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December 23, 2009 > Book Review: R.I.C.E.

Book Review: R.I.C.E.

A Book Review by Robert A. Garfinkle

Most people simply believe that their doctors are infallible and would never fall victim to the whims of drug or alcohol addiction. This novel, set in Northern California, will shake those crazy ideas right out of your head. R.I.C.E. is a fascinating and fast-paced novel about rehabilitating addicted docs who have been busted by the State Medical Board. The story revolves around brilliant and corrupt Medical Board probation officer, Simon Bovie. He torments the 80 MDs under his supervision and gets by with his corruption, mental torture, and persecution of the doctors, because he is supervised by inept and distracted Sacramento bureaucrats.

Bovie's scheme begins to crumble around him when a couple of his charges plan to file lawsuits against him and the Medical Board. The doctors hire Dr. Richard Drinkwater. They face acrimony, suffering, the violent deaths of two physician-clients, and murder. Things look hopeless for the plaintiffs until Bovie's mother steals one of her son's secret journals. Bovie has spent years detailing his life and the histories of each of his patients in a set of journals. The purloined journal is handed over to Dr. Drinkwater, who in turn gives it to the Assistant Attorney General. The heat rises under Bovie and he plots to get out of his apartment in a rundown section of Oakland before they can get him. He stages his own murder as a cover to escape to his hideout in Baja California.

The author, David Breitaupt, a now retired local medical professional, weaves a tight story where you know that the villain, Simon Bovie, is going to get what he has coming. With a cast of characters all out to get him, you just don't know which of his enemies will do him in first, so you find yourself cheering for all of them.

I found this novel to be a real page-turner, a joy to read, and found myself staying up late reading it. I had to find out whom, if anyone, was going to exact final revenge on the scheming Simon Bovie.

The title, R.I.C.E. stands for Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation, which is a simple medical treatment for pain and injury without the use of doctors or pills.

I highly recommend this book.

R.I.C.E. by David Breitaupt, MD
2009 Pp 420, $18.95, paperback
ISBN 0965597490

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