'Oath of Office' by Michael Palmer is still another example of an author's use of his own occupational background to write a good novel in which the hero shares much of that background.
Palmer is an associate director of the Massachusetts Physician Health Services, an organization which helps physicians who are themselves troubled by illnesses both emotional and physical.
And that is exactly what his main character, Lou Welcome, does in this novel. The hero is a recovering alcoholic who has been treating a doctor who is recovering from similar problems.
The first scene in the novel, however, depicts the man he's treating as he becomes a mass murderer. Because Lou had insisted that the murderer had been showing definite signs of improvement and healthy new habits, Lou is suspended from his position. He should have seen it coming, says his boss.
The rest of the novel traces Lou's efforts to discover why this man who was on his way to recovery suddenly murdered seven people. The journey to that discovery takes him through a maze of villains, traitors, and mad scientists and all the way to the President and First Lady of the United States.
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