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March 14, 2009

Themed Read: Lifelines by CJ Lyons

I read another of my chosen themed reads this week. LIFELINES by CJ Lyons is a medical thriller and it fits my theme because of the doctors and nurses with their uniforms.

Lifelines is a story about four medical staff, although the main story is about new ER attending physician, Lydia Fiore. She’s moved from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, it’s the first of July, which is also transition day, and the most dangerous day of the year because of all the new medical students starting their internships. On Lydia’s first night, a patient comes in to the ER. They’re mystified as to what’s wrong with him and despite every effort, the patient dies. After the death, Lydia learns the man who has died is the son of Dr. Elliot Weiss, the chief of surgery. He blames Lydia for his son’s death and he’s after her blood. She’s put on probation, pending an enquiry and that’s when the fun starts for Lydia. Something isn’t adding up about the death. At the autopsy, Lydia starts to think cyanide poisoning, but others don’t agree, especially Dr. Weiss. When more cyanide poisonings occur some people start to wonder if Lydia is trying to cover her mistake.

Things I liked about this book:

1. It’s fast paced. The entire story takes place over four days from 1st July to 4th July.
2. The setting of the busy ER is excellent and CJ Lyons’ medical background really shows.
3. I enjoyed the characters, both the main and secondary ones.
4. The thriller/mystery component was compelling and hooked me. I read quickly. I was also tired the next day!

Things I didn’t like about this book:

1. The romance element wasn’t the main part of the story. I thought it was a romance. I don’t know why I thought this considering the spine of the book says fiction. Having said that, I’m really glad I read this book.
2. At times the medical jargon made me blink. It wasn’t overdone but in a couple of places I had to reread. Also, if someone could tell me what a wifebeater is? I’m thinking it’s a kind of shirt?

As I mentioned above, I’m glad I read this book. It was a great read, and I enjoyed it so much, I’ve purchased CJ Lyons follow up book, WARNING SIGNS, which follows the same main four characters but focuses on one of the others. Fans of ER or Grey’s Anatomy would enjoy this book. If you enjoy mysteries with a slight romance thread and a medical flavor, this is definitely the book for you.


  1. JK Coi

    I enjoyed this book as well! :)
    And a wifebeater is a men’s tank top.

    Have a great day!

  2. Voronda

    Wifebeater is a term that was popularized by the TV show Cops. EVerytime you see a man on there beating his wife or girlfriend he would have to a T-shirt that looks like a tank top. The word wifebeater was popularized by rappers and it stuck and got passed on to popular culture. I heard the term several years ago and had to have it explained to me. I think it is in the urban or hip-hop dictionary with that definition too.

  3. Roberta Harwell

    Thanks for the review. I added this to my to buy list. Have a great day.

  4. Susan Helene Gottfried

    Oh, I hope CJ sees this… she’s a lovely person and this is such a great review (from a trusted source, even)! I’m glad to hear you liked it.

  5. Shelley Munro

    Susan – I met CJ very briefly at conference. I doubt she’ll remember me, but I loved her book. She’s an excellent writer. :grin:

  6. Shelley Munro

    JK and Voronda – so I was right about the shirt. I’ve seen this word used in JR Ward’s books, too. Now I can imagine the shirt. Thanks!

  7. Nicola O.

    It’s a kind of shirt that makes your mouth water if the wearer has enormous shoulders, and makes your eyes water if he has an enormous gut.


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