Unexplainable death under anesthesia occurs almost daily in American Operating Rooms. TERRO.R. is a contemporary maze of intrigue and frightful medical investigative discoveries in such cases of cardiac arrests on the O.R. table. Hopefully, this timely novel is fiction...
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Philip Newman is happy. At least he was until that one fateful day when a young man comes into the OR for a simple tattoo removal. Philip, an anesthesiologist enjoys his work, makes dumb jokes about being a gas passer, yet he takes every patient seriously.

James Walker, 19, claims to have followed all the pre-op rules, does not want to be intubated (where a tube is inserted down your throat to administer oxygen for you during surgery), and claims that he got the tattoos while he was recently in Europe . His father is ordering the tattoos to be removed. Initially, when Philip looks at the tattoos he is thrilled as it appears that no grafting will be needed and his date with the tennis court will come early. But something goes very wrong and James's heart goes haywire and he dies. His father refuses an autopsy citing religious reasons and that is that or so Philip thinks, until he, the staff and hospital are sued for malpractice,

Some say you have not arrived as a doctor until you have your first malpractice case but this does not make Philip feel any better. A Dr. Rooney contacts Philip having heard about the death and shares with Philip a similar death he had under his care. This coincidence gets Philip thinking and together he and Dr. Rooney put out the word for similar OR deaths.

What Philip finds is not only terrifying but plausible. Dr. Neuschatz has written an intriguing tale of terrorism in a fast paced, easy to read format. I enjoyed all of it; however, he does include copious amounts of medications and medical stats that might be slightly over done for the story. The story itself is so well designed and executed that we do not need to in such detail each medication order such as “he injected a hyperbaric mixture of 1% Pontocaine in 10%,” etc. For me, it was like being back in a hospital but I can see where for the non medical personnel it could get tedious. Aside from that, it was an engrossing and thrilling read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 4.6.

Cynthia Lea Clark, Psy.D.

An Award Winning Medical Mystery Thriller!

It is rare that I cannot guess what a book is about and where it is going to take me with the plot; however, author and real life anesthesiologist, Joseph J. Neuschatz M.D., took me on a suspenseful journey into new territory. His novel "terrO.R." breaks new ground in the medical mystery thriller genre. He definitely put the "O.R." in definition of terror!

The basic plot seems simply enough at first. I had suspects and the motives all figured out, the only problem was that I was wrong. The hero of this tale is an anesthesiologist named Philip Newman who loses a seemly healthy 19 year old man to a cardiac arrest on the operating table for a procedure to remove tattoos from his arms. The young man got these over seas and his father wanted the removed surgically. The plot thickens as the doctor has lingering doubts about what happened. Those are only reinforced more when he learns that the young man had terminal cancer that he hid from the doctors at that hospital. Newman's paranoia becomes full blown when he learns that his ex-mistress, who is one of the operating nurses, is dating the father of the dead boy and that there is a rather large life insurance policy that was recently taken out. Not only did she have a connection with the family but she also knew about the cancer and had the young man treated at another medical facility for it.

There are many strange things that prompt the doctor to wonder about what really happened including the families reaction, the request for no autopsy because of religious beliefs, the life insurance, and the malpractice lawsuit he gets hit with. He is contacted by another anesthesiologist on the west coast who had a similar death on the operating table. His patient was there for removal of tattoos that were put on in another country. Newman starts to question all kinds of things; like the fact that both of these dead young men had a beards and longer hair style and had been overseas. So the doctor resorts to the internet looking at how tattoos are done and the dangers of the inks.

But all this will just lead the reader around in mental circles guessing as it did me. The least obvious plot scheme emerges and takes the reader on a much more creative and bolder possibility. The change of direction is brilliant and really much more satisfying then where I thought it was going to go. This book is one of a kind. It is a clever plot with more than enough twists for any good ole "who-done-it" medical story.

I loved the story and read this book in one complete sitting. It is a nice and comfortable 150 page book. It has "classic" possibilities written all over it.  Author Neuschatz has crafted himself a great story. This is worthy of a FIVE STAR Rating by any organization.

This book is a 2006 Winner of one of The American Authors Association's Distinguished Book Awards - for Thriller Novels! 

I personally endorse this book and recommend that you buy and read it.

Bill McDonald, American Authors Association President, Military Writer's Society of America President

One of A Kind! Excellent!

In this outstanding read by Joseph J. Neuschatz, M.D., we are introduced to an anesthesiologist by the name of Philip Newman, and taken into his life, both personal and professional. I liked Dr.Newman right away; his true concern for patients shone from the beginning of this work and made the character quite endearing and approachable. A large part of the storyline takes place in the OR room of a modern hospital where we are taken through the day to day duties of an anesthesiologist, his challenges and the pressure of keeping his patients alive through any operation from large to small. As you read this work you will learn much of the ins and outs of the procedures done before, after and during surgery. I found this to be quite interesting, although a little unnerving. I never realized how much weight for the patients well-being is placed on an anesthesiologist and it was quite an eye-opener.

As the story unfolds, Dr. Newman loses one of his patients from cardiac arrest during a routine tattoo-removal. He can't seem to shake the question of why this seemingly young man died. It also troubles him why his father seemed almost aloof over the news of his son's death, why the family refused an autopsy and on top of that he feared he would be facing a malpractice lawsuit. When this becomes a reality, Newman decides to follow his instincts that something just isn't right and begins to investigate whether other deaths of similar circumstances have been reported at hospitals across the country. He enlists the help of the internet and soon has a network of fellow anesthesiologists and some very interesting, and downright suspicious facts before him. Learning this is not an isolated incident, the cards are stacked in the favor that perhaps there is TerrO.R. in the OR room, a terror that would effect the very core of our country's security.

Our author, Joseph J. Neuschatz definitely brings to the table his expertise as an anesthesiologist in this read, taking you right into the heart of the characters and the world in which he lives, and the world that we live in as well. I don't want to give away any more of the storyline but I have to tell you it is quite ingenious and definitely has a conclusion that you just won't be looking for. I will say this, Terr.O.R. does have a name, and definitely does have a purpose in this book. Dr. Neuschatz does an outstanding job on his character development, local descriptions and storyline. The read is flowing and quick paced, with just the right amount of intrigue to keep you guessing and pressing on to find out the answer . This is one outstanding medical 'chill'
read that I certainly hope will be followed by another. Hats off to our author and let's hope this story never becomes a reality. 

Shirley Johnson, Senior Reviewer, MidWest Book Review