Dr. Daniel Eugene Hunter is a scarred man of professionalism and passion. He must save the life of Edward von Atzingen from the enemy of diphtheria. This child is the son of the woman with whom Danial Hunter refuses to believe he’s fallen in love.
Celeste von Atzingen knows better. She also knows that love can be the only healer when life hangs in the balance.
Dr. Anthony McDowell is the nemesis for life and the sneaky champion of money-grubbing from any patient that dares enter his practice. Dr. Francis Redmond struggles to survive the sins of this doctor and the fears of becoming like him. The steady hand of Dr. Hunter guides this younger physician, even as it directs, dominates, damns, and presides over the doctors-in-training at Denver General Hospital.
Pavel Morosov, the Russian lunger, adds to this drama in a hospital set in Denver in 1905 during the bust part of the boom-or-bust cycle. That phase of bust is one that the more corrupt in this gold-and-silver town turn to their boom cycle; the former husband of Celeste is one of those pig-capitalists.
Love, deception, and the making of a physician of conscience are the drivers in this medical novel called SHADOW.
Life and death are the greater powers that cast a huge shadow over the world of medicine during those days of the early 20th century. Doctors had not yet climbed onto their pedestals or hid behind the white coat. The effects of the Industrial Revolution were beginning to be fully felt in America, but the practice of medicine was not yet an industry. A good doctor was a healer, not a cog in a wheel.
Each physician was a wheel of his own making that, round or misshapen, drove the mighty engine of medicine into the modern era. Some wheels tragically derailed off the tracks of the healing art; other wheels moved steadily along, strong, decisive and true, toward the making of the Art into a profession worthy of the name of Medicine.
Each physician had to work patiently, with each patient, to earn the name of Doctor. His worth was measured in his patience and in his passion for the art of healing his patients. The patient, not the doctor, was at the center of that revered world that measured life and death, often in a matter of mere minutes. Some illnesses could be cured; others could not. The wise doctor, the good doctor, accepted those truths of life, and death.
Set in 1905 in Denver, Colorado, “Shadow” sheds light on the doctors of Denver General Hospital: the martyrs, the malcontents — and the mavericks. Those magnanimous mavericks were the rugged individualists who, one by one, blazed a trail toward modern medicine. They were the heroes and the healers.
Single-handedly, they crustily created and carved a far-reaching profession out of the cadre of grave-diggers and grave-robbers and the surgeon-barbers of yesteryear. Single-handedly, and acerbically, the good doctors drove from their profession the worst of their kind. They knew all too well, even more than did any doomed patient, the types of doctors who threatened the art of healing, their art.
That magnificent world remains, to this day, a private and protected domain of even more intimate, and concealed, internecine warfare. The patients, along with their physicians, dedicated to the art of healing and to the goal of being healed, they are the warriors who must valiantly win this war to reclaim medicine from its own death grip. Putting the Patient at the center of the disease is the prescription that will deal the death blow to the death culture in America.
“Shadow” reveals the febrile and fetid beginnings of that world — in all of its glory and all of its gore — along with some romance and doctor-induced murder.