May 18, 2012 > R.I.C.E. - A book review by Robert A. Garfinkle
R.I.C.E. - A book review by Robert A. Garfinkle
Most people simply believe that their doctors are infallible and would never submit 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 title acronym stands for Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation, which is a simple medical treatment for pain and injury without the use of doctors or pills.
The story revolves around the brilliant but 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 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 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 and a joy to read; I found myself staying up late reading it. I had to find out who, if anyone, was going to get final revenge on the scheming Simon Bovie. I highly recommend this book.
R.I.C.E. by David Breitaupt, MD, 2009
$18.95, paperback, (ISBN 0965597490)