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Format: Kindle Edition Paul Janson's new book, his first novel, introduces a new protagonist about whom readers will no doubt want to read more. Joe Nelson, a coal miner turned pediatrician (the hard way, with years of study and family encouragement) has a calm, easy-going personality, a beautiful, equally-talented wife (also an emergency room doctor)and a practice in the small town he wants to serve ... the small town where he grew up ... the small town where almost everyone is related to almost everyone, and secrets kept are deep.
Dr. Nelson is accused of malpractice, The local police and local lawyers and local court and local jury are all looking into his life, his possible ineptitude and his character. With everything on the table and little else to lose, Joe begins his own investigation into the death of his patient, as Joe alone knows of his own innocence.
Joe's ongoing romantic involvement with his soon to be ex-wife puzzles some and intrigues the reader. Other characters develop as Joe's investigation begins; some are those who stand to lose both money and credibility should his investigating expose their motives, and some are those who see and appreciate Joe's capacity for putting the puzzle pieces together. Joe himself is then a target for those might have a motive and a means of having killed his young patient three years ago, and a recipient of benevolent assets and support from those who want him to succeed in exposing the guilty.
Family, relationships, community, enmity, greed and murder are all key elements of this engaging novel. Just enough medical detail is shared to keep the reader grounded in the story. I strongly recommend it to all readers of mysteries, and all readers of medical murder. And it is my fervent wish, as a reader, to know more of what will happen in the lives of these main characters. I see series potential.
I'm enjoying Paul Janson's sequel, WITH A LITTLE MORE PRACTICE. Without having to read through repetitious flashbacks as many sequels would require, the characters' personalities as developed in the first novel, MALPRACTICE, are easily recognizable and the action begins fairly quickly. This author took the time to visit the scenes he chose for his novel, and describes them well enough that the reader has a clear image of the setting. The action moves along at a good, unhurried but forward pace and the reader is engaged in the dilemma the characters face. I would recommend this for adult readers as the content makes reference to some adult issues, though the author does not use unnecessary gratuitous sex or violence in his writing ... and I am grateful for that - a good story, written by a good writer. Definitely five stars!