Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin

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Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin

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Buy Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: An unknown assailant has a clear vendetta against a GP in this intricate story that ticks all the right boxes.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
ISBN: 978-0340918968

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Dr Olivia Somers is minding her own business, trying to raise two kids alone in the wake of her divorce, when everything goes wrong and her son, Robbie, ends up in hospital. It’s hard to work out what really happened, or even if Robbie is giving her the full story, but when there’s a further incident, this time involving a break in at their home, it becomes clear that these are no random attacks, and someone is out to get them. With the help of a friendly (and handsome) detective, Olivia tries to piece together the puzzle to work who is behind the trouble, and it’s a race against time to figure it out before the next unwelcome surprise from the culprit.

This was an easy to read book with an effective mix of suspense and reveals, and even though it was quite clear early on who might be behind it, and what might have triggered the attacks, the exact details which only come out slowly bit by bit kept it interesting. Although it’s mainly set in the present, there are some chapters of memories slotted in at key moments, both to keep you hooked and to fill in some of the back story.

Culprit aside, the characters in this story are reasonably straight forward. Phil, Olivia’s ex, is an unpleasant man, and this doesn’t change – he doesn’t suddenly turn out to be a hero or misunderstood or anything else. O’Reilly is a nice clear thinker who doesn’t wholly approve of some of Olivia’s attempts to interfere with the investigation, and her family (siblings, parents) are fleshed out enough to give you a good feel of why she is the person she is today. I thought Leila was one of the more interesting characters, especially with the revelations that came out as the plot thickened, and her working with Olivia too added an extra dimension.

This book is lots of things – part detective story, part family drama, very small part romance – and I thought they worked well together. I don’t tend to read a lot of dark mysteries, so I liked the way the other elements balanced this out somewhat and I was as keen as anyone to find out the why as well as the who and the how. Sometimes new information didn’t seem that relevant, but over time it became clear why it had been introduced, such as the comments about head lice or the imminent wedding, adding to Olivia’s feeling that she was losing control further.

I enjoyed this book and found it a bit meatier than some that I read. Set it Scotland, it’s not too regional (having an Irish heroine helps) and this allowed the focus to stay on the story and the characters rather than the in this instance not overly important setting.

Do Me No Harm loses half a star because I feel any book that has three doctors (Olivia, Phil and Leila) playing such pivotal roles needs to have any medical references sense checked, and there were a few points in this one that stuck out as poorly researched, or at the very least overlooked (such as when Olivia suggests a smear test to detect chlamydia). It didn’t do the story much harm, but as someone who works in health it bugged me that something like that had got through various edits and proof reads. Otherwise, an intriguing and engaging story that I would read again.

Thanks go to the publishers for sending us this one.

Family drama, mystery and crime are a good combination and After The Fall by Charity Norman shows how another author does it.

Buy Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Do Me No Harm by Julie Corbin at Amazon.com.

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