Race for the Dying

Race for the Dying

Book - 2009 | 1st ed.
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The young Dr. Thomas Parks expects to practice trauma medicine with a distinguished doctor in Port McKinney, Washington. What he does not expect is to be nearly killed within an hour of arriving. The accident changes his life, and with long hours of painful convalescence, Thomas makes a sobering discovery: the physician who has invited Thomas to join his practice is not what he seems. At the center of the conflict is mail-order diagnosis, whichflourished until the U.S. mail fraud statutes of 1908. In its landmark report of 1910, the American Medical Association reported that several physicians had organizations that recorded more than 3,000 postal responses per month, a large percentage of which included money for worthless medicine. Steven F. Havill departs from his well-received mystery series to bring readers this fascinating historical novel.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books, 2009.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312380717
Branch Call Number: FIC HAVILL
Characteristics: 322 p. ; 22 cm.


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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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