Title: Eye of the Storm
Author: Yusuf Dawood
Publisher: East African Educational Publishers
Reviewer: Otieno Opondo
Eye of the Storm is a captivating medical thriller novel authored by Yusuf K. Dawood, a renowned surgeon and columnist, who died in January, 2023. Set in the post-colonial era, the book delves into the themes of revenge and rejection and the devastating psychological impact they have on individuals.
The novel follows the journey of Njoroge Maina, also known as Joe Maina, from his humble beginnings at the foot of Mount Kenya to the peak of his medical career as a respected surgeon. Haunted by past rejection, Dr Maina seeks revenge and uses his surgical prowess to harm his patients, leaving them either dead or scarred for life. However, justice eventually catches up with him, and the ensuing legal drama is both thrilling and shocking.
As a reader who used to avidly follow Dawood’s column, Surgeon’s Diary, I found Eye of the Storm to be nostalgic, taking me back to the days when I eagerly awaited each new edition of Sunday Nation. The book also has strong autobiographical elements, with Dr Joe Maina being a fictionalized representation of Dawood’s childhood, education, and profession.
The plot of the book starts off slowly but gains momentum and keeps the reader hooked throughout. The characters are well-developed, and the themes explored are relevant to all. Dawood has also demystified the medical profession and surgery, making the book readable to both medical professionals and laymen. However, some readers may find the medical terminologies overwhelming.
In comparison to Dawood’s other novel, The Price of Living, which also deals with the theme of rejection, the author uses the same name for the protagonists in both books, Maina Karanja in The Price of Living and Njoroge Maina in Eye of the Storm. Both protagonists also have sons with the same name, Muhoho, which some readers may find lacking in creativity.
Overall, Eye of the Storm is an excellent read for anyone interested in a medical thriller novel. Dawood seamlessly blends medical terminology with regular English, making the book appealing to all. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand how suppressed emotions can have severe consequences.
I highly recommend it, and I give it four stars.