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Two surgeons, a man and wife.
She … is sued for malpractice and loses her case—a devastating blow to a proud professional that drives her into terrible despair and finally suicide.
He … watches his wife slowly pushed toward self-destruction by the cynical hostility of prosecutors in a legal system that has lost its concern for justice. But he decides he’ll reintroduce justice into the system—his own kind, administered in his own way.
Then malpractice attorneys begin to turn up dead. Each one is uniquely executed—and surgically altered in bizarre and disturbing ways. There are no fingerprints, no blood. Few clues are left behind. Usable evidence is sparse. And the killer, as he contemplates what he’s accomplished, silently dedicates each murder to the memory of his beloved wife.
The police detective assigned to this case, Septimus “Mac” McClymonds, soon confirms that he is in a battle of wits with a most unusual and highly intelligent serial killer. As he carefully studies the details of each crime, attempting to develop a profile of the perpetrator, he finds himself continually frustrated, and he is even taunted with grim humor by macabre notes the murderer leaves on the bodies of his victims, celebrating yet another death.
Thus develops a cat-and-mouse game between Mac and his quarry, until the elusive killer finally seems to have been identified and Mac is about to nab him—except for . . .
Scalpel is a tongue-in-cheek look at the world of medical malpractice and how it affects physicians. It is a hyperbole reaction of one particular doctor who “goes off the deep end,” perhaps a reflection of the transient evil thoughts of most doctors when they receive a lawyer’s letter of intent to file suit for medical malpractice. Being sued, whether for good reason or bad, is often the most stressful time in a doctor’s professional life, fraught with anger, depression, self-righteous indignation, and unfortunately in a few cases, suicide. In a profession where anything less than perfection is seen by the public as failure, most physicians maintain a very high standard of practice. And when, as human beings are apt to do, they commit errors of judgment, omission or commission, they are devastated when assaulted by the seemingly unfeeling malpractice attorneys. The doctor can no longer look upon the ninety-nine patients who do well, but only on the one who has had a problem. And looming over the physician’s head is the ever increasing cost of his or her malpractice insurance. There are many physicians who have to quit their profession because they could no longer afford the insurance rates. The responsibility lies not solely with the attorneys, but also with the litigious society they have nurtured and the public who feel that anything less than perfection should be financially compensated.
Best Malpractice Murder Mystery Novel – Best Fiction Murder Mystery Novel – Best Black Comedy Murder Mystery Book – Joel Berman’s Best Murder Mystery Book about a surgeon killing medical malpractice attorneys.