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).
The book description for Black Flies by Shannon Burke included a reference to “minimalist intensity,” and that’s a good term for it. The character recounts intense scenes, but it’s almost as if he’s a step away from them. Perhaps that was intentional – quite a bit of showing instead of telling here, and with males, there’s bound to be less verbalizing of emotions.
But you do get the sense of the main character struggling with the desire to help people versus the forces (and people) that continually want push him down. Burke created a cast of characters that could each have their own story and did impact the main character’s personal growth through the book – I thought that was well done.
In the end, it was just a little too dark for my tastes. I guess I’m just a happily-ever-after kind of gal … Or perhaps I just want to keep my rosy do-gooder view of paramedic work intact!