Thursday, February 21, 2013

It's Nothing Personal by Kate O'Reilley (1st Chapter Review)

On a chilly January morning, anesthesiologist Dr. Jenna Reiner made her daily drive to St. Augustine hospital, completely unaware that her life was about to change forever. One of the surgical technicians in her hospital has been stealing syringes, and infecting patients with hepatitis C. The battle against the thieving surgical technician was only the beginning. Jenna Reiner was about to begin the fight of her life - the fight for her reputation, her pride, and her sanity. Beautifully composed, and inspired by real-life events, It's Nothing Personal is a riveting, suspenseful, and emotional thriller that tells the story of faith and fortitude when an innocent woman finds herself surrounded by corruption and greed.

Kate O’Reilley

Kate O’Reilley is a physician specializing in anesthesiology.  In late 2009, life brought Kate to her knees when she was named in a high-profile medical malpractice suit.  The ordeal nearly destroyed her.  When the dust settled, friends and colleagues urged Kate to write a book about her experience.

Heeding their advice, Kate poured her heart into her first novel.  IT’S NOTHING PERSONAL provides a fictional account of Kate’s experience, peppered with some unexpected twists.  To many, it will be an eye-opening glimpse into the relentless and corrupt world of medical malpractice.

Working tirelessly, Kate has also completed her second novel.  IN GOOD HANDS is a gripping account of Dr. Mandy McGowen, an anesthesiologist who starts dispensing her own version of justice on patients at a county hospital.  IN GOOD HANDS WILL BE RELEASED SUMMER 2013.

Kate O’Reilley also entertains her readers through her blog at  A demonstration of Kate’s wit and sarcastic humor, her posts expose idiosyncrasies, atrocities, and contradictions in our world. 

A native of Colorado, Kate continues to live in the Rocky Mountain state with her husband and their daughter.  In Kate’s spare time, she enjoys running, reading and spending time with her family.  Her family vacations are always spent in Hawaii, a place that Kate and her family hold dear to their hearts.  Having lived on Oahu while her daughter was young, Kate and her family relish the day when they can return to the islands permanently.

My Inspiration for It’s Nothing Personal
A Guest Post by
Kate O’Reilley

Some people feel inspired to write, and then they go about the arduous task of creating a story.  In my situation, things worked in reverse.  My story was thrust upon me with fury and venom.  When the dust settled, I was urged by close friends and co-workers to document my experiences.  From the depths of misery, the words poured from my soul, and It’s Nothing Personal was born.  

On a cold winter’s day in 2009, a surgical scrub technician named Kristen Parker was allegedly targeting unsuspecting anesthesiologists.  According to Parker’s testimony, if she found herself alone in an operating, she would seize the opportunity – the opportunity to feed her drug addiction.  Reportedly, she would steal syringes of Fentanyl, a powerful and addictive intravenous narcotic, from anesthesiologists’ carts.  In order to conceal her theft, she stated that she would replace the stolen syringe with one containing saline and bearing a Fentanyl sticker.  To the naked eye, the two syringes would have been indistinguishable.  As time passed, however, Parker apparently became lazy.  Instead of substituting clean syringes for the stolen ones, she would simply refill the syringes that she had used to inject herself.  Purportedly, anesthesiologists used these syringes on patients during surgical procedures.  Unfortunately, the syringes were contaminated with Parker’s deadly hepatitis C virus.

What ensued was a public health scare of epic proportions.  Over five thousand terrified patients were tested en masse for the virus.  Meanwhile, anesthesiologists at my hospital silently prayed that they would be spared and that none of their patients would end up infected.  I was one of those doctors, selfishly hoping that it would involve somebody else, but not me.

Six months later, I was sued.  My patient’s attorneys were among the most aggressive, ruthless, and successful malpractice lawyers in the region.  As the lawsuit progressed, the stakes increased considerably.  The plaintiff’s attorneys threatened to include punitive damages in the charges against me.  If that happened, they could go after my personal assets.  I was thrown into a dangerous and very cunning game of chess, but instead of fighting to protect my king, I was fighting for my life.

On my lawyer’s orders, I was locked in a world where I could talk to a very select group of individuals – my attorneys and my husband.  Isolated from my peers, I dealt the grief, guilt, despair, embarrassment, self-doubt, and immeasurable sadness on my own.  For over two solid years, the malpractice suit dominated my existence.  There wasn’t a day that went by where it didn’t creep into my consciousness – some days more than others.  During that time, I felt so alone, so tarnished, and so inferior.

The ordeal didn’t just unleash its devastation upon me.  My husband and daughter both lived under a cloud of uncertainty and dread.  Everything was falling apart.

When the situation finally came to a close, I felt obligated to document my experience.  Although It’s Nothing Personal is a work of fiction, it is inspired by my personal journey through hell.  As much as it is a story of sadness and corruption, it is also a story of survival.

My Review:

I am going to say first of all that I have been spending some time over on Kate's blog. It is well worth the trip - only if you are not opposed to rotfl (rolling on the floor laughing!) Her stories are funny and will definitely tickle your funny bone.

It's Nothing Personal is Kate O'Reilley's first book and she's started it with a bang. The writing is intelligent and the characters were well on their way to distinguishing their personalities in the just the first chapter. 

The book begins with Dr. Jenna Reiner hurrying along snow covered roads to work, hoping to be on time for the morning's surgery. The author then sets the scene with Dr. Jenna Reiner, the anaesthesiologist, Hillary the scrub tech, and Rebecca, the circulating nurse in the operating room, each setting up their respective stations. 

The author's background as an anaesthesiologist, plays to the reader's advantage as she sets the scene for surgery. We watch as Dr. Jenna Reiner gathers the narcotics and supplies from the locked cabinet and places them in her surgical cart, and with a nagging feeling, leaves the OR and Hillary, the scrub tech behind. The chapter ends with Hillary removing the syringes of narcotics and replacing them with syringes of saline solution.

The first chapter left this reader with a feeling of unease, imagining they were being prepped for the surgery that would be taking place in that particular operating room (and highly anticipating the second chapter).  If the rest of the book is as well written as the first chapter, then It's Nothing Personal promises pages of nail-biting suspense and drama.

I will be doing a full feature on this book as well as the story that led to the writing of this book. Stay tuned!

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