By Chelle Cordero
ISBN 978-1935407843, paperback $13.95; Kindle ASIN B004WSXFKS $4.99
NOOK Book 2940011273025 $4.99, also available on Smashwords $4.99
I sat down to read Hyphema late one night. I thought I would start it, read for about thirty minutes and then go to sleep; instead, I stayed up till almost four in the morning reading it. Immediately immersed in the story, the tension never let up enough for me to even consider putting it down and coming back to it later.
Matt is an air ambulance EMT, a flight medic. He has just moved his son, and his Pakistani wife, to a small town in North Carolina from New York so he could have this job. The job is his dream job and Sudah, his wife, couldn’t be more supportive. She is patient, caring and so obviously in love with Matt and their son that it just spills over onto the page. She’s the kind of person I’d like to have for a neighbor, but not everyone, even within the circle of Matt’s work buddies and their wives feel that way, but Sudah handles the anger and prejudice with grace and softly spoken words meant to soften hearts and break down the walls of misunderstanding.
On one particularly heartbreaking call, Matt and his team are dispatched to a motor vehicle accident involving an SUV that had rolled over. The mother was unconscious, trapped in the car and her toddler son was bloody, unresponsive and pinned in the back in his car seat. To get to him they had to get the mother out.
Knowing there was no time to wait for fire trucks and ambulances Matt and his team pry open the car door and get the mother out, but when they get to the little boy, they realize he is dead. Wanting to be able to tell the mother when she regains consciousness that they had done everything possible to save her son, Matt opens IVs wide and begins CPR on the boys still warm body, handing the CPR off to an EMT on board Matt goes to work on the mother, trying to stabilize her condition. Even though the team does everything they can the little boy is pronounced DOA at the hospital. His devastated father comes into the ER and discovers that his son is dead when he wasn’t even supposed to be with his wife, her sister was supposed to be babysitting. Overcome with grief he screams how he’ll make everyone pay.
Life for Sudah is difficult at times, even though she is a happy person with an optimistic attitude. People won’t talk to her and sometimes call her names. Her own parents will not even recognize her marriage because it is a Muslim/Christian marriage. This is extremely hard on Sudah because she loves and misses her parents, but it becomes especially hard when they refuse to even accept a picture of their grandson because they view him as illegitimate.
Sudah becomes the victim of apparent hate crimes; a rock is thrown through their window when she is home alone with a message that appears to relate to 9/11 on it. Another note is found taped to the house after the family had been away, every time they report the incidents and every time they police act as though there is simply little to nothing to do. After one particularly frightening incident the police even threaten to arrest Matt for filing a false report because they think he is making it up to make the police look bad – a task they are managing quite well on their own.
Matt and Sudah face obstacles that severely test their relationship and their marriage. I do not want to go into anymore of the specifics here, but while Matt and Sudah’s relationship plays an important role in the book, the story is much more of an extremely well written thriller and I definitely recommend reading it.