Carrie Rubin: The Bone Elixir

Are you looking to get in the mood for a really scary, macabre novel to read this Halloween season? A novel that, although it will frighten you, you won’t be able to stop reading it.

Carrie Rubin’s rational minded orthopedic surgery resident Benjamin Oris (and the protagonist of her last two novels) has just inherited an inn in Massachusetts. Trouble is that the inn is haunted and Benjamin doesn’t believe all that hocus-pocus stuff. Until he visits the inn and stays in it alone for a week as he waits for his girlfriend Laurette along with her sixth sense to join him.

In the meantime, Ben is confronted with secret passages, doors that creek open in the middle of the night, lights that turn on and off and a basement pit that raises the hair on his neck.

Benjamin is designated to become the heir of the inn by taking part in one of the spookiest ceremonies I’ve ever read. He must drive away the evil spirits inhabiting the house along with its promise of immortality and eternally free from sickness – which, by the way, is pretty enticing for a medical doctor.

Once Laurette arrives, there are Ouija boards, crystals, levitations, a manuscript describing people disappearing after visiting the inn, remnants of an insane asylum, people murdered, ghosts and lingering spirits.

This is not the genre of book that I usually read but Carrie’s usage of suspense kept me turning the pages wanting to know the next thing that Ben would be confronted with and how he would handle it.

Besides the spooky part of the novel there is lots of very interesting writing. For example. “Come morning, he (Benjamin) felt about as rested as a squirrel on crack.”

If you’re thinking of getting into the Halloween mood of haunted houses, gravestones and divinations this is certainly the book for you.

Well done, Carrie!  

Carrie Rubin: The Bone Hunger

I received a copy of The Bone Hunger as part of Carrie Rubin’s recent give-away. Thank you, Carrie.

Imagine going for a walk in the park with your young son, his mother and a yellow lab and you come upon a leg. Not just any leg but a chewed-up leg that you recognize as one you helped place an orthopedic implant into.  

Such is how The Bone Hunger begins and once again, Benjamin Oris is the protagonist of Carrie Rubin’s second medical mystery thriller. Oris first appeared in The Bone Curse.

Rubin, herself a physician who has turned novelist, brings credibility to the detailed medical aspects of the novel from the tense, focused staff during surgery; the oversized egos of power hungry surgeons; the conflict for recognition; the pressures that lead to drug addiction and a front seat view of orthopedic surgery.

Benjamin Oris is a second-year resident orthopedics surgeon filled with career ambitions but this finding of one of his patient’s legs places a hamper on his drive to win the Conley Research Grant.  When another severed leg is found in another park and then another, it is obvious to the orthopedic team that they are looking at a serial killer. Could this killer be one of their own? There are many suspects in this terrifying whodunit novel, each with credible motives.

Besides the medical viewpoints of the novel there is also a personal and dramatic side to Dr. Oris. Oris is a likeable character with integrity and modesty. Here we see the tenderness and concern that Oris has for his son but also for his mother who is in a coma, his father who has recently lost his partner and his relationship with his companion Laurette, a public health student from Haiti who adds a touch of paranormal to the novel.  

Carrie Rubin seamlessly juggles many characters in this novel (from the hospital staff, to Oris’ personal relationships and family). The unique plot is both action oriented and character driven. The conflict is high in tension while the writing style is fast paced.

The story is mainly told in the third person but Rubin uses the first person as she lets us get into the head of the killer and his eerie obsession for flesh and blood.  

An interesting read about orthopedic surgery but also a compelling thriller.

Carrie Rubin is also the author of an entertaining cozy mystery The Cruise Ship Lost My Daughter under the name Morgan Mayer. You can read my Amazon review here.