Sunday, June 30, 2013

Book Review: Royal Pains - Sick Rich by D. P. Lyle (Royal Pains Tie In #2)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Medicine and mystery with fun characters and setting
Cons: Evan; story is a bit uneven
The Bottom Line
Fun visit with some
Wonderful characters. Worth
It for series fans.

Fourth of July in the Hamptons with Some Royal Pains

TV tie ins can be a great way to visit well-loved characters while you wait for the next season to start.  That was certainly the case for me while I was reading Royal Pains: Sick Rich.

The book is set in the world of the USA Network show Royal Pains.  The show centers on Dr. Hank Lawson, a former ER doctor who has set up a practice in the Hamptons.  He treats anyone who needs him with the capable assistance of Divya Kidare.  Rounding out the team at “HankMed” is Hank’s brother Evan, the CFO and in many ways the brains behind the company, at least at the beginning.  Another regular from the series appearing here is Jill, the administrator at the local hospital and Hank’s on again off again girlfriend.

Fourth of July is right around the corner, and the Hamptons are hopping.  There’s Nathan Zimmer’s party, the party to attend if you are in the area.  Evan is obsessed with finding the right costume for it.  Plus Jill has been working for months at putting on the First Annual Hamptons Health and Fitness Expo.  Naturally, HankMed is planning to be there.

But there are other medical issues going on.  A woman has mysterious headaches.  A man moving a piano suddenly has chest pains.  But the biggest issue might be the new designer drug popping up in the teens.  It’s a potential deadly mix of illegal substances.  Will any teens be killed before the dealers can be found?

Most weeks, the TV show focuses on a medical mystery as Hank tries to diagnosis the problem from some changing (always worsening) symptoms.  And there is some of that here.  But the biggest focus is on the illegal drugs, which combine the medical symptoms with a real crime.  It might not be “normal” for the series, but it certainly works.

Because there are multiple stories happening, there is always something going on.  Unfortunately, a couple of the sub-plots feel a bit like filler and slow the book down, but that’s a minor issue.

The characters are true to their TV selves, and the constant banter between Evan and Divya is especially true to form.  I found Evan to be a bit over the top, more like he was in season one than he is now.  Speaking of which, his fiancée on the show is obviously missing, so this must be before he met Paige.  Which is too bad because I love her character and how the two of them interact.

Author D. P. Lyle is a doctor himself, so the book is full of medical information.  Once or twice, it gets a bit more graphic than I would like, but it’s nothing worse than they’ve shown us on the show.  He is a skilled writer as well, and I flew through the book.

While this book obviously builds on the previous one, you can read them in which ever order you prefer.  It would be more helpful to have seen the TV show than read the previous novel, although even then everything you need to know is explained.

So if you are looking for a way to get your Royal Pains fix before new episodes start, Sick Rich is a pleasant way to do just that.

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