Monday, March 17, 2014

Silent Fear by Barbara Ebel : Review and Excerpt


Silent Fear

by Barbara Ebel




A devastating meningitis outbreak is sweeping nationwide at breakneck speed. Although not blamed, brain surgeon Dr. Danny Tilson’s recent surgeries happened just before his hospital patients and staff acquired the frightening malady.

Danny becomes the pivotal player of an investigation when the CDC, a neurologist, and an infectious disease specialist are summoned for their expertise.  The root of the outbreak is an enigma, the sinister organism is a mystery, and the timeline of its victims is complicated.

Hang on for the ride as Dr. Danny straightens out his personal life while confronted with an epidemic of frightening proportions and consequences.  The pandemic of the millennium has no cure in sight!  And while Danny’s colleagues, patients and staff are falling dead around him, perhaps the most crucial question of all is - why has Danny been spared?


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“The E.R. doc must have explained what’s going on,” Danny said. “The hematoma Michael suffered in his brain must be managed by surgical evacuation otherwise his prognosis is going to deteriorate. The blood in there will continue to cause pressure on his brain or increase his intracranial pressure. We can’t let that happen, okay?”

“Dr. Tilson,” Stella said, “Do you have children of your own?”

“I do.”

She looked at her son, deeper into a sleep, and lowered her voice. “Then you may understand the bond and how scary it would be to have a child near death’s door.”

Danny briefly closed his eyes. “I’ll take care of your son, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson.”

After Danny finished examining Michael, he left. Tracy put another cotton blanket over the teen while his parents watched. Stella followed Tracy as she went out. “I hope Dr. Tilson does a good job,” she said. “I hope he felt our concern. We’re worried we may lose him.”

With a soulful stare, Tracy looked into her eyes. “Dr. Tilson understands your worry more than you know, Mrs. Johnson. He lost a daughter a few years older than your son.”


This is the first medical thriller featuring Dr. Danny Tilson I have read, and it was just fine as a stand-alone novel.  Reading it has piqued my interest considerably, though, because I would like to find out how Danny, who seems decent enough, managed to cause such devastation in his personal life.  In this book he does seem to be trying to rectify those past mistakes.
The pacing was steady throughout.  It sometimes seemed just a tad too laid back when the culprit organism seemed to be spreading the unknown contagion so rapidly in spite of all the containment protocols.  I personally thought some of the humor expressed was slightly over the top occasionally, considering the situation.  However, that humor did help lighten the mood enough so that the book never got too dark or depressing.  I always felt optimistic that the brilliant minds and diverse specialties of the team would succeed in unraveling the mystery and concoct a cure or vaccine.
I love smart, realistic medical thrillers, and this one did not disappoint me.  The premise seemed likely and was well-researched.  The various characters were easy for me to identify with, and the story was frightening as all get out.  Danny Tilson is a personable man haunted by mistakes he made in his recent past, yet despite all that, he is still at heart a compassionate physician dedicated to the well-fare of his patients and colleagues.
This book was provided me in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Barbara Ebel is an anesthesiologist-turned author. She'll give you an edgy view into the O.R. and deliver credible medicine in the background of her fiction, where plots and vivid characters get center stage. Even the ‘bug’  involved In Silent Fear is based on a rare, real organism.

‘Doctor Barbara’s’ Dr. Danny Tilson Novels take place in Tennessee; the first one is Operation Neurosurgeon, but both books can stand alone. Besides penning other adult books, she is also the author and illustrator of Chester the Chesapeake, a children's picture book series about her therapy dog. She lives with her husband and pets in a TN protected wildlife corridor.


Website with purchase links: 

Twitter:   @BarbaraEbel 



Barbara will be awarding a Gifted copy via Amazon Kindle for the first Dr. Danny Tilson Novel: Operation Neurosurgeon: You never know … who’s in the OR to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour and comment often to increase your chance of winning. The tour dates can be found here.
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