Under the Knife, A Book Review with Kelly Parsons

January 22, 2018

(Length of Discussion: 30 min)

Charles Ryan, MD interviews Kellogg Parsons, MD, MHS, a surgeon and professor at the University of California, San Diego on his newest book, a medical thriller titled, Under the Knife.  A novel for all audiences, this book incorporates the nexus of advances in biotechnology and robots and the role they play in medicine right now.  It touches on the deep fears that many physicians have of potentially harming patients and the repercussions of harm to a patient, can have on the patient's loved ones.

Set in San Diego, Under the Knife is the story of a grieving husband who holds the surgeon in the book responsible for the untimely death of his young wife. 

Parsons shares his influences and inspirations for writing Under the Knife, the challenges he faced and how sharing and writing about these topics fictionally influence his daily life as a practicing urologist and a professor at the University of San Diego.

"Terrifying and captivating, Kelly Parsons’ Under the Knife is a heart-pounding thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats up to the very last page".

For readers who missed Parsons' first book Doing Harm, he revisits the novel sharing adrenaline pumping feedback from readers about a scene involving a right laparoscopic adrenalectomy.  He also reflects on what drove him to write his first book and the learning experiences he carried into Under the Knife

Purchase Books by Kellogg Parsons
Doing Harm
Under the Knife


Kellogg Parsons, MD, FACS is a urologist, professor at the Moores UC San Diego Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the award-winning author of two acclaimed novels. His first novel, DOING HARM, earned RT Book Reviews Best First Mystery award; accolades from multiple reviewers including the Library Journal (starred review, "This skillfully wrought debut gets high marks for building tension to a breathtaking climax") and the Orlando Sun Sentinel ("Starts strong and never loses its momentum throughout the energetic plot infused with an intriguing look at modern medicine"); and praise from New York Times best-selling authors Stephen King ("Best damn medical thriller I’ve read in 25 years. Terrifying OR scenes, characters with real texture”), Harlan Coben ("A terrific thriller—compelling, gripping, and terrifying”), and Steve Berry ("Top-notch storytelling”).

His second novel, UNDER THE KNIFE, has been called “an engrossing story about revenge, grief, technology, and hospital practices” (Associated Press); “a heart-pounding medical thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats up to the very last page"(CriminalElement.com); and an electrifying novel that “tops the charts in both suspense and horror.” (Suspense Magazine) He is currently working on his third novel.


Charles J. Ryan, MD