Since returning to Chicago from the Korean War, Dr. Tom Slocum thinks his biggest problem will be getting back the nerve for surgery and escaping the flashbacks of his fellow soldier and close friend dying on his battlefield operating table. But, one of his first surgeries back on duty at Cook County Hospital drags him into a mafia war over a cache of priceless diamonds.
Joined by ambitious reporter Laura Nordstrom who seems more focused on the stones than the story, Tom must stay one step ahead of the mob, corrupt city officials and dirty cops who want him dead-and the diamonds all for themselves. Tom's last hope is his boss, Chief Mayerling, who steers an unwitting Tom into using his scalpel as his best-and only-defense.
Skilled surgeon and debut novelist John Luck M.D. authors a penetrating medical thriller that dissects corrupt 1950s Chicago, weaving equal parts mob, murder and medicine in Diamonds of Death. Central character Dr. Tom Slocum, a Korean war veteran, returns to Cook County Hospital unsure of his future in medicine since losing a friend on the table during a battlefield procedure. An operation he performs on a robbery suspect with a gunshot wound propels him into another war, this time with local mafia, corrupt officials and dirty cops after a priceless cache of diamonds.
Medicine, Murder and Mafia Mix In Thrilling Debut Novel Diamonds of Death
Renowned Surgeon Dr. John Raffensperger Pens First Novel Under Pseudonym John Luck
From the hand of skilled surgeon Dr. John Raffensperger comes a penetrating medical thriller that lays the essence of corrupt 1950s Chicago open to the bone, deftly weaving a story that is equal parts mob, murder and medicine in his debut novel, Diamonds of Death (Five Star Publications, ISBN 978-1-58985-100-9, $15.95)
Korean war veteran Dr. Tom Slocum returns to Cook County Hospital, unsure of his surgical ability since losing a friend on the table during a battlefield procedure. Little did he know an operation performed on a robbery suspect with a gunshot wound would propel him into another war, this time with local Chicago mafia, city officials and cops on the take.
Little Louie's scheme to take over the Chicago mob is momentarily halted by his men's bungled fake robbery of the boss' priceless diamonds. Now, Louie needs the diamonds back to save his own skin but suspects they were stolen by the doctor during the operation on the wounded bagman.
Now, Dr. Slocum is being pursued from all sides under suspicion of having the heisted jewels and has extra weight to drag around in the form of reporter Lauren Nordstrom who insists on coming along for the bumpy and bloody ride through Chicago's streets, harbor, underground passageways, hospitals and county morgue.
With no one to trust, including dirty cops and city officials, can Tom rely on the nosy reporter who seems more interested in the stones than in the story? Can he risk a tricky surgery to save a boy with less than one day to live? Will his drastic measures to save his life, including stealing a dead body, ruin what's left of his medical career?
Only Tom's scalpel can save him as he unknowingly performs his most important operation, but will it be enough to get back his life?
Scheduled for release in January 2008, Diamonds of Death (ISBN 978-1-58985-100-9), fiction, paperback, is published by Five Star Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 6698, Chandler AZ 85246-6698. The book will be available through Ingram and Baker & Taylor. To request a free review copy and/or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact the publisher.
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Dr. John Raffensperger, who was an intern at the Cook County Hospital and a Professor of Surgery at Northwestern University, is the author of numerous professional articles and books. This is his first novel.