Saturday, September 12, 2009

Race for the Dying-Steven F Havill

Race for the Dying
Steven F Havill
Dunne, Sep 29 2009
ISBN: 9780312380717

In 1891 new Dr. Thomas Parks leaves his Connecticut home to practice medicine in Port McKinney, Washington with family friend Dr. John Haines. However, upon arrival in the Pacific Northwest town, he is in a near fatal accident that leaves him temporarily in a wheelchair while he heals.

His host’s daughter Alvina helps him recover. They are attracted to one another, but Thomas fears John runs a successful mail order elixir peddling business. Meanwhile Thomas finds western medicine means flexibility as he is a vet, a surgeon, a family practitioner and a coroner-medical examiner.

Far away in time and place from Posadas County, Steven F Havill provides a terrific cautionary historical tale that focuses on the late nineteenth century thriving mail order medical business with implications of similar Internet practices today. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the new Englander almost gets killed and never slows down as Thomas adapts to the expanded expectations by the locals and his fears his mentor is making money performing unethical practices; adding to his qualms is he is falling in love with his host’s daughter. Fans will enjoy this fine Americana tale as retired Under-sheriff Bill Gastner and current Under-sheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman take a breather.

Harriet Klausner

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