Paper Mask

Paper Mask

3.68 (100 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • Sound Library
  • United Kingdom
  • Large type / large print
  • Large Print edition
  • 0792700899
  • 9780792700890

Review Text

For his second medical thriller, British physician/scriptwriter Collee (Kingsley's Touch, 1984) tells the creepily engaging but awfully contrived tale of a hospital orderly who takes over the identity of a deceased doctor - to murderous effect. Smarting at his lowly station as a London hospital orderly, Matthew Harris - the young, bright, and unscrupulous upstart who narrates here - leaps at the chance for a new life offered by the sudden traffic death of one of the hospital's physicians. Stealing the dead doc's papers, a terrified but determined Harris applies for and gets a position in the Casualty Department of a large Bristol hospital. There, aided partly by the slim medical know-how he'd picked up as an orderly but mostly by the kind guidance of pretty nurse Christine, Harris frantically muddles through emergency-room crises, squeaks by some close questioning from honcho Dr. Hennessy about his pretended Cambridge education, and wins both the confidence of his colleagues and the bed of sexy Christine. Big trouble looms when he accidentally kills Hennessy's wife while trying to set her broken arm, but some quick covering up and a subtle shifting of the blame towards Christine get Harris off the hook - and Christine out the door. Harris' balloon finally bursts, however, when old pal Alec Moran shows up at the hospital as a nurse, recognizes him, and threatens to tattle; enraged, Harris fatally poisons Moran (after savagely hit-and-running him with his car only to find the battered, unconscious Moran turn up as a patient) - setting up an utterly predictable moral ending. Strongest in the vivid, tense, and convincing scenes of Harris playing doctor; weakest in the crude plotting and in Harris' unlikely character shift from con-man to killer; overall, despite the flaws, a brisk, one-sitting read. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Rating details

100 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 28% (28)
4 27% (27)
3 33% (33)
2 9% (9)
1 3% (3)
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