Thoughts of a mad doctor or evil scientist easily bring images to mind of a tall, balding character, wringing his hands with maniacal glee at the impending devastation he plans to inflict on the unassuming masses.
Not the fastidious, meticulous man-of-few-words Doctor Perry.
Which is what makes this tale all the more chilling and disturbing.
He doesn’t make life-ending threats… although he plans them in his mind.
He doesn’t yell or even raise his voice.
His methods are his own and so precise it’s eerie. He doesn’t use violence or physical force. He doesn’t need to. People trust their doctor. (Or I did before reading this book.)
Doctor Perry’s practice has gone undetected for decades which has allowed him to make a name for himself in a very lucrative, but illegal sideline—selling babies.
It’s how Doctor Perry comes by these infants that put the spotlight on his small office practice, unheard of home visits, and being an on-call physician for a nursing home that should be shut down.
Tracey Chappell, the bottle-blonde manager of Rose Haven Retirement Resort—fancy name for a low-end nursing home, has no issues with shortchanging nursing home residents and pocketing the difference. She’s more than willing to be a partner-in-crime with the doctor, supplying candidates for his shady dealings.
The mercenary manager rides roughshod over a motley staff that has less redeeming social value than a biker gang. Those who truly care—Tala, head nurse, Benson, an orderly, and Pauline, the cook—aren’t in a position to give much pushback against the intimidating manager and the indignities residents are subjected to, but in the end, it’s their concern which helps their elderly and infirmed clients.
The rest of the staff? OMG! They verbally and physically abuse residents, steal from them, and do whatever it takes to NOT do their jobs.
Meth-head—and Tracey’s nephew—Tricky Ricky Donovan takes it one step farther and steals medication. Ricky’s a gross lowlife. There’s a scene in his apartment where he’s smoking meth and seeing bugs, and then… I’m getting queasy just thinking about it. Just remember I warned you!
But as much as Ricky sickens me, I have to give him props for the part he played in the end. Even an addict has his uses. Just someone keep this man away from meth… and bugs.
Even more chilling than Doctor Perry though is Jesse and James, identical twins the doctor scoops into his ‘care’ when their mother and infant brother are killed in a car accident.
Had Doctor Perry known what these two little sociopaths were capable of, he would have left them where they were and not alone with his wife, Myra. Poor Myra.
Resident Elijah Cone, a former winning football coach, is living out his days in exile and shame after causing a horrible accident while driving drunk. Elijah walked away from the accident… no one else did.
Elijah doesn’t want any involvement with anyone at Rose Haven. He just wants to be left alone while he waits for death to take him and relieve him of his burden of guilt and the debilitating pain of arthritis.
But that doesn’t happen once new resident Sulia Patel blows into the nursing home, a force to be reckoned with. She has secrets and she knows a few… like who Doctor Perry is and what he does.
Clients of Doctor Perry’s private practice don’t fare any better as we first see with patient Don Jury. The description of his screams…*shudders* The fates of jogger Mary Louise Jackson and health nut, Sarah Miller are a puzzle and up to the reader to ponder.
Doctor Perry is a haunting read that shows what happens when you combine the avarice of a few, the apathy of many and the anonymity of victims. In some ways, it’s scarier than alien invasions and monster-filled stories. But there are monsters… the human kind and they are all connected to Doctor Perry and his milky-white, chalk-tasting, homemade tonic. Check out this read… and keep an eye on your doctor.
Under the Hippocratic Oath, a doctor swears to remember that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
Doctor Perry assures his elderly patients at the Rose Haven Retirement Home that he can offer warmth, sympathy, and understanding. Doctor Perry is a liar.
Hiding from a traumatic past, Elijah Cone wants nothing to do with the other residents at the Rose Haven, content to sit at his window waiting to die. He’s about to learn that under Doctor Perry death is the easy option…
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