mission charged to him by the CIA and he had to carry on. Andy was also a trained emergency physician, which he would definitely need on this mission.
Andy made his way across the extremely hot desert to the point where he picked up some camels pre-arranged with some Bedouins. Andy knew where he was headed to get to a certain palace but didn’t have any idea what obstacles he would encounter. He found an empty palace except for one locked room where, he eventually found out a young woman who had been brutalized by the men of the local area. Andy did not want a woman to slow him down but he figured it was for her good if she went along. His assignment had been to find a container that supposedly contained some nuclear weapons to be sold to the highest bidder. The containers were at the palace so Andy contacted his superiors as to location and surroundings so they could dispose of them. His immediate boss at the CIA was Harrison, a man that Andy did not trust, nor did he trust the American president. Shortly after, Andy left the area sending the girl to safety.
Time advances eighteen months and Andy is back in his emergency room working his miracles on the patients. Lindsey was an experienced nurse that worked the ER and was getting to know Andy and Andy her. If it seems like I am giving you too much of the story you are wrong. This will give you a slight idea of how much is packed into “The Farm” and what keeps your interest tremendously. The next part has a pair of Saudi princes come to the ER and this is where the international intrigue really starts. Andy owns a huge area called “The Farm” that has all types of buildings, battlefields, underground caves and passages, protected like a fortress so no one could penetrate it except a neighbor that Andy asked to take care of it and keep an eye open for any trouble. Read the rest of this entry »