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When Liza Larkin, an asocial med-school graduate who doesn’t always make the best choices, suspects an esteemed trauma surgeon of stalking her family, she impulsively changes her pathology training program of choice to his hospital.

She wants to be near him. She wants to know what he’s up to. She wants to protect her family.

“A knockout that’s just what the doctor ordered for thriller enthusiasts.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Heroine Liza is unusual, likable, and unreliable … A brisk, page-turning read.”—Rachel Howzell Hall, New York Times bestselling author

“A bold, intelligent voice is enhanced by sharp wit … a splendidly peculiar mystery.”—The BookLife Prize (Mystery/Thriller Finalist)

Carrie Rubin recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, FATAL ROUNDS.

What type of thriller is your novel?

Given the introspective, first-person narration of the novel and its focus on the flawed protagonist’s behavior, I’d categorize it as a psychological thriller. With its hospital setting, along with its central conflict between a pathology resident (Liza Larkin, the protagonist) and a surgeon, it has features of a medical thriller as well.

Carrie Rubin

Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?

My character took shape first. I thought it would be interesting to write a novel from the viewpoint of a character with schizoid personality disorder, a condition in which people avoid social activities and interactions and have a lack of desire to form close relationships. They also struggle to pick up on social cues. Although Liza has had years of therapy to help her navigate the world, she still doesn’t make the best choices, and that helps set up the story’s plot.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

I like how psychological thrillers offer a deeper glimpse into the protagonist’s mind. The character’s thoughts, insights, and reflections give the reader a more intimate experience than a more distant narration might. Liza isn’t always the most reliable narrator, either, which adds an extra element of mystery—can the reader really believe what she is passing off as the truth?


Carrie Rubin is a physician-turned-novelist who writes medical-themed thrillers. She also has a cozy mystery published under the pen name Morgan Mayer. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers association and lives in Northeast Ohio. For more information, visit