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Authors: C. J. Lyons

Urgent Care

BOOK: Urgent Care
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Table of Contents
 
 
PRAISE FOR WARNING SIGNS
“This page-turning medical mystery will keep readers captivated.”

Romantic Times
(4 stars)
 
“This exhilarating medical thriller gets the blood pumping . . . A terrific thriller . . . fans of Michael Palmer will enjoy this fine tale of a brave but scared medical student in trouble.”

Genre Go Round
 
“A good writer can make you feel that you aren’t missing anything even when you haven’t studied the right subjects—and CJ Lyons achieves that in
Warning Signs
. . . [It] delivered a tight mystery and a good dose of action, along with strong, individualistic characters. I highly enjoyed it.”—
Errant Dreams Reviews
 
PRAISE FOR THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER
LIFELINES
“[A] spot-on debut . . . a breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller.”

Publishers Weekly
 
“Forget about your plans for the day and prepare to be swept away on a pulse-pounding adventure. This is my favorite kind of medical thriller—harrowing, emotional, action-packed, and brilliantly realized. CJ Lyons writes with the authority only a trained physician can bring to a story, blending suspense, passion, and friendship into an irresistible read.”

New York Times
bestselling author Susan Wiggs
 
“A pulse-pounding adrenaline rush! . . . Reminds me of
ER
back in the days of George Clooney and Julianna Margulies.”

New York Times
bestselling author Lisa Gardner
 
“Have we got a prescription for you . . . a tense thrill ride that feels like all the best episodes of
ER
and
Grey’s Anatomy
squeezed into one breathtaking novel . . . [an] impressive debut.”

Hilton Head Monthly
“CJ Lyons writes with both authority on her subject and a down-to-earth reality for her characters . . . Engrossing, intriguing.”

New York Times
bestselling author Heather Graham
 
“CJ Lyons’ debut medical thriller is a fantastic and wild journey through the fast-paced world of a big-city ER. With rich, fascinating, and complex characters and a thoroughly compelling mystery,
Lifelines
is an adrenaline rush and an all-around great read.”

New York Times
bestselling author Allison Brennan
 
“Lyons captures the frenetic setting of the ER with a smooth style that demands the reader move forward to keep up with the piece, but she also creates winning portraits of the supporting players set to anchor the series . . . Sets the table well for the next adventure at Angels of Mercy.”

Newsday
 
“If this debut novel is any indication, [Lyons’] decision [to write books] could be a gift to readers of multiple genres . . . Lydia is a well-drawn heroine, the writing is strong, and the plot could have been taken out of today’s headlines.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 
“Lyons’ first book is a winner . . . giving us terrific characters and a compelling plot. An excellent book for fans of the medical thriller.”

Fresh Fiction
 
“It takes a real emergency physician to write this excitingly about an emergency ward. CJ Lyons has been there and done it. The pages are packed with adrenaline. I can’t recall a hospital novel that so thrilled me.”

New York Times
bestselling author David Morrell
Titles by CJ Lyons
LIFELINES
WARNING SIGNS
URGENT CARE
THE BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Group Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
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(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi—110 017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196,
South Africa
 
Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
 
URGENT CARE
 
A Jove Book / published by arrangement with the author
 
PRINTING HISTORY
Jove mass-market edition / November 2009
 
Copyright © 2009 by CJ Lyons.
 
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form
without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in
violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
For information, address: The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-14898-3
 
JOVE
®
Jove Books are published by The Berkley Publishing Group,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.,
375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014.
JOVE
®
is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The “J” design is a trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

This book is dedicated to all the nurses I have been
privileged to work with during my seventeen years of
practicing pediatrics.
 
You all have taught me more about the true art of
medicine than any school could. You have inspired me,
grieved with me, and made me laugh.
 
Thanks for all the lives you save!
ONE
Thursday, 6:42 A.M.
NORA HALLORAN HURRIED THROUGH THE HOSPITAL’S parking garage, shoulders back, pepper spray clenched in shaking hands. She struggled to control her fear, lock it away, but the more she denied it, the worse it got.
Every morning for two years, she’d fought her panic, bat tling fear to work her shift as a charge nurse in the ER. It was her daily, dreaded ritual. A battle she never lost.
She couldn’t lose. Her patients depended on her—and she needed them as much as they needed her.
On high alert, Nora scanned the shadows. No one. Not many cars in the employee garage this early. Fewer places someone could hide.
She entered the stairwell, heart stuttering in time with her steps. Twelve down, three steps around the landing, twelve more. She counted the familiar cadence, holding her breath as long as possible as she sprinted for the door.
One of the lights on the final landing was burned out.
Can’t stop.
She raced through the darkness. Slamming through the exit, gulping in the frigid December air, she propelled herself outside.
Her feet hit the sidewalk. Inhaling deeply, she straightened her posture, mastering her stride and with it, her emotions.
Tomorrow she’d do better. Tomorrow would be different.
The sun streaking the eastern horizon surprised her, a slit of gold-rimmed crimson, blinding in intensity as it reflected from the pavement slick with melted frost. She’d sat in her car, psyching herself up for the walk, long enough for the morning light to edge through the indigo darkness.
Despite the fact that it meant she was running late, Nora welcomed the light. As she walked beside the wrought-iron fence surrounding the cemetery across from Angels of Mercy Medical Center, a splash of unnatural color caught her eye.
It was inside the cemetery fence, filtered through a snag gle of barren forsythia. Too large to be trash blown in through the fence, too gaudy to be a memorial. Nora stopped, grabbed the fence post, and stepped up onto the lowest rung, trying to make sense of the bright splashes crowding the shadows.
Pushing aside the forsythia branches, she could finally see where the color originated. The marble statue of a weeping angel had been defiled by vile, hateful curses streaked across it in neon spray paint.
Face down in the frost-speckled grass below the angel lay a naked woman, more graffiti scrawled across her body.
Primal instincts screamed at Nora to run. To hide. Save herself.
Shoving her fear aside, she grabbed her cell phone and sprinted toward the cemetery entrance, wishing for longer legs as she ran. She didn’t bother calling 911, not with Pittsburgh’s busiest trauma center right across the street.
“Angels of Mercy, Emergency Department,” came the clerk’s chipper voice.
“Jason, it’s Nora. There’s a woman down in the cemetery. Get me a trauma team over here, fast.”
“Hang on, here’s Dr. Fiore.”
Nora raced into the cemetery, crossing over graves, the slick grass threatening to send her sprawling. Her bag smacked against her hip as she dodged headstones. Her breath came in short bursts, fogging the air.
BOOK: Urgent Care
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