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Do No Harm

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

By Christina McDonald




Emma Sweeney a physician, is happily married to her police detective husband, Nate. Together they dote on their adorable five-year-old son, Josh. But their idyllic life crumbles when Josh is diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. Insurance will not cover the cost of treatment and they are turned down for a loan. Determined to save Josh, Emma believes the only way to raise enough cash is to sell opioids and forged prescriptions orders to drug dealers. But Emma’s plans go astray when the bodies start piling up. Nate, who knows nothing of Emma’s plans, is working with the DEA to find the source of the opioids entering the town of Skamania, Washington. Catching the dealers means a huge promotion for Nate. But how far will Emma go to save Josh?


DO NO HARM is a suspenseful thriller about the lengths a mother will go to save her child. The story is a timely and well-meaning effort to highlight the opioid crisis. Emma rationalizes her betrayal of both her husband and her profession, that by selling prescriptions she is just helping those who are truly in pain and just cannot get the medication they need. But does the end justify the means?

It’s a fast-paced and interesting read. Emma failure to struggle with her ethical and moral decision to sell prescriptions hurts the believability of her character. Despite the fact that she had taken an oath and spent the past ten years of her life building a stellar reputation as a doctor she forges ahead without any reservation. The same holds true for her failure to be phased by her unrelentingly lies to her husband and soulmate of five years. Even as the death toll mounts, Emma shows no remorse or conscience.

Despite Emma’s believability, the book is both gut-wrenching and thought-provoking. Author Christina McDonald is the best-selling author of several previous novels involving the ferocity of mothers including Behind Every Lie and The Night Olivia Fell. She is originally from Seattle and now lives in London.

Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Gallery Books

Published February 16, 2021

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