Books by H. Thomas Milhorn
Caduceus Awry
ISBN #0595128831

Dr. Mark Valentine, once a highly-respected plastic surgeon, struggles to overcome alcoholism so that he can get his license to practice medicine reinstated. His life takes a turn for the worse when he is abducted at gunpoint and flown to a location hundreds of miles away.

     Subsequent events lead to a life of constant danger as he is relentlessly pursued by Jesus Dimaria, a vicious Mafia hit man. As patient after patient at Charity dies for no known reason, Dr. Ed Billingsworth, the Hospital Director, comes to believe that a high-ranking hospital employee is behind the serial murders. However, he does not name the person because of lack of proof.

     When Billingsworth has a massive heart attack and lies unconscious in the Coronary Care Unit, Mark comes to the realization that he must identify Charity’s serial killer in order to save Billingsworth's life.

     Besides caring a great deal for the man, Billingsworth is the only person with the power to help him get his license back. In a race against time, Mark manages to stay one step ahead of Jesus' attempts on his life as he desperately pursues one lead after another.


Editorial Review: "Love the story! It immediately captures the reader's attention then moves along at a good pace. Mark Valentine is easy to care about, although you wish he'd make better choices sometimes. Still, from the start, you want to cheer him on and hope he'll get a good break. The plot has unique twists that make it fresh and exciting. The writing style is good, too. Excellent job!" This is the most enthralling medical thriller I have read in a while! Dr. Valentine is adamant in fighting the odds against his own survival, both external and internal. You definitely will feel empathy for this man and root for him during this rollercoaster ride. I must admit, there is a little Mark Valentine in all of us. Fight on, Mark! (Review by a reader from Brooklyn, NY)

Mississippi Writers and Musicians: Caduceus Awry is an enthralling novel by Tom Milhorn. The novel grabs the reader's attention and does not let go until every problem, of which there are many, is solved. The story is about a plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark Valentine, who loses his license due to alcoholism and is forced to work as a second-rate emergency room doctor on a limited institutional license. Valentine is accosted by a mob ring-leader and must stop a serial killer at his hospital to save the life of the only man who can get his license back. Throughout all of these problems, Valentine faces struggles in his love life and his fight against alcoholism.

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel because the plot had so many twists that it kept me guessing until the conclusion. Also, I appreciated Milhorn's ability to be concise in the writing of the novel. Moreover, I was amazed that I could imagine myself in Dr. Valentine's shoes as the novel progressed.

The plot follows Valentine from Atlanta, Georgia, through much traveling, to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he and the novel eventually stop. Milhorn has the ability to make these settings come alive to the reader. Also, the amount of travel keeps the reader guessing as to where Valentine will end up in the next chapter.

I would recommend the novel Caduceus Awry as an amazing medical mystery in which to immerse yourself. There are a few references to sex and alcohol, which may make the novel more suitable for mature young adults or adults. In addition, there are some occurrences of violence. However, I do not believe that these situations subtract from the novel or make it any less desirable to read.

Caduceus Awry is a novel of plot twists and flaws of human nature. Dr. Valentine represents every person who has ever been stretched almost to the breaking point but finally defies the odds and becomes victorious over his struggles. I suggest that you read Caduceus Awry. You will not regret your decision. (Review by Nathan Kiser)

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