Preferential Treatment

A Medical-Legal Novel

Fiction - Thriller - Legal
386 Pages
Reviewed on 06/22/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite

According to the foreword of Preferential Treatment by Williams Parsons, research indicates that the number of deaths in the United States per year from medical errors is around 250,000, which puts medical malpractice in line only behind heart disease and cancer as the third leading cause of death in America. The author of the foreword, a former president of the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, opines that this, coupled with the fact that most US states limit recoveries in medical negligence cases, is a modern-day warning. Against this background, the novel features two former protagonists joining forces: Jack Fabian, a hard-drinking, battle-hardened trial lawyer in plaintiff personal injury cases and Ben Darnell, a recently deposed litigation partner in a firm which specializes in personal injury and medical negligence from the defendants’ side of the fence. Most of the story involves the case of Joe Gunther, the victim of an allegedly botched internal carotid intracranial aneurysm surgery undertaken by a rookie neurosurgeon, Dr. Ancil Montgomery. The doctor, his insurers, loss-adjusters, expert neurosurgeon witness, and his lawyers argue fiercely that there was no negligence involved; Fabian and Darnell argue otherwise. As for Joe, he doesn’t know what’s going on as he has been left more or less a vegetable. The ensuing trial twists and turns its way at breakneck speed to a surprising climax.

There are no evil assassins, no heart-thumping car chases, no superheroes trying to save the world, and no spooks lurking in the shadows but Preferential Treatment is as fast-paced as you get. If you enjoy Robin Cook's medical thrillers, you will love this book. If you enjoy John Grisham legal thrillers, you will love this book too. It is a thrill ride from beginning to end but when the main trial gets underway, the pace really picks up and the pages run hot. It helps that the author, William Parsons, himself a seasoned specialist medical malpractice trial lawyer, describes every step in the case in some detail. It is clear that he has an incredible knowledge of complex surgical procedures. The story is well-structured, perhaps unsurprising for a lawyer, and so vividly described that it is easy to picture every scene. The book is quite insightful, highlighting exactly what can go wrong in complicated surgery, even at the hands of medical personnel who appear to patients and their families as confident and self-assured. Preferential Treatment is a stunning debut novel and highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Preferential Treatment: A Medical-Legal Novel is a work of fiction in the legal thriller sub-genre, and was penned by author William Parsons. Bridging the gap between two highly popular genres of thriller novels, the work contains some non-explicit sexual content and some strong language that more sensitive readers may not find acceptable. The plot concerns Jack Fabian, a hard-drinking and no-nonsense lawyer working in personal injury claims, who finds himself on hard times after some reform laws lessen his enjoyment of his career. So when new circumstances see him forced to team up with former rival Benjamin Darnell, life becomes interesting again. But it may not be quite the kind of excitement that Fabian was expecting.

Author William Parsons has crafted a specialist work that is certain to entertain those who really want to get into the nitty-gritty of both the medical and legal fields as part of their reading experience. It’s clear that plenty of research and experience was put into the work, which makes it feel authentic from cover to cover and actually produces a lot of educational content for those who read it. Plot-wise, I really enjoyed the character dynamic created by having central lead figures who still retain their rivalry and past scars, and I felt that a lot of work had been put into Jack Fabian and his personality quirks to create a flawed but relatable hero. Overall, I would definitely recommend Preferential Treatment: A Medical-Legal Novel to fans of the genre and those who want a solid introduction to it.

Rabia Tanveer

Preferential Treatment: A Medical-Legal Novel by William Parsons is a legal thriller that makes courtroom battles a lot more interesting than any Hollywood movie could. The story follows Jack Fabian, a personal injury lawyer trying his best to bring the victims of medical malpractice some justice. However, he lost the excitement he used to have so he looks for thrills in other places. Drinking and just enjoying himself seemed like the best way to spend his life, but that all changed when Benjamin Darnell asks for his help. Darnell has been removed from his partnership of Darnell-Smyth and he needs Fabian to help him out. The two former court enemies join forces to make a doctor fresh out of his residency face the music. But can they work together? Will these two men be able to serve justice where it is due?

This was a high intensity medical/legal thriller that had me on the edge of my seat as I read on. The story itself is well managed and developed. Jack Fabian and Benjamin “Ben” Darnell are two very different people and their personalities are well reflected in their roles in the legal system. Jack is the go-getter of the two; he isn’t scared to say what he wants and he enjoys dishing sass along with his words. Ben, on the other hand, is the thinker of the two. He thinks before he speaks and does anything. The combination of the two is perfect for facing off a foe too smart for them alone. The setting was perfectly done. The author gave insight into the efforts of Ben and Jack while at the same time he gave readers a front-row seat to what was happening with Joe and Dr. Montgomery. This is a complete package. I enjoyed the thrill, the adrenaline rush, and the efforts of Jack and Ben as they tried their best. I hope the author writes more stories about this duo because I need more!