Quick Review: DO NO HARM by Robert Pobi (Minotaur/Hodder)

PobiR-LP3-DoNoHarmUSHCLucas Page returns as a killer stalks medical professionals — including his wife!

A series of suicides and accidental deaths in the medical community are actually well-disguised murders and only Lucas Page can see the pattern and discern the truth that no one else believes.

Lucas Page is a polymath, astrophysicist, professor, husband, father of five adopted children, bestselling author, and ex-FBI agent — emphasis on “ex.” Severely wounded after being caught in an explosion, Page left the FBI behind and put his focus on the rebuilding the rest of his life. But Page is uniquely gifted in being able to recognize patterns that elude others, a skill that brings the F.B.I. knocking at his door again and again.

Lucas Page’s wife Erin loses a friend, a gifted plastic surgeon, to suicide and Lucas begins to realize how many people Erin knew that have died in the past year, in freak accidents and now suicide. Intrigued despite himself, Page begins digging through obituaries and realizes that there’s a pattern — a bad one. These deaths don’t make sense unless the doctors are being murdered, the target of a particularly clever killer. This time, the FBI wants as little to do with Lucas as he does with them so he’s left with only one option — ignore it and go back to his normal life. But then, the pattern reveals that the next victim is likely to be… Erin herself.

Lucas Page returns. Even more banged up than he was at the start of each of the previous novels in the series, his mind nevertheless remains as intact and sharp as ever. His personality, also, remains rather sharp… As a series of suspicious deaths inches closer to home, Page finds himself back in the FBI’s orbit hunting a devious killer. Do No Harm is another fast-paced, gripping thriller from Pobi.

After a medical charity benefit, Lucas Page notices a peculiar pattern among the in memoriam presentation. That was a surprising number of non-natural deaths — accidents, suicides, and murders. Nobody else seems to have noticed. But Page is a man who knows numbers, statistics, probabilities, and so much more. Then one of his friends dies, an apparent suicide. Despite his promise to distance himself from the FBI and the multiple dangerous situations he gets into, Lucas approaches his former colleagues and tries to convince them that something sketchy is afoot. Given his track record with the Bureau, they agree to hear him out, despite their initial skepticism.

As evidence starts piling up, things start escalating. A Brooklyn detective — who is also rather rough around the edges — joins Lucas and the FBI in their investigation. And that, too, is against the pattern. Why is everything happening against probability? Who is committing these murders? Is it one person, or many? Pobi gives readers plenty of tidbits to chew on, to puzzle over, and keep us guessing. I figured out part of the overall shape, but even then there was a moment of, “Oh, so not quite that…”

Lucas Page is a fantastic creation. Ever since he was caught in a bomb explosion (prior to the events of City of Windows, his first outing) he has developed a knack for getting involved in some of the most dangerous FBI cases in and around New York City. For a genius mathematician/statistician, he has an incredible ability to not know when to leave things to the more… action-oriented members of the Bureau. In part, this is because his prodigious ego tends to make everyone around him appear rather slow on the uptake. He is, of course, perfectly aware of how much smarter he is than everyone else (he makes it very clear, social niceties be damned), and too often he becomes involved in race-against-the-clock situations. His partnership with Agent Whittaker is very well written, and you easily feel their professional respect and affection for each other. Whittaker’s incredible bad luck with vehicles is rather amusing.

Populated with plenty of other well-rounded and realistic characters — even those who are only temporarily appearances or plot devices. Pobi has a gift for good dialogue, observations, and over-the-top, cinematic action. Each time I thought, well, that must have been the big action set-piece of the book, another one was around the corner. All of which makes for a very entertaining read.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, gripping and entertaining thriller, then I strongly recommend you give Pobi’s Lucas Page novels a try — if you have already read his books, I’m sure this will be on your watch-list, and I’m happy to report that it is another great instalment in the series.


Robert Pobi’s Do No Harm is due to be published by Minotaur Books in North America (August 9th) and Hodder & Stoughton in the UK (August 11th).

Also on CR: Reviews of City of Windows and Under Pressure

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads
Review copy received via Edelweiss

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s