Death’s Pale Flag by Gary Simonds – Book Review

Death’s Pale Flag by Gary Simonds – Book Review

Deaths Pale Flag by Gary Simonds

Death’s Pale Flag

I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.

add to goodreads


Brain surgeon and unlikely war hero, Ryan Brenan, has it all. A booming practice, a beautiful home in an idyllic setting, and a happy loving family. Then, the apparitions begin.

Subtle at first, but soon there’s no doubt about it, he’s seeing ghosts, spirits, the undead. Of course, he could just be going nuts, cracking under the pressure of his constant exposure to death, mayhem, and tragedy. But, he believes he has proof that the ghosts are very real, and that they are specifically haunting him.

We join Ryan as he tends to the sick and injured in his hospitals’ trauma bays, intensive care units, and operating rooms, all the while seeking to understand why he has become a target of the dead. Will he break down? Will he lose all that is precious to him? Will he be drawn to the other side of the great divide?

The unique storyline, similar to the works of Blake Crouch and Jeff VanderMeer is a chilling thrill ride, straddling the real world and that of the paranormal.

Review by Stacey

Death’s Pale Flag by author Gary R. Simonds is a psychological medical thriller with a paranormal theme running through it. Some may consider it to be mild horror.

The plot follows Doctor Ryan Brenan an on-call neurosurgeon who carries out surgeries on both children and adults, something that is unusual in his field.

He works incredibly long hours, often neglecting his own family, including his wife, and daughters, to save other’s lives. After a very long and hard operation in which he saves the life of a young girl, Ryan starts to have episodes where he sees ghosts or apparitions of those he couldn’t save. Whether these are real or not is up to the reader to work out but the ending – which I was not a fan of, will give you some clarity.

One of the first things you will notice when you begin reading Death’s Pale Flag is that it is full of medical jargon and lots of operations. The jargon, however, is explained in easy-to-understand language. The operations are not great for anyone who may be squeamish.

The story moves along at a decent pace and the characters are plentiful and mainly likeable, especially Ryan, he certainly is a down-to-earth good guy. The paranormal aspect was okay but not really to my taste, especially Ryan’s recurring dream. I also got confused sometimes when it came to the paranormal goings-on.

Overall, the book is certainly different and was a quick read. If you love psychological thrillers and want an added paranormal aspect to your read then give this book a go.

Purchase Online:

Gary Simonds

Gary Simonds

Gary Simonds practiced the full breadth of neurosurgery for decades in the US Army, Geisinger Clinic, and as the Chief of Neurosurgery at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. He has performed thousands of highly complex procedures on adults and children and cared for tens of thousands of patients. In addition to his expertise in neurosurgery and the neurosciences, he is interest in an array of related subjects including: medical ethics, medical socioeconomics, humanism, doctor patient interactions, patient advocacy, and burnout and psychological distress in healthcare workers.

He has co-authored with Clinical Psychologist Wayne Sotile three non-fiction books on burnout and resilience in healthcare workers and has recently written a related award-winning novel, Death’s Pale Flag. Gary stepped away from clinical neurosurgery in 2020 but still teaches undergraduates and medical students at Virginia Tech. He lives in Black Mountain NC in a log cabin with wife, Cindy, and border collie, Hamish, and is excited to connect with his readers and interested parties over a range of subjects.

Author Links:

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these links, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links. All money received goes back into the blog and helps to keep it running. Thank you.

You may also like...