The Peril Protocol by Robert Thornton is a page-turning thriller about a renowned doctor who’s accused of being a serial killer. Dr. Hope Allerd is working under Dr. Erril, researching a miracle cure for meningitis. A reporter shows up on the scene and accuses him of the seemingly impossible: being the worst serial killer since Jack the Ripper. When women start showing up dead at the hospital, and the reporter is outed for being a serial plagiarizer, Dr. Allerd doesn’t know who to trust. But it gets worse. Allerd discovers that she’s slated to be the murderer’s next victim, and she has two choices: trust the unscrupulous reporter or the subject of her former affections, who may actually be her killer.
As a retired doctor, Thornton adds a lot of enlightening detail to the practice of medicine – not so much that it gets bogged down in his expertise, but enough to really color elements of his story. Thornton is clearly a strong thriller writer and does a good job at balancing description, character, dialogue and suspense. This is bestseller-style writing, which asks a number of interesting questions, such as: What would you do if someone you knew was accused of horrific crimes? Is forgiveness ever possible? It’s a shame that the novel doesn’t have a bestseller-caliber cover. Really, this is weakest part of the book. The novel doesn’t necessarily break any new ground, but for a medical/serial killer thriller, all the nuts and bolts, and then some, are in place.