True Review
Current Issue Number 79 Vol. 22 January 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A Dublin Student Doctor

A DUBLIN STUDENT DOCTOR:

A DUBLIN STUDENT DOCTOR, by Patrick Taylor. Forge (www.tor-forge.com), 2011, 492 pp., $24.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-2673-7

I’m always amazed how authors can come up with great stories that can go for pages and pages and never be boring. Such is the case with A DUBLIN STUDENT DOCTOR, author Patrick Taylor’s newest offering – the sixth book from his “Irish Country” series. The book comes in at a whopping 468 pages – 492 if you include Dr. Fingal O’Reilly’s housekeeper Mrs. Maureen “Kinky” Kincaid’s Afterword and the Glossary.

All but one of Taylor’s previous books have been set in Ballybucklebo. The exception is book four, AN IRISH COUNTRY GIRL, which described the early years of housekeeper Kinky’s life.

We readers are a finicky bunch. Once we’re in a good place and happy, we don’t always take to a diversion. Such was this reviewer‘s feelings when Taylor offered the aforementioned book on Kinky. Not a bad book, mind you, but minus the Ballybucklebo gang, well, it wasn’t as much fun!

This time around, A DUBLIN STUDENT DOCTOR “turns back the clock” to the days of Dr. Fingal O’Reilly’s medical school days.

Not to fear: Taylor is in fine form once again and, while the gang is not all here, the story moves along at good clip and there’s plenty of action and a compelling storyline. Frankly, it was great to learn more about the “big man himself,” as Kinky so affectionately refers to O’Reilly.

The story opens with a motorbike accident, inflicting a head injury to one of the local Balleybucklebo residents. As Dr. O’Reilly waits and watches over the injured party, the clock rolls back to Dublin in the 1930s. We’re treated to a ringside seat as Dr. O’Reilly makes a not-so-popular decision to attend medical school and his early medical training experiences. Taylor also provides insight into O’Reilly’s first meeting and early romance with nurse Kitty O’Hallorhan.

There’s heartbreak, hi-jinks, and memorable times with his medical student cohorts as well as a look at his family members and how they shaped the man he became. The story is rich with background into Dublin, circa 1930s.

It does leave you wondering, though. As regular readers know, the most recent book, set in the ‘60s, has Dr. O’Reilly and Kitty recently betrothed. But apparently it didn’t come easily as prior books also indicated Dr. O’Reilly married another and spent many years mourning her untimely death. So, what occurred between this 1930s’ time period that looked so promising to their betrothal (finally) in the ‘60s is anyone’s guess -- anyone’s but Taylor’s, probably, who will hopefully divulge that information in a future book.

(Note: Having said the above, I realized I started reviewing this series beginning with the second book. So, it is possible the romantic issues have been explained there – but if not, inquiring minds want to know!)

A DUBLIN STUDENT DOCTOR is an engaging and fun journey back in time. I still can’t help missing the gang, and hope they’ll return soon. But as diversions go, this was a fine one.

Debra-Jackson Andrews

 

In This Issue

SUPERVOLCANO ERUPTION FLASHBACK Click on book cover for review. The Astounding, The Amazing, By Malmont FUTURE MEDIA

Urban Fantasy Blood and Other Cravings The Haunting of 20th Century America Ghosts by Gaslight A Pleasure to Burn

The Gift A Dublin Student Doctor   The Price of Civilization The Deception at Lyme

Next Time In True Review
Realms of Fantasy - Aug. 2011

REALMS OF FANTASY:

REALMS OF FANTASY, August 2011. Damnation Books (www.rofmag.com), $5.99.

There’s a great essay in here about “Women in Fantasy: The Images, the Artists” with illustrations of some of the best. The essay looks into the “urban fantasy babe” and her predecessor, the “woman warrior.” A sexist image? Some of the best illustrators are included, with Virginia Lee and Stephanie Pui-Mun Law.

Andrew M. Andrews
Realms of Fantasy - Oct. 2011

REALMS OF FANTASY:

REALMS OF FANTASY, October 2011. Damnation Books (www.rofmag.com), $5.99.

Another great illustrator interview with (and profusely illustrated by) Ruth Sanderson, conducted by Karen Haber. Check this out!

Andrew M. Andrews
Deed To Death - cover

SAINTS ASTRAY:

SAINTS ASTRAY, by Jacqueline Carey. Grand Central Publishing (www.HachetteBookGroup.com), 2011, 356 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-0-446-57142-5

Loup and girlfriend Pilar escape from military custody to be high-priced bodyguards for a British rock band. But they can’t leave their past behind – including their chance to stay in Outpost 12, a Texas border town, and bring out those they have abandoned.

Andrew M. Andrews
No Rest for The Dead - cover

THE PENGUIN BOOK OF VICTORIAN WOMEN IN CRIME:

THE PENGUIN BOOK OF VICTORIAN WOMEN IN CRIME, ed. by Michael Sims. Penguin (us.penguingroup.com), 2011, 340 pp., $16.00. ISBN 978-0-14-310621-0

Michael Sims, editor of the PENGUIN BOOK OF GASLIGHT CRIME, brings together a wealth of authors to showcase the work of some great crime-fighters that could compete with Holmes and other classic sleuths.

Andrew M. Andrews
Promises To Keep - cover

MIRROR MAZE:

MIRROR MAZE, by Michaele Jordan. Pyr/Prometheus (www.pyrsf.com), 2011, 368 pp., $16.00. ISBN 978-1-61614-529-3

Jacob Aldridge is the victim of a curse, beginning with the death of his fiancée, encountering her doppelganger, all the while a demon stalks him, and draws others close to him into the dangers that await.

Andrew M. Andrews
Eyes to See

EYES TO SEE:

EYES TO SEE, by Joseph Nassise. Tor (www.tor-forge.com), 2011, 319 pp., $22.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-2718-5

The story of a classics professor who, desperate to find out why his young daughter disappears, performs an arcane ritual that robs him of his eyesight in order to “see that which is unseen.” His new powers allow him to do some great things for people but also send him up against a terrible force that could cost him his own life, as well as that of others.

Andrew M. Andrews
Thomas World

THOMAS WORLD:

THOMAS WORLD, by Richard Cox. Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com), 2011, 396 pp., $14.99. ISBN 978-1-59780-308-3

Almost Philip K. Dick-like, the protagonist in this book, Thomas, sees his life spinning out of control. He believes that his life has been scripted, perhaps by his own doppelganger-like soul, watching him . . . why?

Andrew M. Andrews

Next Time In True Review

THE MAGNIFICIENT MEDILLS, by Megan McKinney. HarperCollins (www.harpercollins.com), 2011, 456 pp., $27.99. ISBN 978-0-06-178223-7

NEWSPAPER TITAN: THE INFAMOUS LIFE AND MONUMENTAL TIMES OF CISSY PATTERSON, by Amanda Smith. Borzoi/Alfred A. Knopf (www.aaknopf.com),
2011, 716 pp., $37.50.

KAFKAESQUE, Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka, ed. by John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly. Tachyon (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2011, 284 pp., $15.95.
ISBN 978-1-61696-049-0