“Fatal Rounds” is a fast-paced medical thriller from Dr. Carrie Rubin, a physician from Akron.
The narrator is Liza Larkin, who begins her pathology residency at the (fictional) Titus McCall Medical Center. Titus McCall was Liza’s second choice for residency, but she prefers it to her first choice because of some of the photos she puts in an album for her mother.
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Liza’s mother has schizophrenia and lives in a care facility, and Liza herself has schizoid personality disorder, meaning she is “emotionally aloof” with “little desire to engage in social relationships.” Yet she loves her mother and is perplexed when three of the photos, taken in different places, show a man she does not know. Her mother sees the album and becomes distraught. She says a man has been watching her through the bushes.
By searching for an inverted image, Liza discovers that the man is a surgeon at Titus McCall, so she forgoes her first choice to keep a crush on Dr. Sam Donovan. Liza becomes convinced that Donovan is responsible for the recent death of a woman he had operated on a year earlier. She also becomes convinced that he is following her, so she starts following him. Under the pretense of an academic paper, she investigates his surgical cases.
Liza wonders if she becomes paranoid and shows symptoms of her mother’s condition, and so does her friend, a policewoman when Liza presents her with the evidence she has collected. The reader will also wonder whether Liza has delusions. Liza’s friend insists the evidence is circumstantial at best. Donovan begins to taunt her.
Rubin’s use of the unreliable narrator keeps things nicely out of balance until the charged climax and unexpected final twist. “Fatal Rounds” combines a unique main character with an impressively exciting plot.
“Fatal Rounds” (294 pages, softcover) is $13.99 from Indigo Dot Press. Carrie Rubin is also the author of “Eating Bull,” about a Cleveland teenager who is urged to sue a fast food chain for causing his obesity, and a series of three books about a medical student who drawn into the supernatural.
‘Chicken soup for the soul’
Susan Boltz of Cuyahoga Falls contributed a story to “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Your 10 Keys to Happiness,” which was released in June. Featured in the first of 10 chapters, titled “Count Your Blessings,” The Grocery Store is the reminder of a stressful pre-Thanksgiving shopping trip turned into a lesson in gratitude. The book is $14.95 from chickensoup.com.
Loganberry Books (13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights): Gabe Goldman Signs His Picture Book “The Loving Wind,” Sunday 1 p.m.; Valencia Joy signs “I Met a Guy… and Other Things You Can Only Discuss with Your SisterGirlfriends,” 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In a virtual event on Thursday at 7 p.m., Bill Schutt joins the Peculiar Book Club to talk about “Pump: A Natural History of the Heart”; register at loganberrybooks.com.
Bookshop by the fireplace (29 N. Franklin St., Chagrin Falls): Tossie Wiley Jr., author of “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb,” and Rita Wiley, author of “Prayer Fire: How to Ignite Your Prayer Life for Tangible Results,” sign their books from 1pm to 3pm on Sundays.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch, 1876 S. Green Road, South Euclid): Shavonne J. Moore-Lobban discusses “The Black Women’s Guide to Overcoming Domestic Violence,” Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m. Monday from 7-8pm, Candice Carty-Williams talks about “People Person” with Abby L. Vandiver, whose “Where Wild Peaches Grow” was featured in Book Talk on Sept. 11. Thursdays from 7-8pm Daniella Mestyanek Young and co-author Brandi Larsen discuss Mestyanek Young’s memoir “Uncultured.” Sign up at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Cleveland Museum of Natural History: In a virtual appearance Tuesday at 7 p.m., the museum’s restoration ecologist, David Kriska, talks to Edwin Birnbaum about “Sacred Mountains of the World.” A minimum donation of $5 is requested. Register at cmnh.org.
Cuyahoga County Public Library: In a virtual appearance Monday from 7-8pm, Roshani Chokshi talks about her young adult novel (with Evelyn Skye and Sandhya and Menon) “Three Kisses, One Midnight”, and Jeffrey Breslow discusses “A Game Maker’s Life: A Hall of Fame Game Inventor and Executive tells the story of the toy industry,” Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. Register at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Hudson Library & Historical Society: NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg discusses “Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships,” about her relationship with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in a virtual event at 7 p.m. Monday. Wednesday at 7pm, Azar Nafisi will speak on “Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times”; Thursday at 7 p.m. Michael Roizen, Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Wellness Officer, talks about “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow.” Register at hudsonlibrary.org.
Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library: Simon Winchester, author of “The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary,” in a virtual appearance Tuesday from 2 to 3 p.m. Register at smfpl.org.
Willoughby Openbare Public Library (263E.305e St.): Canton Repository Managing Editor Rick Armon, author of “Ohio Breweries,” presents “History of Ohio Brewing,” Tuesday, 7 p.m. Wednesday at 6:30 PM, DM Pulley (“The Lost Key”) kicks off with a six-week virtual writing workshop “Building the Suspense”; register at we247.org.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma-Powers branch, 6996 Powers Blvd.): Kristina McMorris talks about her novel “The Ways We Hide,” Wednesdays from 7-8pm. Sign up at cuyahogalibrary.org.
College of Wooster (McGaw Chapel, 303 E. University St., Wooster): Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Children’s Literature and author (along with Ibram X Kendi) of “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” delivers the Peter Mortensen Lecture in 2022 on Thursday 7 a.m.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma-Snow branch, 2121 Snow Road): Buzz Bissinger, author of “Friday Night Lights,” talks about “The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II,” Thursdays from 7-8pm. Sign up at cuyahogalibrary.org.
Mac’s backs (1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights): Joe Meno signs his novel “Book of Extraordinary Tragedies” and Liz Breazeale signs “Extinction Event: Stories,” 7 p.m. Thursday. Fridays from 7-8pm, poets Jason Baldinger (“A Threadbare Universe”) and Karen Schubert (“The Geography of Lost Houses”) will read from their work.
Reed Memorial Library (167 E. Main St., Ravenna): Joseph Sepesy talks about how ballroom dancing was therapeutic for his post-traumatic stress disorder, signing “Word Dances: A Collection of Verses and Thoughts about Ballroom Dancing,” Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.
Cleveland Public Library (Martin Luther King Jr. branch, 1962 Stokes Blvd.): Physician and activist Edgar B. Jackson Jr. launches his memoir “A Way Up and a Way Out,” in an interview with Rev. Dr. Otis Moss Jr., Pastor Emeritus of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, Saturday 1 p.m. Register at cpl.org.
Rodman Library (215 E. Broadway St., Alliance): Alliance native Janice Hisle kicks off the 2022 Fogle Author Series, in which he talks about “Submerged: Ryan Widmer, His Drowned Bride and the Justice System,” about the death of a Warren County woman in 2008. 2 p.m. Saturday.
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