Set in and around a hospital in Medford Oregon, Ian Fox’s Promise me Eternity tells the stories of criminals, self-absorbed doctors, unfaithful wives, ambitious girlfriends, broken homes and wounded childhoods all rolled into one. With so many flawed characters it was hard sometimes to settle into reading—each new scene feeling like an accident waiting to happen. Promise Me Eternity is not a comfortable book or a quick read, but it does have a soap-opera allure as it meanders from hospital to rich man’s home, from bedroom to operating theater, and from FBI agent’s files to doctor’s notes. The ending returns fairly satisfyingly to the start and leaves the reader to enjoy the company of one honest protagonist and kind relationship.
There’s a nice hint of mystery in the well-chosen first scene that keeps the reader turning pages, but the large cast of characters can sometimes be confusing and multiple backstories seemed a little distracting and slow. Hospital scenes with neurosurgeons and anesthesiologists never quite felt convincing to me, which may say more about my interests than my knowledge. Meanwhile dogged investigators chip at the edges of the tale, slipping in and out at inopportune moments.
A long dark tale with tortured characters and cruel twists of fate, this novel blends medical mystery, psychological drama, thriller, suspense, action, romance and more, fitting something for everyone into the tale of man who’d like to save the world if the world would only let him.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review.