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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: Doc Doc Zeus by Thomas Keech @smithpublicity

Excited to be today's Blog Tour stop for Doc Doc Zeus: A Novel of White Coat Crime.  Scroll below to get an in depth look into this novel, an author Q&A and my full review.

Book Description:

Doc Doc Zeus:
A Novel of White Coat Crime
by Thomas Keech

A complex, multilayered, and psychologically acute tale about a predatory physician: well done. –Kirkus Reviews

            In a 2016 national investigation, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined documents that described disturbing acts of physician sexual abuse in every state. Rapes by OB/GYNs, seductions by psychiatrists, fondling by anesthesiologists and ophthalmologists, and molestations by pediatricians and radiologists occur far too often. Victims were babies, adolescents, women  in their 80s, drug addicts and jail inmates, and survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This culture of power and secrecy too often goes unpunished, and author Thomas Keech is on a mission to tell the untold story of the causes of and cures for physician sexual predation.

Fans of Jodi Picoult and Scott Turow, readers who enjoy authors who push the line of social issues and controversies that often get pushed under the rug, look toward Keech and his latest novel, Doc Doc Zeus: A Novel of White Coat Crime [Real Nice Books, August 1, 2017].

Dr. Hardwicke Zeus is a successful physician, who cheats on his wife, degrades his mistress, stiffs his medical partners and defrauds insurance companies. Most problematic of all is his deep-seated misogyny, which he takes out on his female patients. The medical board knows he drugged and raped Katherine two years before, but is helpless to do anything about it. His current victim is sixteen-year-old Diane. Diane is intelligent and strong-willed, but she is also an unwed mother who at fourteen has given her baby away for adoption, has lost faith in her church, and is having trouble reconnecting with her only two friends. Even as she cherishes her relationship with Dr. Zeus, Diane resists some of his sexual demands and finds it necessary as a matter of survival to lie to him about taking the drugs he prescribes for her. With a little help from a new friend, she gradually figures out that she is being used, and what to do about it.

“The Stories investigators hear are often very similar. A woman might feel the doctor performing a slightly more intrusive examination than usual, but the last thing in the world she wants to do is question the doctor closely about that,” contributes Keech. “If she goes back maybe six months later and it happens again, it’s obvious the first time wasn’t just a slip-up. But It’s just human nature to try to put something like that out of your mind. If it happens a third time, the patients are often so disgusted they just want to get out of there and never think about it again. Sometimes they blame themselves for not realizing what the doctor was doing.”

Doc Doc Zeus portrays very real, emotional encounters that can actually happen to any patient against their will. It shows readers how medical boards go about trying to help these victims. Keech hopes to prevent more of these degrading assaults from happening to people who may be unaware of the abuse.

With thought-provoking portrayals, Keech’s Doc Doc Zeus explores:
  • The sinister nature of this crime which causes victims often to blame themselves for what was done to them
  • The untold story of the causes of and cures for physician predation on patients
  • Preventing guilt and shame of victims being sexually abused by a predator physician under the guise of medical treatment
  • Opioid abuse by both physician and patient
  • The importance of reporting abuse - even when its under the guise of love - once your mind is clear so other will not be subjected to the same treatment

“Physician sexual predation is a unique crime in that the more lengthy and abusive it is, the less likely the victim is to report it,” adds Keech. “ I don't think any other novel has attempted to portray the insidious psychological twist by which the victims themselves often begin to feel at fault.”

My Review:

Immediately this book reminded me of the opening scene in Hand that Rocks the Cradle. Where the gynecologist is clearly not using gloves as he's "examining" his female patients. Dr. Zeus takes it a step further with drug induced rape and taking advantage of a teenage girl.  

This book volleys back and forth through the POVs of Dr. Zeus and his sexual misbehavior, David, a lawyer who looks deep into the case of women accusing Dr. Zeus of sexual misconduct and Diane, the teenager that Dr. Zeus manipulates and feeds drugs to so he can conquer and feed his sexual appetite - his wife and mistress and other "girlfriends"  don't hold a candle to her young, innocent skin.  

This doctor is a deplorable human being on every level.  You hate him from the very first page.  You applaud David for not looking the other way for an easy victory in court and you want to shake some sense in Diane.  The author does an outstanding job of putting you in their minds.  The fact that this can, and does happen, is skin crawling.  Physicians abusing their power is a very real thing and while this is a fictional book, the subject matter is all too real.  As someone who finds the human psyche fascinating and especially in the case of real to life situations, I was deeply engrossed in this novel.  While the subject matter may be difficult for some readers, it does not take away from how well written it is.  I could go on and on and on about everything the author explores in this book, but I won't - I will just suggest that if the above is anything at all that you're interested in, pick up a copy of this book. 

Author Bio:

THOMAS KEECH is a retired Assistant Attorney General for the state of Maryland having represented the State Board of Physicians for sixteen years in its attempt to discipline doctors who were sexual predators, perpetrators of insurance fraud, violators of self-referral laws, and many other types of misbehavior. Prior to this, he served for thirteen years as the Chairman of a state administrative appeals board. Before that, he was an attorney and lobbyist for the Legal Aid Bureau of Baltimore for seven years.

Currently, Keech is a contractual consultant to the Maryland State Board of Physicians, where he write regulations, coordinateS with other boards and agencies, and participates in investigations.

He also authored Unemployment Insurance [Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers, 1991], As well as the novels The Crawlspace Conspiracy [Baskerville, 1995], Prey for Love [Real Nice Books, 2011], and Hot Box in the Pizza District [Real Nice Books, 2015]. The novels dealt with state politics, teenagers entangled in suburban corruption and college romance, respectively.

Learn more about Thomas Keech  on or by connecting with him on Facebook or Goodreads.
Doc Doc Zeus is all about medical crime. Has there ever been a fictional story like this one written before?

This book might be unique in that it focuses not only on the predator doctor but also on the victim how she got caught up in the doctors evil trap, how she was affected, and how she eventually learns to trust and learn from the people around her.

Without giving too much away, what would you say is the main conflict in Doc Doc Zeus?

Dr. Zeuss evil manipulation of all the levers of power to indulge his sexual and financial fantasies is challenged by the dedication of a novice investigator and the surprising inner strength of his teenage victim.

Most books that really connect with readers speak to some universal truths. What universal truths are illustrated or discussed in your book?

The sociopaths we will always have among us, but the rest of us can limit their damage if we forge ahead, forgive ourselves for our own mistakes and do the same for those who are truly our friends.

Can you tell readers how your personal background and experience informed your writing of Doc Doc Zeus?

As counsel to the Maryland State Board of Physicians for sixteen years I assisted the Board as they heard charges against physicians. My work required me to have an intimate knowledge of the case, including the witness interviews, the testimony, and the hearings, as well as the procedures and trial tactics of both the prosecution and the defense.

Why did you choose the predator, Dr. Zeus, to be a male?

The great majority of physician sexual predators that I dealt with were male, the great majority of victims female. My guess is that either male patients are not reporting assaults by female physicians or it isnt happening that often.

What do you want readers to remember about your story or characters long after they have finished reading?

Diane trusted her friends and kept a fingerhold on reality even as she was being swept away by Dr. Zeus and his drugs. Maybe that happened because her parents never abandoned her. There are people even in high levels of our society whose only concept of truth is whatever is best for them at the present moment; these people are dangerous and must be watched carefully.

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