Hostile Hospital: Dr. John Avanzato
Look at yourself in a mirror and take a minute to place a line down the center of your face and entire body. If you could split yourself in half you might wonder what each side offers. On the right you are a well-known doctor in a hospital that hired you to save its patients. On the left you are a rogue, vigilante, collector of debts working to benefit a mob boss whose goal it is to strong-arm those who have not paid up their debts. Somewhere within the middle you even find the real you. Working in a downstate hospital in New York Dr. John Cesari learns the meaning, lies, deceptions, treachery, deceit and patient love. What happens when he is sent to take out a man whose payments are late? The prologue is quite compelling as he views this man playing ball with his son and somewhere the person living on the line in the middle wins. What he does will definitely surprise him and anger his employer. A decision what caused him to become the person on the right side but the rogue and adventurer in him never died?
Meeting him in the OR we encounter nurses Maggie and Kelly. Kelly is special and they seem to have a strong chemical attraction that might not be the best for her but definitely for him. Learning more about each other does not deter either one but what they uncover about the hospital, their lucrative side businesses puts them in harms way, causes the body count to rise and puts not only John and Kelly in danger but others too. No one is exempt from the wrath of the mob including the head of the hospital and his son who at the start of the novel makes a mistake when getting John angry and in his face.
What is hidden in the basement? Why did they hire Pakistani doctors? What is their primary role and why renovate the basement at a high cost? John has a dangerous side and stops at nothing when attacked. So, what they uncover within the confines of the basement, the morgue and the hospital alerts him that someone is paying big money to bring in expensive drugs and even worse encouraging homeless men to give up an organ for money. But, in reality these people are conned, often die and never see the light of a recovery room alive, instead they see the inside of a steal drawer. Harvesting organs to help others who are dying for millions is the true calling of someone attached to the hospital that owed the mob a debt and has to pay up with his integrity and the lives of those within the patient rooms?
Every step of the way Vito Gianelli, his mob associate, Pinky is colleague and their head boss strategize, discuss and hope to not only bring John down but use Kelly as bait. Violence is not above what they do and torture just part of their plan. As a gastro doctor he is first rate but the CEO of the hospital is not happy with his moral ethic values, his pride in his job and the fact that he does not order unnecessary tests for his patients. So, he is not what you might say “Worth his weight in salt.” Too bad more doctors are not like him and only order the tests you really need. Imagine not needed a colonoscopy! Sounds great to me! Staying away from the police, the mob and the FBI while keeping Kelly safe proves difficult for John but he is creative.
A transplant from my old stomping grounds in the Bronx, John Cesari by way of author John Avanzato brings the Bronx to life. There is much more that he uncovers when the realizes what happens to two men that are drugged and tied down in the basement of the hospital, their true purpose and the explosion in the ER letting readers know that these two men were suicide bombers and that there are more out there but first John is arrested. Someone killed the head of the hospital with John’s gun but why you won’t believe? The prime target for the attack was someone high up in office and they are not done yet. Harvesting organs, terrorist attacks and mob hits all focusing on John. Added in an angry Assistant DA named Cheryl that he dumped and another woman named Kelly that gets hurt in the crossfire you being to question whether it is safe to walk the streets or enter a hospital without wearing bomb gear or having John there to watch your back.
Lou Bazarra the crime boss that is in charge of the mob hits. Vito Gianelli hoping to settle scores. A police Lieutenant hoping to pin it all on John and a hospital riddled with corruption its amazing anyone comes out alive. The more we learn about John, follow his movements and realize just what he is capable of doing you realize that he has taken on more of the left side of the mirror at this point than the right although he kind side shows through when dealing with those he cares about but at times its hard to see. Tough, straightforward, determined, and persistent and hardnosed Dr. John Cesari is someone you want on your side and do not want to cross. How do you stop organ harvesting that is illegal? Would you pay millions for an organ if you knew what happened to the donor? Moral issue! What would you do if you knew that the hospital you are working deals in many illegal enterprises? Why would Kelly risk it all to help John? Will their relationship be stronger? Will he remain loyal to her?
When John comes face to face with the killers and realizes what he has to do readers will be surprised at which side he favors in the mirror. What happens within the walls, OR’s and rooms in Genesee General Hospital will make you think twice before entering any OR or medical facility. What was behind the organ harvesting, the terror attacks and the prescription drug trafficking: Money, power, greed, deceit and paying a debt. When called before the committee on misconduct you have to read what John says about the medical profession before casting your vote for whether he is guilty or not guilty of any crimes. Which side of the mirror wins? Which side does he see at the end of this novel? Read Hostile Hospital and decide: Vigilante/Doctor! Leaving up to the reader!
The author lays out many ethical and moral situations and leaves us wondering about John’s moral code and his true reasons for not remaining with the mob and becoming a doctor! You decide where he belongs! If John were standing in front of the mirror which side would you think he would favor? Let’s not forget the precious dog that must might have helped solve the case and bring them together.
Dedicating this review to Cleopatra our author’s special dog that passed several weeks after completing this novel.
Let’s give this book: Five golden colonoscopies for patients that need them with great results!
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews/MJ Magazine