Sometimes People Die illustrates what can happen when medical safeguards aren’t in place.


The Description

Publication Date: September 20, 2022

When too many patients die under his watch, a troubled young doctor suspects murder. But are his instincts to be trusted?

Returning to practice after a suspension for stealing opioids, a young doctor takes the only job he can find: a post as a physician at the struggling St. Luke’s Hospital in east London. Amid the maelstrom of sick patients, overworked staff and underfunded wards, a more insidious secret soon declares itself: too many patients are dying. And a murderer may be lurking in plain sight.

Drawing on his experiences as a physician, Simon Stephenson takes readers into the dark heart of life as a hospitalist to ask the question: Who are the people we gift the power of life and death, and what does it do to them?

As beautifully written and witty as it is propulsive, Sometimes People Die is an unforgettable thriller that will haunt you long after you turn the last page.

The Review

A young doctor finds his second chance to practice medicine at St. Luke’s in London, but he soon realizes there is truth to the senior doctor’s mantra that “a hospital is a dangerous place to be.” Author Simon Stephenson showcases hospital life in Sometimes People Die.

Told in first person, the story is narrated by the young doctor, fresh off a suspension for drug theft. He’s determined to be successful at St. Luke’s, which is evident by the thorough attention he provides to the patients. The trouble begins with Mrs. Horsburgh’s death. While the narrator wasn’t the attending physician, he completed the verification of death.

When toxicology reports come back showing the woman had actually died of an overdose of the drug the young doctor had stolen and abused early in his career, investigators become suspicious. Meanwhile, to add context to the story, the author draws upon historical accounts of medical professionals who do more harm than good in their roles.

As the body count rises, a suspect is finally identified. But is it the right one, or is someone else behind the scenes? Ultimately, the narrator’s approach is a reflection of events more than two decades in the past, which demonstrates how profoundly disturbed he was by the events.

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About The AuthorSimon Stephenson is a writer and doctor who lives in London. Previous writing honours include being a runner-up in the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Competition, and being selected for BBC Scotland’s ‘Tartan Shorts’ scheme. For several years he earned his living as a television screenwriter. Let Not the Waves of the Sea won the Saltire Prize.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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4-STAR REVIEW: SOMETIMES PEOPLE DIE by Simon StephensonSometimes People Die illustrates what can happen when medical safeguards aren’t in place.