Cover image for Brain dead
Brain dead
Dreyer, Eileen.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, [1997]

Physical Description:
x, 406 pages ; 25 cm
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Master of suspense Eileen Dreyer delivers another heart-hammering novel of psychological terror in which a tough-talking trauma nurse investigates a rash of mysterious hospital deaths and discovers a shocking conspiracy of high-level corruption and murder.

The bodies keep piling up in Memorial Medical Center's morgue, and trauma nurse Timmie Parker wants to know why. Old age just doesn't seem enough to explain the suspiciously large number of deaths, especially since many victims are from Restcrest, the hospital's highly touted senior-care and research facility. Searching for answer, Timmie gets caught in a tangled mystery that involves not only her coworkers but also the welfare of her father, Restcrest's newest patient. Stymied by the fact that she's the only one in the hospital fighting to find out the truth, she turns to Daniel Murphy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with a bad case of burnout. Together they embark on an investigation that could send Murphy soaring to the top of his profession -- and cost Timmie not only her job, but also her life.

Filled with the gripping emergency room details that could only come from a true medical profession insider, Brain Dead is a white-knuckle thriller guaranteed to keep readers spellbound until the very last page.

"Eileen Dreyer makes you hold your breath, laugh out loud, and fear any trip to the hospital". -- Tami Hoag, author of A Thin Dark Line

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Forensic nurse Timmie Leary came from L.A. to Memorial Hospital in Puckett, Missouri, to modernize its emergency room. She is well on her way when elderly patients start dropping dead. Two-time Pulitzer Prize^-winning journalist Dan Murphy offers to help Timmie solve these suspected murders. Since Dan has ideal credentials for such jobs--"the only thing he hated more than exerting himself was leaving a question unanswered" --he and Timmie make an efficient team. Now, nobody in Puckett wants to admit that anything bad is going on, for the hospital and Restcrest, the nursing home associated with it, account for many jobs and increase town pride. There are suspects and motives aplenty, however, and the increasing death rate among both Restcresters and related snoopers keeps this lively and human story moving. Dreyer knows small towns and human beings, especially how they both sometimes warp the truth for good reasons and occasionally get themselves too weary to go on. --William Beatty

Publisher's Weekly Review

Contemporary anxieties about euthanasia and the commercialization of health care propel Dryer's (If Looks Could Kill) well-wrought hardcover debut. Timmie Leary-Parker, a trained forensic and ER nurse, grew up under the shadow of her charming father, Joe, who named her after a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Timmie has just fled a cocaine-addicted husband in L.A. and returned to her hometown of Puckett, Mo., where she's confronted with the task of caring for Joe, now an obstreperous Alzheimer's sufferer who frequently escapes from nursing homes and spouts Yeats to anyone who'll listen. When Billy Mayfield, the abusive ex of Timmie's friend Ellen, dies under suspicious circumstances, Timmie's moved to investigate‘particularly when, shortly afterward, gunshots are fired at a crowded horse show. She soon crosses paths with Daniel Murphy, a Pulitzer-winning reporter and drying-out alcoholic who's also fled the big city for Puckett. He's turned up startling information about a sharp increase in the town's death rate. Timmie and Daniel eventually uncover a plot to murder patients in Puckett's elite nursing home, Restcrest‘the very place to which Timmie has finally gained Joe admittance. As the deaths and suspects add up, Timmie must confront her own mixed feelings about her difficult father and the value of human life. Dreyer can be very funny; the dialogue has a wisecracking edge. When she tries too hard, however, Timmie's self-conscious gallows humor about sickness and death becomes grating. Still, this medical thriller is refreshing to the extent that it's fueled much more by character than by mechanical surprise and gore . (Aug.) FYI: Dreyer wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Kathleen Korbel. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved