Race for the Dying

Race for the Dying

Book - 2014
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A newly minted graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1890, Dr. Thomas Parks heads to the big timber country of Puget Sound to practice trauma medicine. An hour after stepping off the boat he's nearly crushed to death by a less-than-surefooted mule and finds himself a patient rather than a physician. As he convalesces, he discovers that his host, an aging and venerable physician friend of his father's, is running an elaborate medical scam, selling worthless concoctions nationwide, with enormous sales. Limited to practicing medicine with one functioning eye, one hand, and one leg, Thomas grapples with exposing the old family friend. To make matters worse, an epidemic threatens the town and surrounding area. Will the young doctor's first trip to the Northwest be his last?
Publisher: Scottsdale, AZ : Poisoned Pen Press, 2014.
Edition: 1st Ed.
ISBN: 9781464201714
Characteristics: pages cm

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WhidbeyIslander
Aug 05, 2017

This was the first book I'd read by the author and found his writing style easy and interesting. I had some problems with the book, though. One was the 50-odd pages spent detailing the recovery from the hero's accident. Too much detail that didn't move the plot along. Also some unneeded details about a few of the medical procedures his patients undergo. In addition, despite the padding, the book concludes very abruptly, and with a big unresolved question concerning one of the deaths and if the person responsible was going to be held such. And one character's motive for supporting the medical scam is left unclear. The setting is interesting, although not greatly fleshed out. A map of the fictional town would have been a nice touch. Have to admit I was more interested in the fate of the scroungy dog then some of the humans.

P.S. there was nary a mention of an epidemic threatening the town, as is mentioned in the description. And I never did understand the title. I assumed it would have something to do with the epidemic which didn't happen. And Dr. Thomas wasn't able to race anywhere, being in a wheelchair or on crutches for 99% of the book. Maybe it's a cultural reference I'm unfamiliar with.

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