Book Review: The Bone Hunger by Carrie Rubin

The Bone Hunger
by
Carrie Rubin

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

If you’re looking for a great medical thriller, check out The Bone Hunger by Carrie Rubin, the second in the Ben Oris series. Set in Philadelphia at the fictional Montgomery Hospital, it picks up after the first book, The Bone Curse. (Read my review here.) The Bone Hunger can be easily read as a standalone novel and follows the personal and professional life of Ben Oris. Ben was a medical student in the first book and now he’s a resident at Montgomery. Here’s a rundown of the story’s opening:

Dr. Ben Oris is not looking for trouble. After what he’s been through, he likes the ordinary. Three years earlier, he was cut by an ancient bone and became involved in a strange incident involving a mysterious disease and a Haitian Vodou priestess. Now Ben’s life is busy, but normal. A second-year orthopedic surgery resident, he’s under the tutelage of Dr. Kent Lock, one of the best reconstructive surgeons in the country. He’s also a single dad to three-year-old Maxwell. Nothing but work, family, and a hopeful romance on the horizon, just the way he wants it.

On a wintry walk through the Wissahickon Valley Park, Ben and Maxwell’s mother, Sophie, discover the severed limb of a recent knee surgery patient. Police and hospital seniors think it may be a sick prank, but later, when more orthopedic surgery patients go missing and their hacked-off limbs turn up, bearing alarming bite marks, Ben finds himself at the center of a murder investigation. In a rush against time, he must balance his demanding job and parenting responsibilities, follow hunches and most important, protect the people he loves.

At Montgomery, Lock and his surgical team continue their surgery schedule, replacing knees and hips, on the heels of a near-death plane crash in Alaska while on a humanitarian mission. Psychological stress and fears about who the next victim will be may be too much for the team. In addition, new developments make Ben question his professional loyalties. Are the surgical implants somehow connected to these grisly crimes? Should Ben investigate or leave it to the police?

Rubin provides readers with a great look at what it’s like to work in the medical world, with a big dose of grueling schedules, hospital hierarchies, politics, feuds and power plays. She also offers a realistic commentary about life situations, specifically related to diversity, treatment of the elderly, religion and respecting differing beliefs. She does all this with compassion and humor and expertly builds these details into the story.

Rubin also includes chapters about the mysterious “monster” responsible, but not its identity. Written in first-person, these chapters offer insight and suspenseful details as the story develops.

The plot moves at a steady pace and then, bam! Readers get what they’ve been waiting for: a thrilling confrontation between good and evil, with all sorts of unexpected twists. Even the final pages reveal additional developments, setting Ben and the rest of the characters up for the future.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Bone Hunger and recommend it to readers who like medical thrillers, suspenseful stories and mysteries. I look forward to the next in the series.

I received a copy of The Bone Hunger from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my reviews of Rubin’s other books below:

The Seneca Scourge
Eating Bull
The Bone Curse

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Who’s That Indie Author? Carrie Rubin

Who's That Indie Author pic

Carrie Rubin pic

Author name: Carrie Rubin

Genre: Medical thriller

Books: Eating Bull (ScienceThrillers Media, 2015) and The Seneca Scourge (Whiskey Creek Press/Start Media, 2012), awarded Best New E-book: Fiction, USA Best Book Awards

Eating Bull               The Seneca Scourge

Bio: Carrie Rubin is a physician with a master’s degree in public health. She’s been easing into fiction writing for the past 15 years and is a member of the International Thriller Writers association. In addition to writing medical thrillers, she maintains a humor blog on her website. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two sons.

Favorite thing about being a writer: Being able to tell stories and bring characters to life.

Biggest challenge as an indie author: Promotion. Whether self-published or small-press published, getting our books in front of new eyes requires a daily time commitment, not to mention stepping out of our introverted shoes.

Favorite book: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. Its beautifully written, yet heart-wrenching story of impoverished life in 1975 India stayed with me for a long time. But I also love Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, Midwives by Chris Bohjalian, and the A-Z mystery series by Sue Grafton. Oops, did I just cheat by listing so many?

Contact Information: You can find Carrie on her website, carrierubin.comFacebook, Twitter(@carrie_rubin) Goodreads: Carrie Rubin and Google+.


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What’s That Book? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Whats That Book

The Goldfinch

Title: The Goldfinch

Author: Donna Tartt

Genre: Literary Fiction

Rating: ****

What’s it about? A thirteen-year-old boy survives an accident that kills his mother. To maintain a connection to her, he steals a priceless painting. But though the artwork is his tether to her, it’s also a constant source of guilt, one that grows like a cancer as he gets shuttled from a wealthy, New York family who took him in to the father who had previously abandoned him. His angst and suffering continue into adulthood and lead him into the seedy underbelly of the art world.

How did you hear about it? In the news shortly after it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014, though I didn’t read it until recently for a book club.

Closing comments: I give the book two different star ratings: 5 stars for the writing and 3 stars for keeping me engaged, thereby awarding it 4 stars over all. In terms of the writing, the description was wonderfully vivid, filling my mind with images as well as words, and the weaving together of complex plot and thematic elements was beautifully done. On the other hand, the novel often dragged, with dense passages throughout its hefty 771 pages that made my mind wander. But overall it’s a worthwhile, thought-provoking read. Just plan ample time to finish it.

Contributor: Carrie Rubin

Carrie Rubin is a physician, public health advocate and writer.  She is the author of two medical thrillers, Eating Bull and The Seneca Scourge. You can find Carrie on her blog, The Write Transition, where she chronicles her transition into the writing world, and on Twitter @carrie_rubin.


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