Reviewer Karen Dahood : Karen lives in Tucson, AZ. After 35 years as a writer for businesses and nonprofits, she has turned to writing mysteries,the subtext of which addresses ageism, unpreparedness for aging, and America's wealth of experience and wisdom. Learn more about eldersleuth Sophie George at the Website Moxie Cosmos; Making Sense of Life Through Writing.
Author: Lawrence W. Gold
Author: Lawrence W. Gold
A Unexpectedly Sage Read
Little did I know when I downloaded No Cure For Murder that this new thriller would support some of my most passionately held prejudices. That is not to say I did not learn some new things. In fact, this novel by a retired physician provides a mini-medical education (and that includes psychiatry) while it drives the reader to keep reading until the killer of Jacob Weizman’s hospital patients is caught.
Dr. Weizman, a family practitioner, and his wife Lola, a psychotherapist, are holocaust survivors, and now octogenerations, active, alert, and highly respected in the San Francisco area. When the administrators and medical heads of Brier Hospital realize that deaths or near-deaths by injection of lethal substances have occurred in four patients under his care, they begin to question his abilities at age 88. The reader knows a shadowy figure with medical knowledge appears in the night and assists the progression toward death. We are not sure for what reason. There are at least four people involved in patient care who behave unprofessionally. We come to dislike them. But are they killers?
Jacob, Lola, Jacob’s supporters, and an undercover policewoman who once was a nurse are all needed to trap the villain. In the process, we meet familiar personalities, troubled personalities, several common dreaded diseases, and symptoms of dangerous mental problems. The author deftly and clearly weaves valuable information into the plot without losing momentum.(Short chapters are good.)
One of Jacob’s strong beliefs is that pharmaceutical answers are not always the best answers. This puts him in opposition to other respected doctors. He also makes house calls, as many of his patients are almost his age. Ageism is one of the underlying themes in this developing series. (The first Brier Hospital novel was FIRST, DO NO HARM (available in 2011 edition).
Jacob’s mental agility in times of crisis may have you scratching your head, but all I had to do was remember my husband’s mother who did her own in-the-head accounting right up to her death at 91, and his aunt who played bingo past her 92nd birthday. Tip: Jacob works crossword puzzles.
Lola is a wonderful sweetheart to Jacob and both are wisecracking realists, able to accept changes in society. Their verbal sparring and insightful, caring conversations with young people in trouble are both amusing and inspiring. One might argue Lola succeeds a bit too easily in taming a rebellious teen, and Jacob has attended the births of an unbelievable number of associates, but these very small questions do not detract. The reader who reflects will realize that 88 years of medical practice add up to a broad and deep view of humanity. It boggles my mind to recall that my father’s heart surgeon, at age 32, was considered “the best heart surgeon in Texas.” I don’t think so.
The author of No Cure For Murder practiced internal medicine and nephrology (diseases of the kidney) in Berkeley, California for twenty-three years. Dr. Gold was an active participant in his hospital's quality assurance program that monitored physician performance. He also served as chief of the department of medicine and family practice. You can be assured you will get an insider’s take on the drama and politics in medicine by reading this clearly-written, well-plotted page-turner. I’d give this author-sprinter the Methuselah Genius Award.
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