Dr Jim Collins is ‘The Good Doctor’ in a political thriller set in Central London about the modern age terrorist threat and how it can affect the life of an ordinary man and the people around him.
Jim helps a critical patient found lying outside his hospital to discover that the patient has no ID and then vanishes in the middle of the night before sharing a worrying cryptic piece of information that prompts the Doctor to investigate further. Follow his journey as he tries to unravel the truth while managing his tricky personal life.
Targeted Age Group:: +16
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have both experience in the medical profession and international security business so the idea of an overlap of these two for the protagonist of a book with an espionage angle intrigued me. I am also a fan of spy novels particularly written by John le Carré.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The protagonist is based on myself if I had gone down a different route in my life. The characters around me are based on family and friends that I have been close to over the years with their particular nuances.
The alarm went off for the 3rd time now so I really had to get up this time….followed by shouts from my lovely wife, “Jim!”, I was up like a shot. I had a presentation that morning so I should have had an early night but colleagues of mine would be half asleep in the conference by the time I got to work anyway so I wasn’t too worried. I had been thinking about getting a job locally in Surrey as the pay was just as good but it would mean practically retiring at the age of 39 in the medical profession and I hadn’t slaved away all those years at a London teaching hospital to give up on my career ambitions this early on. The drive into Central London was killing me though and I had to realize I didn’t have the stamina I used to when it came to late night drinks.
I walked into the conference fashionably late, winked at my team and quickly caught up on the usual case study discussions and finger pointing that went on at these meetings. I had my presentation on a USB stick as usual, well prepared and confident that my sugar coating of our teams’ significant patient case studies would put off most contenders from any criticism of myself or any of my team. There were the usual characters that wanted elaboration on certain points but nothing that diminished our excellent work that month.
The show was over and our consultant gave the usual satisfactory grunt to the team ready for his weekly ward round with the other 10 or so younger medics that joined us to see each patient on the ward. The nurses were around of course but I didn’t want to look at Sian directly in case anyone twigged that there was something going on between us and they did like to gossip on the ward. Sian was a young nurse staying at the hospital residence that I had been seeing for a few months. I wasn’t proud of myself but we had a great time together and the way she looked up to me melted my heart a bit. She understood it was just an affair and that I would never leave my family but I took a great risk not just with my family but with my career as well in seeing her late at night on hospital grounds. I was there the previous night which is why I was late that morning.
I got a bleep after lunch that a young male had been taken into A&E in a critical condition and they needed me down there right away so of course I put down my coffee and rushed to emergency. Right away it didn’t look kosher and I couldn’t pick up on what was going on with this guy, there were no signs of physical injury or any other red flags that might explain his critical condition. I put him on the Intensive Care Unit for monitoring and carried out further tests.
I had a pretty full day and had managed to avoid Sian for most of it, it was late and I was definitely going straight home tonight but I wanted to check on the emergency case I had admitted to intensive care. I checked with the nurses on his condition and it was stable but he had no ID on him and when they asked him his name all they got was ‘Simon’. He was middle eastern looking so ‘Simon’ didn’t make much sense but I checked his vital signs and he leaned towards me and said something, thinking it was a request I leant closer and he said….’defense zulu’ …..I didn’t know what to make of it but I asked the overnight nurse to keep an eye on him and went home.
I was late again and this time Susie was fuming, my wife was a psychologist but when it came to reading the closest person to her, which was hopefully me she was useless. I tried to explain it was a crazy day and that I had to stay late working and she responded with, “right up some nurses’ skirt!”. She had arranged a dinner with my sister and her husband and I had completely forgotten about it but she could have reminded me and she knows how much I hated them both anyway.
“Listen sweet, I had a weird critical case today and it did my head in a bit….the last thing I want is to listen to my lawyer sister and her prick of a husband go on about their day….so I think we dodged a bullet there because I might have lost it with them this time, so silver lining!….next time text me anyway to remind me so I can avoid them deliberately…haha”.
“Ok Jim but don’t let me hear about any shenanigans with nurses….your getting too old to be flirting with girls half your age”.
“I only have eyes for you petal…..I’ll get passed these next set of exams and you’ll be married to a consultant….the old guy is on the verge of passing on the mantle, I promise”.
I arrived at work the next day much more refreshed after a good nights’ sleep with Susie and maybe I would get the chance to tell Sian today that we couldn’t see each other anymore but straight away I noticed that the critical admission was not on the list for this morning.
“Hi Sarah, where is the critical patient I admitted yesterday, nurses had him down as just Simon?”
“He passed away?”
“No, apparently he just walked out”
“Who was on call?”
“a sub team” which means a locum or temp
“Did you even see the patient?”
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