Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lin Wilder's The Fragrance Shed by a Violet: Murder in the Medical Center Resulted in Extraordinary Addition to 2016 Personal Favorites!

There is no blame in God
                                                                                                   --Julian of Norwich*

...Julie paused and stared into the fire; the silence in the library was absolute, as if even the roaring fire were holding its breath. "And God help me, that is what I would have said on the stand had I gotten the chance." Now smiling grimly, she continued, "And I could have provided a great long list of detailed examples; but about a month after Lindsey was convicted, I learned that my oldest daughter is an alcoholic; she started drinking when she was about twelve. My husband and I had no idea--we found out by accident." Whispering, Julie said, "Mark Twain once described forgiveness as the fragrance shed by a violet on the heel that has crushed it."


Dr. Lindsey McCall grinned ruefully to
herself in mid sentence as she realized
that she had been praying Julie's prayer
out loud over and over; she'd lost count
of the number of times she had spoken
the words of a fifteenth-century saint.
Lindsey was frightened, and she had good
reason; the events of the last several
weeks had potentially calamitous conse-
quences for her, for Huntsville Prison,
and maybe even the entire prison system.
Yet she knew she had done the right thing.
Deep down, in places she'd never before
tried to access, she sensed that the risks
she had taken were known, understood,
and strangely appreciated. And she
wondered again at the prayer and the
serenity that seemed to overwhelm her
with each recitation.

She lay listening to the unfamiliar night sounds: the pacing of other sleepless prisoners, the occasional echo of a heavy-footed guard making his rounds. Mostly though, she waited for the terror of the dream to subside, for the iron bands around her heart to loosen, and for the awful pressure on her chest to lighten so that she could breathe. And she waited for her heart to climb back down into her chest and out of her throat.
The dream was a familiar one. It had begun four years before following the sudden death of a fifty-two-year-old man whose heart she had catheterized. Dr. Lindsey McCall had surgical hands--a reference to the skill and dexterity that she brought to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Houston General Hospital. A colleague had made the comment during rounds one day during her cardiology fellowship at Houston General, and it had stuck.
There had been no reason for his death. Nate Morrison was a healthy senior executive with Southwest Oil, one of the largest oil conglomerates in the world. During his annual physical, Morrison had been referred to Houston General for a work up based on nonspecific changes in his cardiac diagnostic tests. Upon reviewing his tests, Lindsey had suspected that the man's coronaries ight be clean--free of coronary artery disease. She was well aware of the numbers. Of the sixty thousand cardiac catheterizations performed each year in the United States, over 30 percent revealed clean coronaries; absence of plaque in the vessels supplying the heart with oxygenated blood. And the procedure was not benign. Complications of cardiac catheterization were not uncommon and ranged from mild hematoma to death. In twelve years Lindsey had done over five hundred cardiac catheterizations and more than three hundred angioplasties. She had never lost a patient...

The Fragrance Shed
  by a Violet:
Murder in the Medical Center


By Lin Wilder

Dr. Lindsey McCall had never been able to get over the loss of a patient during a routine, for her, catheterization--the first in her career. It wasn't that she could not have accepted a death, if she knew the reason... But she knew "her technique had been flawless. She had been calm and confident through the two-hour procedure, explaining what she was doing to her patient and laughing at his quick-witted responses." But suddenly he had started fibrillating and though they continued to work on him, he had died. She was still having flashback nightmares going over and over the procedure...

It had been over a year since his death, but her mentor, the Chair of Medicine, had not been able to convince her to return to her work. Instead she was moving on, into research. Actually, she was returning to a special research project that she had been working on long before she had even acquired her credentials. Her doctoral work was exploring the alteration of the molecule for digitalis. While digitalis was used extensively by heart patients, there were side effects. Lindsey hoped to eliminate all of them!

How could she have foreseen that her decision not to continue her practice would lead to...jail...for the murder of her mother?!!

When I finished this book, one word immediately came to mind to describe it--Remarkable!

Now fully awake, lying on her cell bed, Lindsey considered the irony of her current circumstances. She almost laughed out loud in the dark at herself--at least the terror of this dream was familiar and lay buried in her past; her real nightmare was no dream, no mere memory. And she could feel the fear uncoil, stretch, and begin to take her over once again.
Closing her eyes, she began to pray:

Let nothing dismay thee. All things pass. God never changes. Patience acquires all that is strived for. She who has God finds that she lacks nothing. God alone suffices.

It was Kate Townsend who started it--an investigative journalist who was looking for that story possibly leading to a Pulitzer. And when she saw a small clipping and realized the significance, she knew she had it--if she could get approval to move on the story. She'd known nothing about it and knew that there had not been any other major stories--it must have been hushed up as much as possible. No wonder...

A top cardiologist at Houston General Hospital had been convicted of murder! Sure, there were many malpractice suits, but there had never been a time when a doctor was actually accused and arrested for murder! 

But she didn't want to just announce it with a one-time byline. She quickly put together a series outline, got approval, and had won that Pulitzer! But she couldn't let it rest. She had found out enough that made her question why Dr. McCall had been found guilty...
There are two kinds of truth, small truth and great truth. You can recognize a small truth because its opposite is a falsehood. The opposite of a great truth is another great truth. --Niels Bohr*
This is a book that I'd love to continue to share with you. There are so many brilliantly created characters that people the world around Lindsey, both before and after her arrest. This is not a murder mystery as much as many people coming together to prove the innocence of one they loved. In doing so, secrets are revealed, promises of silence are broken, and romance stirs in the hearts of those involved. 

Nearly 500 pages are all contributing to the movement forward of this novel to its inevitable ending. Wilder explains that fans of the first edition wanted more information about exactly what the Investigative Series disclosed, for instance... And an abandoned friendship is ignored as Julie, Lindsey's best friend, explains what Lindsey's early life was like and why things happening now could very well be because of that time. But the major issue was that, once Lindsey was in prison...she was the cause of a major lawsuit against the State! Wow! How many times can an innocent woman make it against the world???

I really loved this book, making it one of my personal favorites for 2016. The author has used her considerable medical expertise to create a medical thriller like no other. The story runs smoothly from event to event and quickly becomes a page-turner! It was well past midnight when I decided I had to stop and finish the next day. The plot is intriguing, filled with the potential for sensationalism if happening in reality. The only unfortunate thing is that story takes care of everything and doesn't need a sequel...But, hey, Lin...your investigative reporter could be continued! How about it...Don't let these wonderful characters just fade away! 

You Gotta Check This out! Truly!


Lin Wilder is a former Hospital Director and presently a self-employed writer who works from her home in northern Nevada. She finds peace and channels her creativity in the remote valley that offers her just the right amount of silence, stillness and solitude. She has written throughout her entire adult life but made the switch from non-fiction to fiction in 2006. 

"I found, long ago, that the best way for me to understand something is to write about it.” Lin explains. Writing helps her to better comprehend even the most challenging subjects. Lin feels her line of work should be viewed like any other business, advising others, “In the beginning, expect to be in the red.” After years in the industry, she has learned the value of a good editor, finding that editing is far more than proofreading. "Writing is hard work and requires exceptionally thick skin. Once we decide to publish our work, we’re in the public domain where others can criticize, perhaps even in a hurtful way.” Wilder states. 

*Examples of quotes at top of chapters...

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