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Friday, February 16, 2018

Wordy Medical Drama A Dull Slog

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Ever since they were randomly assigned to be roommates at a summer camp for teens interested in medicine, Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends.  Although their backgrounds and personalities differ, they've always gotten each other.  Their bond has only strengthened over the years as they pushed through med school together, got married, had children, and now juggle the demands of medical careers and motherhood.  No matter how busy their lives get, Zadie and Emma always make time for each other.

The women's contented lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, are upended when a former colleague moves to town.  Chief resident while Zadie and Emma were in med school, Dr. Nick Xenokostas was the handsome hotshot who turned everyone's heads.  Zadie fell under his spell, a mistake that led to a heart-rending tragedy that broke more than just her heart.  The last person she ever wants to see again is the infamous Dr. X.  Emma's still furious with him as well.  She couldn't protect Zadie from him 12 years ago—this time she'll stop at nothing to shield her best friend from his egotistical manipulation.  And from the secret she's been hiding since med school.  

When the truth about what really happened during Zadie and Emma's third year of med school comes out, what will happen to a friendship that's been rock-solid from its beginning?  Will the women's lives ever be the same again?

As a former ER fan girl, I still find myself drawn to hospital dramas from time to time.  The Queen of Hearts, a debut novel by Kimmery Martin—an emergency medicine doctor herself—seemed intriguing enough to keep my attention.  Seemed being the operative word here.  Although there's plenty of potential action in the novel, Martin spends so much time describing everything and everyone that the first 3/4 of the story just drags along, veering here, there, and everywhere.  It doesn't help that none of the central characters are very likable.  Zadie, Emma, and Dr. X are all immature, self-centered, and annoying, which makes it difficult to care what happens to any of them.  The novel's Big Reveal is pretty obvious from the get-go, so even the tale's finale seems anticlimactic and silly.  I did read to the end (just to confirm what I already knew, I guess), but honestly, The Queen of Hearts felt like a long, dull slog to me.  The book gets rave reviews on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads, so I'm in the minority once again.  That's okay—different strokes for different folks and all that.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of He Said She Said by Jane Casey)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a dozen or so F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of The Queen of Hearts from the generous folks at Berkley (an imprint of Penguin Random House).  Thank you!


  1. What’s with slow slog books lately? No thanks. I’d rather watch medical dramas than read them anyway.

    1. Right? Given the setting, I expected this one to be much more exciting. Nope.

  2. Well, that's disappointing. Sounds like this one could have been good. :(

    1. It definitely could have been. It's a debut novel, so hopefully Martin's next one will be better.

  3. I think sometimes the books that everyone is raving about just don't work for me. I often wonder if that's because we read so many books or we just like other things - like murders. LOL

    1. Bwahahahaha! You're right -- a good murder definitely would have livened this one up :)

  4. Awww that is too bad... I really get down when my opinion is so, so different from the majority... But you are too right! We can't all love everything (as perfect as that would be, lol) <3

    1. It doesn't bother me, but I'm always surprised when my opinion differs SO widely from the majority's. It makes me wonder if we even read the same book, you know?


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