G. L. Didaleusky
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Book Heat Level: 1
BLURB: Frozen Death
Ancient Indian lore holds the answer to these mysterious medical aberrations. A newly constructed Florida male prison sits on ancient hallowed grounds called Forbidden Hill. Soon after the prison opens, two male inmates freeze to death without exposure to frigid temperatures. John Randall, a widowed prison doctor, meets Lena Windmaker, a single, off-duty sheriff detective at a local library. Their initial plutonic relationship soon kindles into a more amorous one. They hide a personal secret that could bring them together or destroy them. They uncover articles in local, post-Civil war newspapers describing residence succumbing to Frozen Death. John and Lena race to discover a cause before it chooses other victims.
EXCERPT: Frozen Death
At 3:30 A.M., the telephone rang. On the fourth ring, John picked up the receiver, his mind still foggy from sleep. "This better be an emergency."
"Is this…Dr. Randall?"
John realized the caller had a male voice, not the feminine voice of Nurse Simpson. “Yes, I'm Dr. Randall. I'm sorry for being so abrupt when I first answered the phone. I thought it was the infirmary nurse calling again."
"I've answered the phone the same way on several occasions at this time of the morning," said the male caller. "My name is Steve Patterson. I'm the ER physician at Ocala General Hospital."
"Is it about the inmate I sent to you a few hours ago? Was it a drug overdose?"
"A brain tumor?"
"No. His CT brain scan was normal, along with a normal drug screen," said Patterson. "I'm sorry to tell you but the inmate died."
John nearly dropped the phone. "What did he die from?"
"He froze to death. I've never seen anything like this in my thirty years as an ER doctor. After running all the tests on him, he started to shake. His temperature rapidly dropped followed by cardiac arrest. I tried everything to save his life, but nothing worked."
"I’m sure you did everything you could. Hopefully an autopsy will give us an answer to his death." John decided not to tell him about Inmate Armstrong’s similar death yesterday morning. "Thanks for calling me, Dr. Patterson."
"I'm just sorry I didn't have good news to tell you." He hung up the phone.
John couldn't go back to sleep. He got up and put on a pot of coffee. After he had showered, shaved, and dressed, he went back to the kitchen and poured himself a cup of coffee.
As he sat at the kitchen table, sipping his coffee, the telephone rang. The ominous ring almost caused him to lose his grip on the coffee cup. He glanced up at the wall clock: 5:15 A.M. John sprang from his chair and rushed toward the ringing phone on the wall.
He picked up the phone. "Dr. Randall."
"It's Nurse Simpson from the infirmary." She took a deep breath. "I have an inmate…"
Stevi B. for Manic Readerssays:
"Frozen Death is a very intriguing mystery and it gets even more interesting as the answer appears to be found in Ancient Indian lore. If you love Indian lore, medically impossible puzzles, and mysteries that look impossible, you will like Frozen Death."