I’m always excited when I get to write a review for a book that kept me flipping through its pages all evening and into the night and this one is one of those books! The Lame Duck by Bernard Leo Remakus, M.D. is one of those books. The story involves a small town doctor who seems to be the only competent doctor at the local hospital. Cassidy doesn’t even finish his internship to take over for his dad as his health fails due to lung cancer. If anyone ever had problems, it would be Cassidy; malpractice suits, Medicare red tape, patients who disturb him at all hours of the day and night and then don’t pay their bills, and an exploitive boss who wants Cassidy to run the entire hospital as a one man army. And if that weren’t enough Cassidy also deals with the town crook who wants to buy his house and will use any underhanded means of doing it, his friend who is the town priest being diagnosed and dying of cancer, and his father dying of cancer. But suddenly a mysterious woman shows up at the door with an ailment requiring prolonged care and requesting he help her. Not long in, Cassidy realizes she is probably the nation’s most prominent malpractice attorney knows as “The Angel of Death” and decides his luck may be getting even worse.
I’m not sure which to praise first; the plot or the characters. I’ll start with the characters because I fell in love with them first before the plot got to be almost too much as I read through the night. Every character in this book has a story. The author had to have spent an incredible amount of time designing these characters and their personality along with their back story. I was amazed when I found out Cassidy was only 34 as he was supposed to have an old man personality and the author nailed it. I also loved his eclectic cast of patients who might have also considered a therapist given their personalities. The doctors at the hospital were all familiar to me by the end of the book and I knew all of their nuances about how incompetent they were. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but the dynamics between Angela and Cassidy are also wonderfully written. The author pretty much single handedly designed an entire town of characters that feel three dimensional and perfect. I’m in awe.
Now the plot. It was well done all the way through but I’m going to start throwing my love for it down at the part when Angela has to be taken to the emergency room and then admitted to a hospital of horrors from which I wasn’t sure she was going to escape. I saw it playing out in my head kind of like a British comedy around this time because the amount of problems, believable though they were, was so over the top and I knew Angela wasn’t going to have a bit of it of this hospital that my only concern by the time it wrapped up was how she was going to get the gynecologist in on it but by golly the author managed to get her in on it too! Then Angela exited from the hospital but that’s where the plot got very concerning for me. I’m not going to give away the ending as much as I want to comment on how well the trial at Angela’s hands pursued. And while it ended the way I wanted and thought it might the way we got there was NOTHING like I imagined so thank you for not making this a boring and cliché book. And I’m probably a horrible person for the ending for Teddy’s character and how much I enjoyed it but if anyone deserved it, it was him and I found myself laughing at how Cassidy handled that. I couldn’t stop reading once Angela’s moment of trial started because it completely flipped the book and I was worried things were not going to turn out the way I wanted. I felt completely invested and few stories have held my interest to read through the night when I wasn’t on a class deadline. This is one of them. I can’t wait to look into this author’s other books and maybe a sequel for this one would be fun as well.