Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Heart Failure, romance medical thriller by Richard L. Mabry, MD

When her fiancĂ©’s dangerous secrets turn her world upside-down, a beautiful doctor must choose between her own safety and the man she loves—and thought she knew.

Dr. Carrie Markham’s heart was broken by the death of her husband two years ago. Now, just as her medical practice is taking off, her fresh engagement to paralegal Adam Davidson seems almost too good to be true . . . until a drive-by shooting leaves Carrie on the floor of his car with glass falling around her.

When he confesses that Adam isn’t his real name and that he fled the witness protection program, Carrie is left with an impossible choice: should she abandon the fiancĂ© she isn’t sure she really knows, or accept his claim of innocence and help him fight back against this faceless


…He reached across to hug her, and she turned to find shelter in his arms. They stayed that way for a long moment, and the trembling inside her slowly eased. “What…what was that about?

“Nothing for you to worry about.”  Adam’s voice and manner were calm, and Carrie felt comforted by his very presence. Then, as suddenly as the turn of a page, he released her and swung around to face forward in the driver’s seat. His next words were terse, clipped.  “We have to get out of here.” He reached for the ignition, key in hand.

“Wait a minute!” Carrie pulled her cell phone from her purse and held it out to him. “We can’t leave. We need to call 911.”

Adam took her arm, a bit more firmly than necessary, and pushed the phone away. He shook his head. “No!”

 She flinched at his response, at the tone as much as the rebuke. “Why? Someone shot at us. We should call the police.”

“Look, I don’t have time to explain. Let’s go.” Adam’s voice was low.

What’s the matter with him? She took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Twice she started to speak. Twice she stopped.

Adam turned the key and reached for the gearshift lever.

Carrie saw his jaw clench. She was terrified, but Adam wasn’t so much scared as —she searched for the right word—he was cold and determined. The sudden change frightened her. “If this was a drive-by, we need to report it. Maybe the police can catch them before they kill someone.”

“Just let me handle this,” Adam said. “Right now, let’s get you someplace safe.”

Although Adam’s voice was low, there was an intensity to his words that Carrie had never heard before. “You have to trust me. There are things you don’t know, things that make it dangerous for me to deal with the police right now.” He pointed to her seat belt. “Buckle up and let’s leave. I’ll explain soon.”

Carrie wanted to argue, but she could see it was no use. She put away her phone and fastened her seat belt.

The lights on the theatre marquee went out. In the distance, a siren sounded, faint at first but growing louder. “We’re out of here,” Adam said. He put the car in gear and eased out of the parking lot, peering through the starred windshield to navigate the dark streets.

Carrie studied Adam as he drove. Most men would be shaking after such a close encounter with death. But he wasn’t. Why would that be? Was he used to being shot at? She shook her head. That was plain silly. But how well did she really know him? They’d only been dating a few short months. She glanced at him again. Maybe she didn’t know him as well as she’d thought. That scared her even more than being shot at.

They rode in silence for a few moments, and during that time, Carrie recreated the shooting in her mind. Her talking about ice cream. The look in Adam’s eyes, as he stared past her. Then something clicked—something she hadn’t realized before. She turned to Adam. “You pushed me down before the shots were fired. You didn’t react to the shots. You knew they were coming.”

Adam glanced at her but he didn’t respond.

Carrie thought about it once more. “I’m sure of it. You shoved me below the dashboard before I heard three shots. How did you know what was about to happen?”

He continued to peer into the night. “I was backed into the parking space, so I had a good view of the cars moving down the aisle in front of us. A black SUV pulled even with us, and the barrel of a pistol came out the driver’s side window. That was when I pushed you down.”

“Lucky you saw it.”

 Adam shook his head. “Luck had nothing to do with it. I’m always watching.”


Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of six published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year. His novel, Lethal Remedy, won a 2012 Selah Award from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. His medical thriller, Stress Test (Thomas Nelson), garnered rave reviews from Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. Richard’s latest novel, Heart Failure, releases on October 15.
You can learn more about Richard at his website: rmabry.com. He can be found on GoodReads, Twitter, and his Facebook fan page is “rmabrybooks.”






  1. Mark, Thanks for focusing the spotlight on my latest novel of medical suspense. Hope your blog readers will try it and enjoy.

  2. You are welcome, Richard. I know readers are going to enjoy your latest medical thriller.

  3. How about I change that to a thrilling suspense novel and catch all the meta data searches.

  4. Or you can use the catch-all classification: romantic medical thriller.