Riding a Crocodile – A Physician tale 

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       August 21, 2014


Author  Paul Komesaroff

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9781742586199
Publisher:         New South Publishers
Release Date:    

Website:    http://www.newsouthbooks.com.au 

This is an intense and tightly woven story that has layers of complexity.  The health system, hospital life, personnel and ethics are closely woven together with mystery and death.  It is very difficult to put this book down as it is so topical, blending mystery and drama with everyday hospital life.  The dilemma of aged-care, new developments of Technology to extend life and budget constraints, are all topical issues which the  author has used in a rattling good murder mystery.

Issues such as prolonging life, death with dignity and hospital budgets feature as daily concerns along with unexplained deaths.

Abraham Nevski is a Professor of Medicine at the Royal Prince John Hospital and is trying to answer the difficult questions of Ethics, relating to aspects of Medicine and Life.  He is confident and assured when dealing with students, patients and the process of diagnosis.  In fact, his very confidence and his exalted view of himself, disallows him from confiding his insecurities and personal tragedies to his colleagues.  He supports and encourages other Doctors, while the recent death of his wife, and deterioration of his Parents’ health, are a constant diversion, clouding his judgements.

The story weaves in and out of Wards, I.C.U., and a Clinic.  Many fascinating new cases are presented, with a medical history given.  In all cases, the people are regarded as individuals who are unique and mostly well-loved by their families. A major concern of the Hospital centres on Finance and the enormity of costs when treating the Aged, for prolonged periods of time.

The C.E.O. Of the hospital introduces a programme called “Freedom to Choose.” When elderly and terminally-ill patients are admitted, they and their relatives are approached and asked to sign a Consent form for Staff to switch off Life-Support machines, if needed.  The ugly side of this is a bonus paid to the ward staff, for the highest “turn over” of beds in a month.

Professor Nevski is writing a Paper on Ethics in Medicine and brings to light many pertinent and thoughtful arguments and ponderings, which give the reader insight into his thinking.

Because his mind is so insightful, he determines to solve the mysterious deaths in the Hospital, using logic, reasoning and data.  The Professor allows his judgement to be swayed by personal relationships, becoming deeply compromised in the process. 

It is very difficult to put this book down as it is so topical and it blends mystery and drama with everyday hospital life.  The dilemma of Aged-Care, new developments of Technology to extend life and Budget constraints, are topical issues.  The author uses these in a rattling good murder mystery and it is easy to become engrossed in this book.