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Dr. Lou Welcome, who supervises other doctors through the Physician Wellness Office, is shocked to discover that a friend and colleague might be mixed up in the homicide of a U.S. congressman. Not willing to accept that his friend is a murderer, Lou starts digging only to uncover a deadly conspiracy. If this all sounds a bit familiar, it's because it's pretty much the same story, with minor variations, as Oath of Office (2012), which introduced Welcome, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, which explains why he's not supervising other doctors with troubled histories. It's not a bad book, but like its predecessor, it misses several opportunities for surprising plot twists and has the overall feeling of been-there, done-that (too many times). Palmer can be a talented and original storyteller, but of late his writing feels lethargic, and his stories repetitive and predictable. Devoted readers might enjoy this one, but it won't win him any new fans.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
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Bestseller Palmer soft-pedals his usual medical agenda in his disappointing second Dr. Lou Welcome thriller (after 2011's Oath of Office). Lou, who was once in treatment for amphetamine and alcohol dependence, receives a distress call from a close doctor friend, Gary McHugh, whose struggles with alcohol Lou has been overseeing at the Washington, D.C., Physician Wellness Office. The police are about to arrest Gary for the shooting murder of Congressman Elias Colston, the chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, with whose wife, Jeannine, Gary had been having an affair. Gary, drunk, had gone to Colston's Maryland home to see Jeannine, but found Colston's body instead. Lou, who sets out to exonerate his friend, even though Gary's lawyer warns him off the case, stumbles into trouble and lucks his way out in an investigation that points to a supersecret mission known as Operation Talon. The unoriginal military action scenes will leave fans of that subgenre rolling their eyes. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.