Visiting with us today are secondary characters from Critical Condition, Dr. Whittaker, intern Dr. McCrae, and nurse Alice Bradshaw. To help you better follow the interview, allow me to first share a brief description of the main characters.
Zach Davis (aka Zach Reynolds) ~ Undercover cop working as an IT specialist at Miller’s Bay Memorial Hospital to figure out if a murderer is behind recent suspicious patient deaths.
Tara Peterson ~ Head nurse of the cancer ward at Miller’s Bay Memorial. She brought the deaths to the police’s attention after a patient and the patient’s husband died. The husband’s dying request was that Tara stop the killer
Between you and me, I haven’t informed our guests that they are suspects, nor are they all the suspects in the book.
Sandra: Alice, I understand that you were pretty upset that Tara Peterson was recently appointed head nurse instead of you.
Alice: Of course, I was upset. I have ten years seniority to her. That should count more than the couple of extra years of schooling she’s had. Experience is the real teacher in our profession.
Sandra: Some would have us believe that you were upset enough to sabotage her work, to make her look incompetent.
Alice: That’s ridiculous. She’s quite capable of digging her own grave without any help from me.
Sandra: Dr. McCrae, I understand you’re pretty passionate about helping cancer patients find cures. Can you tell us a little bit about what drives you?
Dr. McCrae: All doctors are passionate about helping their patients become well, but I have a particular heart for cancer patients, because I lost my brother to cancer.
Sandra: That’s admirable, but as an intern, you must have a heavy debt load from your years of education. Heavy enough perhaps to be tempted to pilfer a few pills here and there to sell on the street.
Dr. McCrae: Absolutely not. I’m the one who requested more security cameras to combat precisely that concern.
Sandra: Does that mean you believe a thief killed the husband of that patient, because the husband caught him stealing the patient’s pills?
Dr. McCrae: As I explained to the police when they questioned me, it is my medical opinion that the patient died due to complications from a seizure, and the husband died of a heart attack. Since Miss Peterson claims someone else had been in the room and rushed out upon her arrival, it seems reasonable to assume that perhaps this person had a confrontation with the patient’s husband before his heart attack.
Sandra: You report to Dr. Whittaker is that correct?
Dr. McCrae: Yes.
Sandra: Has he ever asked you to falsify reports so that patients, who normally wouldn’t qualify, might be allowed to participate in experimental treatment protocols?
Dr. McCrae: Absolutely not. I would never do such a thing and he knows it. Personally, I have serious questions about the efficacy of his current pet project, but clearly, his rapport with the pharmaceutical companies brings much needed funding to the hospital, as evident by the newly built cancer wing.
Sandra: Ah yes, the wing they named after him. Are you suggesting he’s testing drugs that he knows are of no value purely for the profit it brings him?
Dr. McCrae: He’s not interested in the profit for himself. He thrives on prestige. You’ll have to decide for yourself if that hinders his judgment with respect to his patients’ treatments.
Sandra: Some of his patients have started to request to see you rather than him. Can you tell us why?
Dr. McCrae: I care about getting them well, not about satisfying a treatment protocol.
Sandra: But I thought patients called Dr. Whittaker Dr. Wonderful because of his wonderful bedside manner.
Dr. McCrae: (laughs) I believe that’s what the single nurses call him, which probably has more to do with his good looks.
Sandra: Dr. Whittaker is it true that you’ve solicited donations from patients toward the construction of the new cancer wing?
Dr. Whittaker: Absolutely, and I’m proud of the level of donations brought in by such personal requests.
Sandra: I understand one couple donated their entire estate, then died soon after.
Dr. Whittaker: Yes, very sad case that. But at least their money will go on to help others.
Sandra: Tell us a little more about the experimental drug you’re providing patients.
Dr. Whittaker: Only terminal patients are permitted into this program, and yet we have seen some stunning reversals in tumor growth in several participants.
Sandra: Isn’t it true that those shrinkages of tumors occurred after the patients withdrew from your program?
Dr. Whittaker: Yes, several withdrew due to the side effects. But clearly the drug has a remarkable latent effect. There is no other explanation. Unless of course you believe in miracles.
Sandra: And what about those who suddenly died? How would you explain those deaths?
Dr. Whittaker: As I said, all of the participants are terminal. We cannot predict whether they will react favorably or unfavorably without further testing.
Sandra: Are you concerned that Tara’s allegations about murders on the cancer ward will have negative repercussions on the hospital’s reputation?
Dr. Whittaker: Of course I am. They couldn’t help but sour people’s opinion of our work here.
Sandra: Are you concerned enough to put a stop to the allegations?
Dr. Whittaker: Yes. I’ve warned Tara several times to keep her opinions to herself.
Your Turn: If you would like a chance to receive an autographed copy of Critical Condition, please leave a question in the comments for one of today’s guests. (no spoilers please) Winner will be announced on Friday’s blog and asked to email me. You do not need to leave your email address here.
EVERYONE’S AT RISK
There’s a murderer in the hospital, and nurse Tara Peterson is determined to prove it. With mysterious deaths in the cancer ward, anyone could be next. But no one wants to believe her…except undercover agent Zach Davis. The murderer wants Tara’s suspicions silenced, permanently. To protect Tara, Zach lets her in on his secret, and unwittingly into his heart. Tara and her three-year-old daughter are like the family he lost years before. Zach will risk everything to keep them safe, no matter the cost.
“Alice” Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Dr. McCrae” Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
“Dr. Whittaker” Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net