Review of “Do No Harm” by Robert Pobi

This page-turning crime thriller, #3 in the Lucas Page series, is set in New York City in the present day. Lucas Page left the FBI ten years earlier after an incident which cost him a leg, an arm, and an eye. Now fitted with prosthetics, he teaches astrophysics at Columbia University, and shares a home with his wife Erin, who is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Will Cornell Hospital, five adopted children, and a tenant named Dingo – a double amputee like Lucas.

Although Lucas is an astrophysicist by profession, he has an uncanny facility with numbers which makes him very useful to the FBI. He can see patterns that others can’t, and can do almost instantaneous calculations based on those patterns to make sense of events that would seem like just random data to almost everyone else.

In this installment, Lucas accompanies his wife to a charity event for doctors which included an in-memoriam presentation of doctors lost during the past year. There were a lot – too many to be natural, and Lucas saw a pattern.

He went to Brett Kehoe, the FBI Special Agent in charge of Manhattan, presenting his theory that all of these “accidents” and “suicides” were in fact murders. He pointed out to Kehoe and Special Agent Otto Hoffner that the fact that there was no pattern to the deaths was a dead giveaway. He explained that in any series of true random events, there will be repeats, overlaps, and coincidences. But in this group of deaths, there were no patterns, except one: no one died on a Tuesday.

Lucas is paired once again with Special Agent Alice Whitaker, a fierce and fearless Black woman who in many ways is a perfect match for Page, especially since she can get along with him despite his gruff demeanor. They in turn are helped by a NYPD detective, Johnny “Jackets” Russo, on whose beat many of the deaths occurred.

Meanwhile, more doctors are dying, and before long, Erin is targeted as well. It has now become extremely personal for Lucas, and he refuses to rest until he can figure out what is going on, and how to stop the killer or killers.

As the action builds to a terrifying denouement, we can’t be sure who will make it out alive, because Pobi seems to have no qualms about killing off major characters in the interest of realism.

Evaluation: Lucas Page is a fascinating character unlike the usual law enforcement stereotypes in fiction. Whitaker has some special talents herself, and adds a welcome aspect of humor to the mix, in addition to revealing more about Page through their interactions.

Rating: 4/5

Published by Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, 2022

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1 Response to Review of “Do No Harm” by Robert Pobi

  1. harvee says:

    Glad to hear there is humor mixed in with all the destruction. Makes a book more enjoyable.

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