A Toast to Peter Clement
A Quick Review: The Inquisitor by Peter Clement
Dr. Earl Garnet is accused of causing the death of a cancer patient by prescribing excessive doses of morphine. In his defense, he learns of an increase in deaths in the Palliative Care Unit over the past six months. Garner recalls the Cluster Phenomenon in which a discovery of aggregations of deaths in other hospitals, linked by time and space, were traced to medical personnel who injected lethal drugs, which and led to subsequent convictions of murder.
The inner workings of a large teaching hospital is accurately portrayed as Dr. Garner is followed through physician committees, his teaching of resident physicians and treating of patients, the procedures used in a SARS epidemic, his inter action with patients and their families, and making the tough choices in dealing during hospital crises.
The author delves deeply into the concepts of medical ethics and mercy killings, and shows physician flaws as well as their kind and brilliant treatment of patients, making them real and believable. I like the way the author escaped the bonds of traditional writing by moving between first person and third person point of view. This gives an inner look at the killer's feelings, his motivations, and his lack of value of human life.
I should probably point out that this book is much more of a technical Medical Thriller than the type of book that I write. The Dr. Scott James Series is more about action and adventure than medical procedures. Clement was known for his interesting portrayal of medical-oriented mysteries. The Inquisitor is no exception. The search for the killer is a fast moving and captivating five-star-thrill-ride from the first page. GS