Doc Doc Zeus: A Novel of White Coat Crime
Doc Doc Zeus by Thomas Keech is a new spin on the medical crime drama genre, wherein the reader is invited onto the medical board review team with new investigator David while he investigates Dr. Hartwicke Zeus for inappropriate behavior toward his female patients and coworkers. The novel is written from three perspectives, giving us a close third view into Dr. Zeus and David in chapters that alternate with teenage Diane’s first-person account of the abuse she suffers at the hands of her doctor.
Keech’s knowledge of board review processes shines through in the realistic and, for Diane, unfortunately restrictive investigative processes. The novel is engagingly written and is a definite page-turner, even if there is the odd continuity error, especially in Diane’s first-person perspective. If these are intentional, it raises red flags about her reliability as a reporter of the abuse, but otherwise they can confuse the timeline at the beginning. However, the excellent pacing and gripping plot are more than capable of overshadowing the minor errors.
The characters themselves were well defined, though Dr. Zeus is a bit over the top in his villainy and narcissism. I also question Keech’s choice of writing his young female victim from the first person while the two male characters are written at a removed third. While she reads as genuine and her mental turmoil is accurate for a woman in her position, it also is at times explicit and voyeuristic. If all of the characters had been written from the same perspective, even if it was all from their first-person perspectives, the choice may have been less jarring between chapters. However, as it stands, Diane is objectified and exploited not only by Dr. Zeus but also by the writing.
Overall, it is a well put together medical crime drama that reads quickly and well, though some of the characterizations could use some work.
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