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To The Bone    by Neil McMahon order for
To The Bone
by Neil McMahon
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTorch, 2004 (2003)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

After reading Neil McMahon's Revolution 9, I was delighted to find a copy of his older To The Bone. I felt sure I was in for a good read. How right I was.

A dying young woman is carried into an ER room at San Francisco's Mercy Hospital. The physician on duty, Dr. Carroll Monks, treats her mystifying symptoms as best he can. Unfortunately, not everyone on staff agrees with his diagnosis and his approach is challenged when she dies. Meanwhile, a plastic surgeon to the rich and famous reacts to the woman's death with the utmost calm and arrogance, even though she was a very recent patient of his. Action then picks up and the chase is on.

McMahon knows his craft well. His pages are littered with clues, but he keeps the reader so anxious to see what's ahead that the information he dishes out just doesn't compute. His characters are well constructed and interact with surprising results. Monks has trouble keeping a personal relationship going. Which bolsters my belief that life is not easy, but can always get better. To The Bone is a thrilling read, fast-paced and well-written.

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