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Book and Media Reviews
April 12, 2006

Fiction

Author Affiliations
 

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;295(14):1709-1714. doi:10.1001/jama.295.14.1713

The Cadaver's Ball is the third novel by psychiatrist Charles Atkins. From a literary point of view, it is his best novel yet. The novel begins slowly, for the first 100 pages or so meandering in a decidedly circular pattern. The author, being the careful psychiatrist, is simply building to a predicate. After that, the novel takes off, twisting and turning at a breakneck speed, ending decisively and with gusto.

The story revolves around the monumental, though heretofore submerged, conflict between two male psychiatrists battling in the fields of power and personal intimacy. Alas, one is a scoundrel, while the other is unaware of their conflict. Atkins portrays a perverse drama between antagonists enmeshed in deathly intrigue, vying for supremacy and survival.

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