The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles

ANew Orleans aristocrat and doctor, Clayton Otherson, is an aging national leader in the field of trauma surgery who begins to injure patients with his unacceptable technical and judgmental mistakes. Otherson’s younger partner, Mike Boudreaux, whom he trained and mentored, must discipline him. Otherson resents constrains and criticisms and denies his impairment. Boudreaux complicates his management by falling in love with Otherson’s beautiful wife, Catherine. Otherson’s wrath threatens violence as Boudreaux and Catherine shape their love struggling for respect in the contempt of New Orleans’ society.

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Official review from OnlineBookClub.org

Human nature has always been fascinating to me. What makes people do the things that they do? This is the type of issue that William H. Coles explores in his book The Surgeon's Wife.

Clayton Otherson is a surgeon in New Orleans who mainly does bariatric surgery. He's been making a few mistakes lately, though, forcing Mike Boudreaux to act in his capacity as Chief of Service. Dr. Otherson is a very prominent surgeon who is a forerunner in obesity surgery; he also taught and mentored Dr. Boudreaux. That makes it hard for Mike to make any decisions that might jeopardize Dr. Otherson's career. Then there is Catherine, Clayton's wife. Catherine has always been a strong woman and very active in the community. Now, though, Clayton seems to be coming unglued, and Catherine is unhappy in her marriage. Will Mike make the hard decision that ends Clayton's career? How will Clayton react if the only thing he has ever known is taken away from him? Will Catherine stick it out in her marriage for better times? Or will she walk away?

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Review from kislany on OnlineBookclub.org

The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles is a dramatic tale of two surgeons caught up in a maelstrom of friendship, deceit and grave mistakes.

I picked up this book because I love medical mysteries and thrillers. For a while, I even had flashbacks of reading one of Robin Cook’s older books involving malpractice, the death of patients, and a deadly mystery surrounding the hospital. Yet, The Surgeon’s Wife is more a dark drama involving a decaying friendship and a romantic triangle, with some well-fleshed out characters that we learn to care about quite early in the book. Mike is an honest guy who wants to do right by everybody. But he can’t make everyone happy; someone’s got to lose. Catherine is a complex character who is enjoying the upper lifestyle her husband’s wealth and status offer her. Still, Catherine is not merely a spoiled trophy wife; she has a mind of her own and her own accomplishments as well. Those, however, are buried under a veil of sexism by her husband’s peers. Even though she has done much for the establishment, Catherine will always remain the “Surgeon’s Wife” for everyone else.
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Review from kandscreeley on OnlineBookClub.org

Human nature has always been fascinating to me. What makes people do the things that they do? This is the type of issue that William H. Coles explores in his book The Surgeon’s Wife.

Though this book is not full of action, it does have violence and turmoil. The themes are dark and confusing as is much of humanity. Yet, the author treats this darkness in a way that doesn’t have you walking away depressed. (I find that this is often the case after I watch an episode of Law and Order: SVU.) I appreciate that, as so many times when discussing human nature, it’s easy to feel hopeless. Mr. Coles, though, manages to find the pinpoints of light in the darkness and bring those to the forefront.

I very much enjoyed reading The Surgeon’s Wife. I found only 2 errors in the whole book, leading me to believe that it was professionally edited. That coupled with the wonderful character development leaves me with no choice but to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I’ve always said that any genre of book can be enjoyable as long as there is good character development even if it isn’t your preferred genre. William H. Coles proves that over and over in his works.
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D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Set against the backdrop of New Orleans society and its medical community, The Surgeon’s Wife is the story of two physicians: one an aging aristocrat and surgeon, Clayton Otherson, who begins to injure patients as his skills and mental abilities decline; the other younger partner Mike Boudreaux, who is placed in the bad position of having to point out these errors and discipline his own mentor.

One doesn’t expect romance to further complicate a professional relationship already standing on shaky ground; but when Mike falls in love with Clayton’s young, beautiful wife, the trouble between them threatens to spill over into the personal and professional lives of everyone involved.


Review by Ann Neville for Reader’s Favorites

The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles follows Clayton Otherson, a senior surgeon, as he makes life-threatening mistakes during Bariatric surgery in a New Orleans’ hospital. Mike Boudreaux, the chief of surgery, must discipline Otherson, his partner, colleague, mentor and friend. Even though Mike knows he must take action, he feels conflicted because he owes his education and his career success to Otherson. But when a patient dies from post-operative complications, there is no option but suspension. Otherson turns angry and vindictive, especially when his wife, Catherine, turns to Mike for help and support. Otherson is consumed with revenge and threatens violence. The consequences of the psychological and emotional effects on Catherine and Otherson’s marriage, on their daughter, Mellissa, and on Mike are dramatic and disastrous. Continue…

Review by Viga Boland

In William H. Coles’ novel, The Surgeon’s Wife, Catherine is the lovely but neglected and unappreciated wife of the lauded Dr. Otherson. When Dr. Otherson, a specialist in bariatric surgery, comes under fire for both his procedural competence, and his true motivation for performing surgery on patients only mildly obese, his world and his marriage to Catherine start to fall apart. Unfortunately for her, she finds solace and love in the arms of Michael, once Otherson’s student, but now his superior. What follows for Catherine and her daughter Melissa is heartache, chaos and, ultimately, violence, while Michael battles with his loyalty to his mentor, his duty to those patients who have put their trust in Otherson’s skills, and his love for Catherine.

Review by Janelle Alex, Ph.D.

A refreshing read, The Surgeon’s Wife takes readers on a fictional journey that will keep them intrigued from the beginning. William H. Coles’ dramatic tale is based around the lives of two prominent surgeons and one woman. The issues that arise in The Surgeon’s Wife start off with one of the main characters, Clayton Otherson, making a major mistake during surgery. His former student and the current chair of the OR committee, Mike Boudreaux, tries to protect his mentor, but ethically and professionally he knows he must protect the patients. Eventually, a love triangle comes into play and Mike and Catherine Otherson, Clayton’s wife, become lovers. With numerous challenges facing both the Othersons and Mike, The Surgeon’s Wife will keep readers on tenterhooks from start to finish.

Review by Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite

The charming city of New Orleans as well as a varied cast of interesting characters are the main components of this intriguing novel. Mike Boudreaux has been the Chief of Surgery for four years, and he is faced with the challenging task of dealing with his favored professor and mentor, Clayton Otherson. Dr. Otherson is performing many unnecessary and dangerous surgeries for obese people, and his declining abilities have resulted in physical damage in several cases. How the hospital staff should deal with this results in conflict. Mike’s relationship with Rosemary Dayside has ended, and a physical attraction to Clayton’s wife, Catherine, has blossomed. Clayton and Catherine’s daughter also become entangled in her parents’ troubled marriage, and in her mother’s new relationship. In The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles, the professional and personal lives of Mike and Clayton collide, and how it will end remains a mystery until the last chapter.

Reviewed By Jane Finch for Readers’ Favorite

The Surgeon’s Wife by William H Coles delves into the life of elite and respected surgeons at a well-respected hospital in New Orleans. Mike Boudreaux is the chief of surgery and dedicated to his work, often to the detriment of his social life. Mike is put in a difficult position when another prominent surgeon, Clayton Otherson, comes under scrutiny for mistakes during surgery. Mike is conflicted by loyalty to Clayton and his desire to do what is right. He also harbours concerns about Clayton’s speciality of treating obese patients, when Mike feels other treatments and approaches are being ignored. Complications arise when Mike finds himself falling in love with Clayton’s neglected wife, Catherine.

The Surgeon’s Wife Review

The Surgeon’s Wife is split into three parts. Vivid illustrations on the book cover and also preceding the text for each part perfectly complement this engaging story. The book is told from multiple viewpoints which provides valuable insight into the feelings, perceptions, and motives of each of the pertinent characters in the story, and how they are affected by the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Mike Boudreaux is the chief of surgery at a prominent hospital in New Orleans, and he is called upon to make tough decisions about his partner, Clayton Otherson, who is making life-threatening mistakes in surgery. Mike owes the success of his career to Clayton and wants to help his colleague and friend, a distinguished and influential bariatric surgeon, avoid suspension by the hospital operating room committee. Mike can impact decisions made by the committee since he is the chair, and Clayton believes that Mike should make any complaints about his competency as a surgeon go away. However, the safety of patients is Mike’s top priority. When the committee puts some restrictions in place that affect Clayton in his surgeries of obese patients, this action puts up barriers in Mike and Clayton’s friendship. Continue…

read 40 more reviews for The Surgeon’s Wife

– “The Surgeon’s Wife” by William H. Coles a literary drama with romantic and medical elements and one of the most original and most addicting novels (novellas) I’ve read in a long time! I was completely interested from the very beginning pages where Coles wastes no time thrusting us into the world of high-stakes world of surgery and introducing us to the main characters including Mike and Clayton whose tumultuous relationship will shape the events of this riveting book. Loved the author’s use of description of the medical ins- and outs and ‘behind the scenes’ action… the drama there provides a great, realistic backdrop for the personal/romantic dramas… perfect for this type of novel, and we really feel like we are there. The writing is clear and fast paced, solid literary prose that has powerful, solid word choices that truly bring this memorable story to life. A fast read with more than one shocking (and sad) twist. Highly recommend! (5 stars)