The Healing Knife – S. L. Russell

The Healing Knife was my choice of book for a Reading Challenge, and I’m so glad I picked it! It’s set in the medical world, which was the challenge criteria. The main character, Rachel, is a heart surgeon. The book starts with Rachel having to operate on a young boy. His single mum, Eve, is very protective of him. Rachel is doing the operation as a favour for her close friend, but when things go wrong after the operation, Rachel bears the mother’s wrath.

I knew as soon as I read about the boy and his very intense mum that something was going to go wrong. The suspense is built up wonderfully. I loved the main character. She is very determined and had to work hard to get to where she is. She is dedicated and has a single-mindedness that is great to see. It comes at a cost, which the book makes clear as well.

S. L. Russell, the author, has done a fabulous job in building up the main character. She has shown the dedication and care for her patients that Rachel has. She also shows the toll it has taken on Rachel’s character and heart.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a journey of self-discovery, of faith and people’s characters.

There are other great characters in The Healing Knife. My favourite has to be Rachel’s mother, living in a care home. She used to be an actress and hasn’t lost her skills, by the sounds of it! She holds court in her care home, entertaining the other residents. Rachel doesn’t get on with her mother but visits her once a month.

When the threats against Rachel intensify, her friends find her a temporary position in another town. When danger finds her there, it’s the plastic surgeon, Michael and his son Jasper who help her to put her life back together. Whilst staying in France, Rachel has time to review who she is and what her life is like. Going to church was definitely not on the books, but she finds herself welcomed by the kind community of the ex-pat church.

I loved the description of Rachel’s time in France. The house, the neighbours, the food… I relaxed with Rachel when Michael and Jasper arrived and was as shocked as them when the phone call came.

The Healing Knife isn’t extremely fast-paced but allows time to get to know the people and the settings. I loved it, as it’s exciting enough to turn the pages fast, but meanders enough to make the read relaxing. I enjoyed reading how Rachel’s newly recovered faith impacted her and changed her. The ending was thoroughly satisfactory and just the way I hoped it would end. I highly recommend this book. It’s a journey of self-discovery, of faith and people’s characters.

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