Friday, March 10

First, Do No Harm by Larry Karp

Review by Andrea Maloney

Martin Firestone can't figure out why his father, the eccentric painter Leo Firestone, is throwing a fit. All Martin did was tell his dad he'd been accepted to medical school. Then, Leo tells Martin a story about his own father, Dr. Samuel Firestone, an extraordinarily gifted doctor and living legend in the small city of Hobart, NJ, but a man with a serious character flaw. During the summer of 1943, while Leo worked as Samuel's extern, he witnessed some highly questionable behavior. When Leo decided his father was covering up a murder, he and his girlfriend, followed a trail of clues to find the truth. By the time they realized they were in far over their sixteen-year-old heads, it was too late to call off the investigation. But there are loose threads in Leo's story. Martin picks them up, and sixty years after the fact, goes snooping in Hobart. And like his father, he comes away with a whole lot more junk than he'd bargained for.

This is a terrific book that I just couldn't put down. The writing is powerful, the characters dynamic and the story fascinating. The author pulls you into the story with the first paragraph and gradually peels away the layers on a sixty year old mystery. The more you read the more you want to know. This book is not only about the destination (the solution of the mystery) it's also all about the journey to get there. It's a grand journey with a compelling ending and a fascinating look into the world of the past when doctors were perceived as gods who in the end were just as human as everyone else.

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