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Greetings. My name is Rick Novak, and I’m an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at Stanford University and the author of The Doctor and Mr. Dylan, published by Pegasus Books.
The Doctor and Mr. Dylan is equal parts medical thriller, legal thriller, and ode to Bob Dylan, and is set in Bob Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota. An unhappily married doctor has the opportunity to anesthetize his wife for an emergency surgery. She dies, and the doctor stands trial for murder. He’s certain the real murderer is a psychotic nurse named Bobby Dylan, a man who believes himself to be the real rock ‘n roll legend Bob Dylan.
I spent three years of my life writing, rewriting, finding my agent Anne Devlin, and selling The Doctor and Mr. Dylan to Pegasus Books. I did this while maintaining a full clinical practice and parenting my three sons, and not once did I feel the writing was work. It was a pleasure and a passion of mine to create imaginative fiction that merged medical fact, legal drama, relationship trauma, and in the case of The Doctor and Mr. Dylan… rock and roll music.
Pick up your copy of TD&MD and enjoy!
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, comments, or personal appearance opportunities.
In this debut thriller, tragedies strike an anesthesiologist as he tries to start a new life with his son.
Dr. Nico Antone, an anesthesiologist at Stanford University, is married to Alexandra, a high-powered real estate agent obsessed with money. Their son, Johnny, an 11th-grader with immense potential, struggles to get the grades he’ll need to attend an Ivy League college. After a screaming match with Alexandra, Nico moves himself and Johnny from Palo Alto, California, to his frozen childhood home of Hibbing, Minnesota. The move should help Johnny improve his grades and thus seem more attractive to universities, but Nico loves the freedom from his wife, too. Hibbing also happens to be the hometown of music icon Bob Dylan. Joining the hospital staff, Nico runs afoul of a grouchy nurse anesthetist calling himself Bobby Dylan, who plays Dylan songs twice a week in a bar called Heaven’s Door. As Nico and Johnny settle in, their lives turn around; they even start dating the gorgeous mother/daughter pair of Lena and Echo Johnson. However, when Johnny accidentally impregnates Echo, the lives of the Hibbing transplants start to implode. In true page-turner fashion, first-time novelist Novak gets started by killing soulless Alexandra, which accelerates the downfall of his underdog protagonist now accused of murder. Dialogue is pitch-perfect, and the insults hurled between Nico and his wife are as hilarious as they are hurtful: “Are you my husband, Nico? Or my dependent?” The author’s medical expertise proves central to the plot, and there are a few grisly moments, as when “dark blood percolated” from a patient’s nostrils “like coffee grounds.” Bob Dylan details add quirkiness to what might otherwise be a chilly revenge tale; we’re told, for instance, that Dylan taught “every singer with a less-than-perfect voice…how to sneer and twist off syllables.” Courtroom scenes toward the end crackle with energy, though one scene involving a snowmobile ties up a certain plot thread too neatly. By the end, Nico has rolled with a great many punches.
Nuanced characterization and crafty details help this debut soar.
Hibbing HIgh School