Laminar Flow by Timothy H. Cook

By Ekta R. Garg

March 28, 2012

Rated: Borrow it

A physician gets an emergency middle-of-the-night call for a critical patient, and what begins as a routine ER call turns into the adventure of the century.  Or two centuries, depending on your perspective.  First-time author Timothy H. Cook draws on his experiences as a doctor to present this tale of two physicians connected across the ages.

Cardiologist Bob Gilsen gets paged at 3 a.m. when one of his more serious patients collapses and needs immediate care.  Gilsen leaves his sleeping wife and steps into an impending snowstorm to make it to the hospital to tend to Josh, a young man with developmental delays who has struggled throughout his life for somewhat normal health.  Josh’s grave condition makes Gilsen feel disheartened but determined to do his best for this patient with whom he has formed a bond.

Throughout the remainder of the night and the rest of the morning, Gilsen can’t escape bizarre occurrences that, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with his case.  A mysterious person claiming to be Gilsen’s patient; an unusual coin that shows up seemingly out of thin air; and a note intended for Gilsen that doesn’t seem to mean anything.  Yet something deep inside Gilsen’s heart tells him these strange happenings have something to do with his current circumstances.  He feels a draw to a different time and place, and eventually he gives in to that tug.

Author Cook offers readers with an interesting premise in this first of three books in The Book of Drachma series.  His authenticity for the hospital scenes shows due to his own experiences as a doctor, and readers won’t have a hard time feeling like Cook has at one time or another witnessed most of the hospital scenes he describes.  Hospitals often provide a compelling backdrop for dramatic events, and Cook obviously knows Gilsen’s hospital well.

The narrative may drive forward a little too forcefully, however, owing to the “let’s get right down to business” attitude most physicians employ in their profession.  While this mode of thinking bodes well for emergency situations that require someone who can think fast, it may leave readers dissatisfied with the details and time with the characters they receive.  Cook’s excitement for his story shows through clearly, and he lets his eagerness overtake the literary devices needed to advance the plot at a measured, even pace.

Excitement aside, however, Cook has provided readers with a compelling story in this first book and leaves the end hanging at a place that makes readers want more.  I recommend Laminar Flow for its interesting ideas and that delicious anticipation that comes from waiting to find out what happens next.


What the ratings mean:

Bookmark it!–Read this book and then buy it and add it to to your own collection.  It’s definitely worth it!

Borrow it–Check this one out from the library; it’s a worthy read, but think twice before spending your hard-earned money on it.

Bypass it–Free time is precious.  Don’t spend it on this book!

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