April 15, 2008


By CJ Lyons

Dr. Lydia Fiore’s first day as an attending might be her last. She saves her first several patients, impressing various hospital workers. But one of her patients dies – and Jonah Weiss happened to be the Chief of Surgery’s son. Lydia knows she did everything she could, but the death is her responsibility. Jonah, she learns, is a prominent gay rights activist in Pittsburg, the leader of a group known as Gays Organized Against Discrimination (GOAD). The Sons of Adam, a militant cult, had reason to want him dead. So did Isaiah Steward – Jonah’s ex-lover and the medical examiner who performed his autopsy. As Lydia investigates, men start to threaten both her and those she cares about. She won’t stop though, because the murderer’s body count is rising.

The b-plots are as engrossing as the main ones. Amanda is an “extern” who is desperate to ignore that something is seriously wrong – no matter what attractive Dr. Stone tells her. Nurse Nora thinks her boyfriend Seth, the only person she trusts to talk about her past with, is growing distant. (Her friends think he’s going to propose.) Gina, in emergency medicine, needs to prove to herself that she can be strong in a messy situation. Many other distinct characters populate the novel, including the too-realistic jerk Jim Lazarov.

Many first-time authors struggle with large casts. Lyons manages to keep control of all her characters and the many plots. The novel builds to an explosive climax and satisfying conclusion, but leaves many threads open for subsequent novels. She also manages to include varied relationships: beginning, settled, and ending. Lydia and Trey have terrific chemistry, and who doesn’t want a man who can ballroom dance? (Note to younger readers: There is sexual content, tastefully done but still steamy.)

I enjoyed LIFELINES very much, and I have already passed it on to a friend. (Maybe I can get her to write a bit about the novel once she finishes . . . )

LIFELINES came out in March, so you can buy it now. Scroll up for my interview with CJ Lyons.

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