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by Lori Avocato
Avon, November 2006
304 pages
ISBN: 0060837047

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Pauline Sokol is still enjoying her career change. She gave up the stresses of being a nurse to become a medical fraud investigator. While Pauline would prefer to experience investigations that do not focus on the medical world, she has the background necessary to understand the subject and knows all of the loopholes. In NIP, TUCK, DEAD Pauline finds herself returning to the role of private nurse.

A well-known plastic surgery hospital in Newport is facing insurance fraud charges. The number of insurance claims have sky rocketed even though the type of patients they are attracting have not changed. The doctors' patients tend to be the rich and famous with body dismorphic disorder rather than patients with legitimate medical problems.

Pauline accompanies her close friend Goldie, who has decided to reward himself with a nose job. Luckily Goldie is capable of taking care of himself since the situation is not what Pauline expected. With both Jagger, who is an attractive fellow investigator, and a handsome doctor to distract her, Pauline has enough problems finding time to investigate the insurance fraud claims, much less act as a personal nurse. When a staff member is murdered, things heat up. Pauline must hunt down a killer before she becomes the next victim.

NIP, TUCK, DEAD is a breezy mystery. This book does not require much thought to enjoy. Very little of the plot comes as a surprise and the characters lack any depth. For the most part, everyone in this book is what he or she appears to be. It is true that this book does contain some medical information and this information is accurate, but it does not provide any medical detail that the educated TV viewer does not already know.

As implied above, this book does not meet my personal standards required for an earth-shattering mystery. That does not mean that NIP, TUCK, DEAD does not have any redeeming qualities. Pauline is a spunky character as she is not afraid to live. Pauline enjoys what she does and seems happy with her life. Her sense of self worth and her appeal help compensate for some of the flaws of the story.

In addition, airy, breezy mysteries have their role in the genre. This type of book provides light-hearted entertainment as well as a break from the stresses of the every day world. I would not recommend this book to someone looking for a complex, literary or detail-oriented mystery, but NIP, TUCK, DEAD is an ideal beach book or escape book.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, November 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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