Since I was trained as an Army paramedic in a previous life, I am drawn to novels and characters who are in that line of work (and much of my writing is impacted by that experience).
From the description of Trauma Junkie by Tom Hobbs, I thought there’d be a bit of humor. A couple chapters in I thought ‘crap, this is going to be another Black Flies’ (which is a rather dark/depressing novel about a paramedic). But no…I got a pleasant surprise. Although there are scenes about the heavier aspects of the paramedic job, the author didn’t dwell in them. The book wasn’t so much about being a paramedic as it was about how events in Brian’s life impacted him – and it’s a love story – which is what I like to read.
Against the odds (not to mention with the help of a woman) Brian manages to claw his way out of a very bad spiral that began with the death of his infant son, subsequent divorce, and interrupted suicide plan.
It’s not a long book and it has a rather large “cast,” which makes it more of a challenge to develop the characters. I thought the author did a good job of that. At first the animosity between Brian and his ex-wife was too cliché, as was the fact that they both found new love, but in the end they found a way to become friends and support each other, which I found refreshing.
My only complaint? Add a “he said,” “Mel said” etc. I sometimes could not tell who was speaking, which forced me to stop and re-read. It takes me out of the story and slows me down. Rated 4.