Saturday, March 13, 2021

"Fatal Intent"

Tammy Euliano is a practicing anesthesiologist and tenured professor of anesthesiology at the University of Florida. In addition to a prolific list of academic publications, YouTube teaching videos, and numerous teaching awards, she has also written award-winning short fiction.

Euliano applied the Page 69 Test to Fatal Intent, her debut novel, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Fatal Intent, my protagonist, Dr. Kate Downey is about to confront a new and unpleasant surgeon named Charles Ricken. First, she does a little online research and finds an obituary for Ricken’s father, a “well-respected surgeon and philanthropist” in Miami. A few clicks later, she learns that the older brother died four months later. “So Ricken was a middle-aged orphan with no family of his own.” Before she left her office to find Ricken, she spoke to the photo of her comatose husband, “Wish me luck.”

So what do readers glean from this single page? They get a hint of Kate—she does her research, she prefers to avoid confrontation but will stand up for what’s right, she loves her husband and is nowhere near ready to accept the inevitable. They also learn of conflict between the protagonist and the surly surgeon (same root word? You be the judge). This friction persists for much of the book, and is one more stressor on Kate’s already dreadful situation. Her one saving grace is her Great Aunt Irm’s reassuring presence a few pages later. Oh, and her black Lab, Shadow.

All in all, page 69 provides browsers an important, if necessarily incomplete, view of Kate and another important player in the novel. With the characterization that happens to fall on that page, they catch a glimpse of some of the ongoing conflict and the strength of the protagonist through her heartache. I hope that small taste would leave browsers wanting more, and wondering what the @#$% was going on. Should they choose to continue reading, they’ll be immersed in the operating theaters of a large teaching hospital (minus the gross parts…unless you find hospital politics gross, which I kinda do). They’ll hopefully root for Kate to solve the mysterious deaths of her patients while dealing with false accusations, an imperious chief of staff, her insolent brother-in-law, and unexpected dangers lurking around every corner…with the occasional respite from Aunt Irm’s confused English idioms and the simulator engineer’s unique evaluation of Kate’s medical students. One of whom he considers “a box of extra stupid rocks.”

I hope a Page 69 Browser will want to know who lives…and who dies…and who is responsible in the end (Page 311, by the way).
Visit Tammy Euliano's website.

--Marshal Zeringue