The Watauga Democrat: Review

By Tom Mayer | Originally posted:

In the world of “writing what you know,” D. Marshall Craig’s new novel, “Cut to the Chase,” (White Bird Publications) is an example that makes the rule. After a 30-year career in medicine, Dr. Craig reinvented his vocation. Not as a novelist, but as a vineyard manager and winemaker in Banner Elk. Then came the writing and the early morning sessions required of juggling dual professions. The result is a thriller-cum-cozy mystery featuring the likable Dr. Kyle Chandler.

Chandler is a busy trauma surgeon caught in the machinations of big business medicine, where doctors fight administrators over care versus dollars.

As the story evolves, Chandler — a bachelor with deep interests in, among other things, fine wines and French antiques — is destined to find just how caught up one person can be. With surgical precision, Craig develops a mystery that will engulf not only Chandler, but his profession, the conglomerate medical force he works for, the black market world of high-end antiques and the ultimate secret that all of this is leading to.

That Craig — like many of us — has issues with executives dictating personal health care is no secret, though. That he expounds on this through the narrative is one of the strengths of this timely novel.