Anatomy of Deception – Book Review

The Anatomy of Deception
A novel of suspense
By:  Lawrence Goldstone

Reviewed by:  Paul McMahon

How would you like some medical history from the late 1800s mixed in with scheming, dishonesty, accidental death, a murder, a scheming detective and a nosey doctor who just won’t give up regardless of the consequences.  This is it!

Threaded through the story is the state of medicine in the US, especially Philadelphia, in 1889.  Surgeons who perform dozens of operations a day because with speed they can get done and have the patient sewn back up before they go into shock or just bleed to death.  A female doctor and the open hostility she has to overcome.  The criminal waterfront where one can get all kinds of services from abortion to the latest in drugs.

The book moves quickly forward as the story starts in the morgue and the description of and autopsy and the hostility towards cutting up human bodies to see how they work.  The finding of the body of an attractive young girl in the dead house ice chest waiting to be cut up.  Then on to a high society dinner where the upper crust makes very generous offers to keep the best of the doctors from going to Maryland to build Johns Hopkins into the premier hospital it is today.

All of the pieces come together at the end in a manner that will make you glad you read the book.

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