Dr. Jim Bob Brady and wife Mary Louise start off the story on the ski slopes of Snowmass Village, Aspen, Colorado. The Doc’s ski skills make him collide with another doctor. Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Louis ‘Lou’ Royce Edwards and his wife Mimi are also on vacation there.
The least Brady can do is facilitate treatment for Edwards while Mary Louise goes over to their cabin to inform Mimi. We soon learn that Mimi’s health is deteriorating as she has lupus, suffers the effects of chronic steroid therapy, has kidney failure, and cause of this all, is her cosmetic breast surgery performed by her own husband. This collision snowballs into a full fledged criminal investigation when Edwards is suspected of murder.
As the insurance company canceled Edwards’ malpractice policy, he had been operating uninsured. As he’s not the only one who wants answers, he joins the protests in front of the insurance company’s building. He even gives an interview for a morning show. And it is a good thing he did because during the same time frame, that insurance company’s president, Paul Allen Thompson, is killed.
We see a detailed investigation with Brady even being made a special investigator with the Houston Police Department. We learn about penthouse keys and elevator access. The Edwards marriage is suffering and is bound to buckle so, are we also facing adultery?
I like how Bishop makes Brady write lists to repeat what we know, what we need, and how to get there. It is a simple but very effective writing technique before switching gears.
I am very conflicted about this book. It started so slowly that I had to put it away several times. The pace is just too slow for the premise.
Reminder, the set up is malpractice lawsuits from women who had ruptured breast implants combined with an insurance company canceling malpractice policies from several plastic surgeons under the guise of going bankrupt due to all the settlements.
The insurance company’s founder and president, Thompson, is murdered in his penthouse. Edwards had his insurance canceled and he operated on his own wife who now faces serious health issues. This alone is huge and can easily fill a few books. If left at this, it would have been a very strong and tight plot.
But that wasn’t enough for Bishop. He needed to add something to the story that reflected on the insurance company’s president moral character. He did so in a two-pronged approach. The first prong is absolutely possible, probable to the crime investigation, and believable. The second prong distracts and weakens the story. To discuss why I say this I have to give away some of the plot, sorry.
That Thompson would find out the financial swindle in Edwards’ office is highly probable but how he deals with the culprit, is not. Blackmail is believable. Checking up on their correct future bookkeeping, is not. Abusing the culprit’s daughter, as vile as it is, is probable. That daughter having a best friend who wants to help her, is also probable. The rest is not. I will stop here but there’s a lot more to the second prong that makes you shake your head at the end.