People are dropping like flies in Dr. Emma Steele’s ER, and nobody knows why. A new disease? Medication errors? Poisoned oxygen? She must find out, even though her job is in peril, her daughter disappeared, and she’d rather be home, drinking wine.
A mercy killer? But why would he kill a healthy patient? Are they framing her nurses? Or herself? A patient dies by stolen medications, her orders are corrupted by lethal mistakes and her nurse is killed. What happens to her daughter is worse than death.
Dr. Steele risks her career and her life to stop the murders. She gets closer and closer to the answers. Until she gets too close.
I love kids.
Pretty kids. Nice kids. Normal kids.
Not this. This is not a kid.
This is thirty pounds of human flesh kept alive by devices. Peg tube, trach, vent.
He’s got contractures everywhere. He’s so folded he’d fit in my carry on. Not that I’d want to take him anywhere.
I check his chart. Evan. He’s twelve. He can’t see, he can’t talk, he can’t eat, he can’t breathe.
What’s the point of being alive? If you call this alive. He doesn’t know he’s alive. He can’t think.
Can he feel? Let’s find out.
I stick a #18 needle in his heel.
He pulls away and tries to scream. He can’t. He snorts.
He feels pain. That sucks. I wouldn’t have my dog live like this! Any dog! And he’s human, if only in name.
I look around. They’re busy.
I turn off the alarms and I detach his tracheostomy from the vent. I cover it with my palm, pretending I’m cleaning it. I wait for the heart to stop.
It takes forever.
I reconnect the vent and leave.
Bye-bye, Evan. If they ask, tell them Carlos sent you!
This excerpt is from MERCY, Book 2 of the ER Crimes, the Steele Files. Book 1 is OVERDOSE, and Book 3 is POISON. Find out more at RadaJonesMD.com