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Mortal Remains [Hardcover]

Peter Clement
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 26 2003

In a small upstate New York town, an idyllic lake yields a ghastly discovery when the skeletal remains of a young woman missing for twenty-seven years are pulled from the icy depths—along with unmistakable evidence of her murder. Suddenly, the long-dormant case of Kelly McShane Braden’s mysterious disappearance is reactivated. And for two devastated men, dark emotions and disturbing secrets will also rise to the surface.

For local coroner Dr. Mark Roper, the murder is more than just a grim interruption of his general practice in sleepy Hampton Junction. Kelly Braden had been a surrogate sister. When the police insist the trail of Kelly’s disappearance is too cold to pick up again, he vows to find the missing pieces of the past that will lead him to a killer. Because that’s what cracks cold cases: “One guy who can’t get it out of his head.”

Yet Mark isn’t the only one with Kelly’s murder on his mind. Dr. Earl Garnet, chief of staff at Buffalo’s St. Paul’s Hospital, was once Kelly’s secret lover . . . and would-be savior. Until his plans to rescue her from an abusive marriage were cut short by her vanishing. Now, as the last person to see Kelly alive, he’s in danger of becoming the prime suspect, unless he can unmask the murderer first.

But neither man knows about the twisted chain of lies and corruption that led to Kelly’s death—or the shocking revelations that were meant to go with her to a watery grave. And the harder they push for answers, the easier they make it for their lethal quarry to zero in on them—and push back with deadly force.



With Mortal Remains, Peter Clement remains in total control of readers’ nerves from the very first page, once more wielding heart-racing suspense and scalpel-sharp terror with a master surgeon’s skill.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this medical mystery, the remains in question are those of Kelly McShane Braden, former lover of series hero Dr. Earl Garnet (Lethal Practice; Death Rounds; The Procedure), chief of the busy emergency room at St. Paul's Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y. Kelly disappeared under mysterious circumstances 27 years ago, and now the discovery of her bones threatens Garnet's personal and professional life. Also involved are physician/coroner Mark Roper and his sheriff friend, Dan Evans, both of whom live in Hampton Junction, a small community in the Adirondacks. Mark takes Kelly's murder personally, as she was his beloved childhood babysitter and a close friend of his physician father. The chief suspect in the original disappearance is Dr. Charles "Chaz" Braden IV, Kelly's husband and son of suave, powerful Dr. Charles Braden III. Mark and Earl join forces in hunting down Kelly's killer, and in a matter of hours, patients begin to turn up dead in hospital beds, and seemingly unrelated civilians perish in violent accidents. Mark narrowly escapes being shot, and Earl is felled by a baffling illness. Veteran thriller readers will diagnose the guilty party quickly enough, though the motive is so complicated most will simply give author Clement the benefit of the doubt and accept his version of events. This is medical suspense, so there's lots of doctor talk: "But the lack of nausea and there being no focal, right-upper-quadrant tenderness means we don't even have to think gallbladder, and with normal urine, it isn't renal. Any history of hypertension, Earl?" Readers who go for this sort of chatter will find the book a compelling read, but those who aren't quite so taken with hospitals and healers might look elsewhere for their thrills.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

PRAISE FOR PETER CLEMENT

Mortal Remains

“Peter Clement’s Mortal Remains is furiously paced and intricately plotted. I really cared about these characters and what happens to them. There is no higher praise I can give to anyone’s writing."
—MICHAEL PALMER

“Written with impressive authority, Peter Clement’s medical thriller Mortal Remains is tautly plotted and packed with panache.”
—JOHN CASE

Critical Condition
“Clement’s twenty years as an emergency physician and family doctor result in novels of stunning suspense grounded by an insider’s view of medical science.”
The Toronto Star

Mutant
“Steeped in the thriller traditions of John Saul, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King: pulse-quickening action, a sub-plot of good versus evil, smatterings of blood here and there and a hero’s race against certain disaster.”
Doctor’s Review

The Procedure
“More than a piece of compelling fiction, The Procedure is a cautionary tale . . . An exciting and original story, well told.”
—NELSON DEMILLE

Lethal Practice
ER meets Agatha Christie as Buffalo doctor Earl Garnet is suspected of murder via a cardiac needle. Heart-pounding suspense, indeed!”
Entertainment Weekly

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Mark Roper followed sheriff Dan Evans down, staying so close to the man's flippers that they occasionally brushed his face mask. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars An old murder stirs up memories. April 10 2004
Format:Hardcover
Peter Clement scores with "Mortal Remains," a crackerjack medical thriller. Dr. Mark Roper is a dedicated country doctor in Hampton Junction, a small town in upstate New York. He is shocked when the body of Kelly McShane is pulled up from a lake, twenty-seven years after she mysteriously disappeared. Kelly used to baby-sit for Mark and he idolized her. It was no secret that she was anxious to leave her abusive husband, Chaz Braden, and there were hints that she had a mysterious lover. Mark decides to investigate Kelly's death, especially since the police regard her murder as a cold case that is unlikely to be solved. Helping Mark with his investigation is Dr. Earl Garnet, who knew Kelly when they were both medical students. As their probe deepens, the two doctors risk becoming the next victims of a murderer who wants to keep old secrets buried.
This story could have been trite in the hands of a lesser writer. Clements uses the "murder victim found many years later" formula skillfully. He develops his characters with care and brings his story to life with vivid descriptions, interesting medical details, and a sharply delineated plot with some surprising twists and turns. Dr. Roper is a sympathetic protagonist, a compassionate and hard-working doctor who has a special relationship with his elderly and isolated patients. His adversaries are complex individuals with hidden motives, and there are plenty of red herrings to keep even the sharpest reader off balance.
If you like medical thrillers with lots of tension, varied characters, a well-developed plot, and a touch of romance, then you will probably find "Mortal Remains" both engrossing and entertaining.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Graphic and Gripping Medical Thriller Nov. 9 2003
Format:Hardcover
Charismatic, compassionate Dr. Earl Garnet, Peter Clement's series hero, has a problem. More than a quarter of a century after his residency days at New York City Hospital, he's solidly established in his chosen profession, living happily in Buffalo with his obstetrician wife, Janet, and their young son...life is good. However, Coroner Mark Roper and Sheriff Dan Evans' sensational discovery of the 'mortal remains' of his fellow student, old friend and former lover, Dr. Kelly McShane Braden, in the murky depths of an upstate lake at Hampton Junction, NY, twenty-seven years after her mysterious disappearance threatens that serene existence and puts his own life in jeopardy once he commits to actively involving himself in Roper's decision to proceed with a thorough investigation into what is now an obvious case of murder. Unhappily married to abusive Dr. Charles 'Chaz' Braden, IV (son of prominent and powerful Dr. Charles Braden, III)at the time of her disappearance, Kelly came to Earl for help in leaving him the same day that she vanished. Although their connection was never established at the time since 'Chaz' was the primary suspect and the case was eventually shelved for lack of evidence, dedicated Dr. Roper...who knew and loved Kelly from his childhood...is now determined to track down her killer, and Garnet somewhat reluctantly volunteers his assistance. Bad mistake! Suddenly felled by a mysterious illness, while Earl fights for his life, Roper doggedly continues to search the past for reasonable answers to present enigmas. He is absolutely convinced that one or both of the Bradens are at the heart of the matter, and once he digs deep enough, he and Dr. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting thriller Sept. 2 2003
Format:Hardcover
Sheriff Dan Evans of Hampton Junction in upstate New York had volunteers dragging the nearby lake for the body of an elderly Alzheimer's patient who disappeared several days ago. They found the bones of a left forearm of a body that has been in the lake a very long time. This leads to the sheriff and Dr. Mark Ruper, the county coroner to dive into the lake to retrieve the body.
When they locate the body, it is obvious that a crime occurred and the forensic team must examine the scene. When they are finally able to bring the skeleton up, they discover it is the body of Dr. Kelly McShane Branden who disappeared twenty-seven year ago. Mark, who has fond memories of Kelly won't rest until her killer is brought to justice. Earl Garnet, who believed at the time that Kelly did a disappearing act to escape her abusive husband, assists the doctor in seeing justice occur. Both men are almost killed because they refuse to let a murderer escape.
Fans of Michael Palmer and Robin Cook must add Peter Clement to their list of writers of exciting medical thrillers. Readers get a real sense of the victim through the eyes of those who cared about her and hope that the doctors will be successful in their quest. The protagonist of this novel is a family doctor who goes the extra mile for his patients, a hero in the truest sense of the word. Readers will love him and hope there will be more medical thrillers starring this special humanitarian.
Harriet Klausner
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