Deadly Rhythm (Philip Sarkis Mystery #2)
Al Romanzo is a World War II veteran living out his days in a nursing home in the coal- mining region of northeastern Pennsylvania. A nasty fall prompts an admission to a Scranton hospital where, a few days later, he dies after an unexpected cardiac arrest. His two children, who had abandoned him years earlier upon leaving for Southern California, decide to bring a malpractice claim against his doctors. Dr. Paul Wilson, the defendant cardiologist, requests a case review by Dr. Philip Sarkis, a brilliant academic who lost his career, his family, and nearly his sanity in a messy malpractice case years before. Philip now lives on a lake in the Pocono Mountains with attorney Dorothy Deaver and their two Portuguese water dogs. He’s practicing medicine in a humble outpatient clinic, looking for ways to make some money and restore his psyche.
With the help of his lover and attorney Dorothy and her private detective father, Dick, Philip dives into the case and comes to believe that Al’s death may not have been what it seemed. In fact, Philip and Dorothy are horrified to find that dozens of old German and Italian men in the region, including a childhood friend of Philip’s, have died in other hospitals in the region under remarkably similar circumstances. As the three begin to uncover a murder conspiracy, they are intimidated and even attacked until some familiar friends enter the scene.
Deadly Rhythm is a sequel to Lethal Rhythm. Both books are fictionalized versions of real malpractice cases in which I participated as an expert witness. I wrote these stories to entertain, but also to help make the public aware of the extremely negative effect the American tort system has had on medical care. Doctors who have been sued practice defensively, willing to do whatever is necessary to avoid another courtroom appearance. Even worse, the vast majority of harmed patients and their families are not properly compensated, nor does the tort system provide the resolution of conflict that doctors and patients seek and deserve.
My fervent hope is that these novels will motivate us to find a better solution for patients and families who have been harmed by a medical error.