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The Great Equalizer

Author Interview
Dennis Ross Author Interview

The Perfect Match follows a young man with renal disease who realizes that patients ahead of him on the transplant list are mysteriously dying. Nick Seratino is an interesting character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

It’s my feeling that in Italian families, if there is only one son, he’s likely the favorite child. Framing him as a wealthy, spoiled child that got what he wanted one way or another ( through his father mostly and his good looks), he had everything going for him until he got the news that he had end stage renal failure, and this became a life-changing event. I’ve seen this many times throughout my career. It can make people better or sometimes worse facing a life-threatening illness. In this case Nick was exposed to the other side of society in the dialysis center which I often say is the great equalizer. You can find a drug addict sitting next to a judge. Nick’s exposure to Derrick makes him realize what a true friend really is. I chose Nick’s father to make the story more intriguing with twists and turns relying on Emilio’s nefarious past to captivate the reader.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

All in all, I wanted to educate the reader about what someone goes through facing dialysis and the need for a kidney transplant. From your review, it appears I was able to accomplish this and still make the story enjoyable to read.

How far
would you go
to save someone
you love?

Nick Seratino is a vibrant, handsome young man starting college when he receives a terrible diagnosis. He has end stage renal disease, requiring dialysis and ultimately a new kidney, and is placed on a transplant waiting list.

Emilio Seratino is not willing to watch his son waste away. There are “many options” for a new kidney, and Emilio plans to utilize them all. When patients ahead of Nick on the waiting list start mysteriously dying, the authorities are called in to investigate. Meanwhile, Nick’s condition digs up family secrets better left buried.

Much as John Grisham educates readers about legal topics, Dr. Dennis Ross showcases his medical knowledge in The Perfect Match, teaching readers about kidney failure with many a thrilling twist and turn up to the final bloody crescendo.

The Perfect Match

The dread of discovering that your body is betraying you tends to leave you with more questions than answers. No one wants to wake up sick to their stomach out of nowhere and end up scheduling a doctor visit, only to then hear some upsetting news.

When young Nick, the son of Emilio Seratino, found out he was more ill than he thought, you instantly felt how heart-crushing the news was to receive. Nineteen-year-old Nick is suffering from a condition discovered from a minor car accident. Now, he must be on dialysis treatment before being added to the transplant list. As if the news couldn’t get any worse, the discussion of a perfectly matched donor has come up and the odds are not working in Seratino’s favor. Nick tries his best to create a sense of normalcy in his life. From attending classes, eating according to a restrictive diet, and taking treatments a few times a week, he seems to be managing quite well. The Seratinos are doing their best to help Nick while ensuring they remain hopeful for his future. Experiencing life through different lenses has allowed Nick a new appreciation for life and he’s become serious with his intentions. But something shocking is happening at the treatment center. The deaths of a few patients seem irregular. Could it be foul play?

The Perfect Match is a riveting medical thriller that grounds the story using accurate medical terminology. All the medical jargon feels real but understandable, and because of this sense of authenticity when patients start mysteriously dying it feels all the more real, terrifying and intriguing because of it.

This is a suspenseful crime fiction story that is as edifying as it is entertaining. The author’s knowledge of medicine is clearly seen throughout the story and I felt like I walked away from this book smarter. Readers will learn how important it is to have proper matching, especially where organs and possible transplants are involved.

The story slowly builds its characters so that we get to understand the emotional impact of kidney failure and how it affects everyone. The emotional weight is felt throughout the story and readers will empathize with Nick, even if they cannot relate. The Perfect Match showcases the hardships of dialysis and renal disease and inserts a compelling crime thriller in the middle of it.

Pages: 173 | ASIN: B07TTG6MZL

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The Lethal Elixir

The Lethal Elixir by Dennis Ross is a mystery romance novel that follows the events of a strange outbreak at Deaconess Hospital in Chicago. First, a man is brought in ailing from an unknown disease, prompting the staff to call on Dr. Maggie Hamilton, one of their Infectious Diseases specialists, for a diagnosis. Unfortunately, it is discovered the man has an altered strain of Ebola. Soon more people are found with the strain, sending the hospital into an outbreak scenario. In their search for answers to the origins, Maggie teams up with the FBI, led by Agent Matthew Johnson. As the pair investigate the possible source of Ebola, they uncover a nefarious plot on the nation and possibly find love along the way.

I find Maggie to be everything I’m looking for in a leading lady: a smart, stand on your own kind of woman. She’s the head of her field and quickly takes charge. Matthew Mack, to most people, is a great leading man. He’s described as strong and handsome, but he’s also not afraid to show his creative side in things like dancing. These are unique characters who compliment each other well. I also liked the medical side of the story. It was well researched for that genuine “I could believe I’m in a hospital right now” feel. I also loved that we saw from the villains’ side of the story. It kept me interested in reading and wondering if our pair would stave off the dark plot we saw unfurling.

While the concept of the novel is stellar, I didn’t feel like the mechanics of the story succeeded in conveying that concept in a way that was equally compelling. I felt that the dialogue could have used some of the creativity that went into the plot to breakup the otherwise stiff writing. This is a medical thriller so there is a lot of technical medical jargon that is being used, which provides an authentic feel to the story, but I would have liked a medical term dictionary at the back of the book to help me understand the technical terms.

This fast-paced novel is an instalove romance. The characters fall in love quickly, and given that they are rushing to stop an epidemic, this feels plausible. The high-stress conditions, and working closely with someone you find attractive, set them up for romance while still getting their job done. The relationship adds to the drama of the plot rather than overtaking it.

The Lethal Elixir is a dramatic medical mystery novel that feels realistic. The attention to detail with the medical conditions adds credibility to the story. In addition, readers will get caught up in the whirlwind romance of the characters as they work to stop a worldwide epidemic.

Pages: 280 | ASIN : B09CD4669N

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