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Doc Doc Zeus: A Novel of White Coat Crime

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Dr. Hartwicke Zeus sexually preys upon his women patients, including Diane, a suburban teenager who feels guilty and lost after having previously given away her baby girl. Zeus relishes the challenge of bending his intelligent and spirited young patient to his will. The Board of Medicine knows what Dr. Zeus is doing, but its young investigator is repeatedly thwarted in his attempt to bring Zeus to justice.

340 pages, Paperback

Published August 1, 2017

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About the author

Thomas Keech

9 books16 followers
Mr. Keech has written seven well-reviewed novels based on his experiences as a juvenile counselor, a legal aid attorney, an administrative law judge, and an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland as well as his time spent as a father and a former teenager himself. Besides writing, he has worked as a volunteer attorney and is a member of the ethics review panel of his local board of education.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,880 reviews1,635 followers
August 3, 2017
Dr. Zeus is slime. He's a serial cheater and he likes them young. He also likes them addicted to drugs and if they aren't when he first meets them, they soon are.

Diane is 16 years ago. She was pregnant at 14 and gave her baby up for adoption. She finds Dr. Zeus a good listener, but she's really starting to question why he needs to examine her so often.... and why he writes so many prescriptions for her when she doesn't need them.

Dave is an employee of the state medical board. He stumbles over an old case of a woman filing a complaint of Dr. Zeus. According to her, she saw him for an injured knee. He got her hooked on pain killers .. and then he assaulted her.

Dave is a little concerned about complaints that go nowhere. He gets an anonymous call about Dr Zeus and then a video of the doctor touching a young teenage girl.

These lives intertwine and there are consequences to be faced.

This is a crime thriller ... what is called a white coat thriller. No dead bodies ... no police chases.. no explosions. Suspense starts with the first page. Characters are so credible I wanted to slap some sense into Diane. I imagined all sorts of things I could do to the doctor.

I know we've all heard horror stories of one kind or another about some physicians who are not on the up and up. As someone who worked many, many years for OB-GYN physicians, I feel it very necessary to point out that in this specialty, a doctor .. male or female... a nurse practitioner, physician's assistant or any other kind of provider is never, ever left alone in an exam room with a patient. There is always at least one employee in the office until the patient walks out.

Not an original theme, but it is well-written.

Many thanks to the author / Real Nice Books / Netgalley for the digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Profile Image for Petra.
814 reviews77 followers
August 17, 2017
3.75 stars. Told from three different points of view, this was an interesting story about a narcissistic doctor, a vulnerable teenage girl, and an ardent investigator at the medical board.
At age 14, Diane fell pregnant and after giving birth to a baby girl, gave her up for adoption. She has been seen regularly by Dr. Hartwicke Zeus who takes a special interest in her. Diane is vulnerable, feeling lonely, and easily falls for the charms of forty-something Zeus.
David is new to his job at the Board of Medicine. A job he mainly took to earn some money to pay off his large student debt. When he comes across a file with a complaint against Dr Zeus, he is intrigued.
I found the medical board investigation aspect of this really interesting. Not knowing the first thing about this process, I can't judge how realistic any of this was, but it felt completely believable to me. The strength of this was in the characterization of the three characters I mentioned above. You really got to know them. In the case of Dr Zeus, this wasn't a pleasant experience. The man had no redeeming features whatsoever and didn't even hesitate to use his own teenage daughter as a pawn with no regard for her emotional well-being. His attitude towards females in general was beyond belief. If you enjoy getting into the mind of a totally egotistical, manipulating, and contemptible person, he's your man.
Diane was frustrating. One moment, she was incredibly naive and kept repeating the same mistakes over and over again, the next moment she came across as quite clever and with plenty of empathy for other people.
I really liked David. He's your generally nice guy who is trying to do his best. At the end, I would have loved to read about his meeting with his fiancée's Dad. I didn't like the open ending to that part of the story, or put it another way, I needed more.
The only other thing that was a bit off was the portrayal of Diane's parents who somehow turned from completely inadequate at the beginning into the most caring and understanding parents ever.

Overall, something a bit different and really interesting. Contains some strong language and sexual situations, but not graphic or gratuitous.
I received an ARC via NetGalley.
Profile Image for Jane Shambler.
779 reviews25 followers
September 20, 2021
So, this book was not for me. I know it happens. But I didn't enjoy reading about it.

It's a book about a doctor who abuses his patients sexually and hooks them on drugs.

Just not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows).
1,553 reviews321 followers
August 8, 2017
Immediately this book reminded me of the opening scene in Hand that Rocks the Cradle. Where the gynecologist is clearly not using gloves as he's "examining" his female patients. Dr. Zeus takes it a step further with drug induced rape and taking advantage of a teenage girl.

This book volleys back and forth through the POVs of Dr. Zeus and his sexual misbehavior, David, a lawyer who looks deep into the case of women accusing Dr. Zeus of sexual misconduct and Diane, the teenager that Dr. Zeus manipulates and feeds drugs to so he can conquer and feed his sexual appetite - his wife and mistress and other "girlfriends" don't hold a candle to her young, innocent skin.

This doctor is a deplorable human being on every level. You hate him from the very first page. You applaud David for not looking the other way for an easy victory in court and you want to shake some sense in Diane. The author does an outstanding job of putting you in their minds. The fact that this can, and does happen, is skin crawling. Physicians abusing their power is a very real thing and while this is a fictional book, the subject matter is all too real. As someone who finds the human psyche fascinating and especially in the case of real to life situations, I was deeply engrossed in this novel. While the subject matter may be difficult for some readers, it does not take away from how well written it is. I could go on and on and on about everything the author explores in this book, but I won't - I will just suggest that if the above is anything at all that you're interested in, pick up a copy of this book.
Profile Image for Donna Davis.
1,760 reviews238 followers
August 18, 2017
Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and Real Nice Books for the DRC, which I read free and early in exchange for this honest review. This novel was published earlier this month and is for sale now.

Doc Doc Zeus is a tough one to review. There are strengths that drew me at the outset and I thought I was going to love it; unfortunately, the literary aspects and a blind spot or two regarding women and rape have kept me from cheering and promoting the way I expected.

Conceptually, it’s innovative and gutsy. We have Diane, who at 14 has been manipulated by a conservative Christian group and agrees to carry a baby rather than have an abortion.

Diane’s physician is Dr. Zeus, and he is being paid by the church that is housing Diane. Diane is thrilled because she is made to feel heroic, special, for deciding not to end the pregnancy. At age 14, she is right in the throes of the all-about-me stage of adolescence, and this is the strongest part of Diane’s development as a character. Of course, once the baby is born and sent off to live with adoptive parents, Diane is no longer being spoiled and petted, and so she is in a vulnerable place. Her parents are not as available as they might be, so she is isolated, and makes an excellent target for a guy like Zeus.

Zeus is pond scum, a serial rapist, a liar and a thief. He conspires to direct his hospital’s lab business through an intermediary company he owns for no purpose other than to drive up costs and line his own wallet. The guy is so toxic and free of any redeeming qualities that I couldn’t read this story for very long at a time; there are other reasons, too. I’ll get to them in a minute.

Our third main character is Dave, who works for the state’s medical board. Dave is frustrated by the lack of interest on the part of the state in pursuing Zeus legally. Why is this guy allowed to practice? There’s plenty of documentation to show that he should not only be stripped of his license, but be behind bars. Why can’t this happen?

The best part of the book is the opening, not to mention the quirky, engaging title. When we begin, the narratives by Diane and by Zeus make me alternately laugh out loud and groan. It’s dry humor, savagely funny. I want it to stay that way.

Sadly, by the thirty percent mark, I am starting to wonder whether a high profile editor might be needed to assist with the literary aspects of this thing. The last time I saw this sort of problem was also with an author that had a lot of technical expertise and a lengthy, successful career in an area that dovetailed with his novel; Keech is retired from a state attorney general’s office. He has plenty of knowledge regarding state bureaucracy as it applies to physicians, but the elements a novel requires—character development and above all a story arc, with the action and urgency rising around the 75 or 80 percent mark and then falling back toward a conclusion, are simply not present. Our hero, Dave, is trying valiantly to shut Zeus down, but readers won’t engage with the amount of bureaucratic detail here. This area needs to be condensed, and Dave needs development as a character. The setting is nearly absent.

The other problem here is a certain tone-deafness regarding the book’s audience. Potentially, this story could be a rallying cry for women that have experienced rape and for anyone that has been molested as a child or when they were vulnerable. There are so many out there.

But for these readers, this is a hot-stove issue. Less is more. This reviewer has not even been there, and yet the level of detailed sexual predation in this book is painful to me, and unnecessarily so. Chapter after chapter; page after page. Most people that would otherwise champion a novel like this one, won’t finish it because it’s too hard to read. The crime itself should wink in briefly, decisively and memorably, and then the story should be built around it.

I would also change the ending.

To be sure, I am convinced that Keech is on the side of the angels, and I would bet my last dollar that he has seen or heard of a situation similar to the one in this story. I suspect that he’s a good man who is transitioning from his career in state government to a career as a novelist, and trying to use fiction to make a difference. For this reason also, I wanted to be able to promote this book and send out a Twitter storm telling people to read it. I avoided writing this review, because it isn’t the one I had hoped to write.

With a great deal of TLC, this story could be rewritten in a way that would work. The idea is strong, but the execution is lacking. A high profile editor might be very useful here, and if that happens and a rewrite significantly improves this work, I would be willing to reread and review again. But as it stands, I cannot recommend it.
353 reviews1 follower
August 17, 2017
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC of this book.
This is a book about a despicable doctor who sexually abuses some of his patients and gets them hooked on drugs. It really doesn't have much to commend it. The characters are not well developed and most of them are not likable. The descriptions of sex are matter of fact and not interesting. The action is slow until the last part where it picked up enough to keep me reading. The description of the book and the background of the author made me hope that a strong Medical Board would step in. That was not really the case. 2.5 stars.
Profile Image for Cat Ellington.
Author 28 books18 followers
November 15, 2018
Featured at the Review Period with Cat Ellington from 2018-10-31 - 2018-11-14, Doc Doc Zeus by Thomas Walton Keech has been archived for its place in the Reviews by Cat Ellington Complete Anthology book series.

• Thank you kindly, Real Nice Books, Thomas Walton Keech, and NetGalley!

The Review Period with Cat Ellington: https://catellington.blogspot.com/
Profile Image for John.
296 reviews
July 30, 2017
Despite the goofy title, this book is serious and often disturbing. Dr. Zeus uses his position to sexually abuse young women. One young woman, Diane, grows suspicious of Zeus’s behavior as he grows more violent in their relationship. The book seems particularly timely as this reader lives near Lansing, MI and the descriptions of abuse mirror the descriptions of alleged abuse by the MSU gymnastics coach. Further, the story of a powerful and arrogant Zeus who rapes Diane has numerous ties to Greek Myth. Overall, this book is more complex than anticipated and worth a read.
310 reviews6 followers
June 1, 2017
Diane is a teenager, who got pregnant at age 14 and gave her baby up for adoption . She was under the care of Dr. Zeuss, who continued to want to see her, even after there was no longer a medical need for that. He first befriends Diane, then supplies her with drugs and develops a sexual relationship with her that becomes more and more abusive as time goes on.
David is an investigator with the medical board and investigates Dr Zeuss after a complaint of rape by another woman and is frustrated when his efforts are thwarted by this and other investigations.
Doc Doc Zeuss grabbed my attention when it became available on NetGalley, because I worked at an insurance company fraud department, where we investigated the schemes described in this book. The upcoding of services, the inaccurate medical records, the kickback schemes etc. I also experienced first hand the reluctance of the medical boards to convict the doctors, rather a slap on the hand, continuing education and fines, so they can go back and continue their schemes. The author accurately reflected this reluctance in describing David's frustration of being able to bring charges against a repeated offender, Dr. Zeuss, who in addition of misrepresenting his medical records, also sexually abused innocent women.
The book was a real page turner and an easy read. I would have liked to know a little more about the circumstances that led to Diane breaking up with the baby's father and giving up her baby. Overall 3.5-4 stars.
Thanks NetGalley, the publisher and the author for the advanced copy.
Profile Image for Randi Robinson.
570 reviews10 followers
August 1, 2017
Diane was young girl who had gotten pregnant at 14 and gave the baby away. She was helped by a church that was almost a cult and had attended their church school. Now she was back at her regular school. She felt that she did not fit in anywhere. The kids at both schools treated her like a freak. The one person she could talk to was Woody who had been into drugs in middle school and was clean now, living in a garage and working two part time jobs.
Doctor Hartwicke Zeus was an obstetrician working for the church’s free clinic. He was treating Diane for postpartum “problems” doing gynecological exams every other week and “counseling” her. Diane trusted him and felt he was the only person she could talk to about her problems. Their friendship became sexual with the help of the pills he gave her to “relax”-Xanax and oxycodone to the tune of 480 prescriptions. Luckily Woody convinced Diane not to take the drugs and he kept the prescriptions.
Doc Zeus was a really creepy despicable villain who thought he could do whatever he wanted because he was a rich doctor. As I became more and more disgusted with him I kept reading hoping he would finally get his. I won’t spoil the ending but I was partially satisfied.
I requested a copy of this book from Netgalley because I love medical mysteries. While this book does not qualify as such it was a satisfying read. Thomas Keech’s background as an attorney and counsel to the Maryland Board of Physicians and as a juvenile counselor served him well in this book. I am looking forward to reading more of his works.
432 reviews
January 4, 2018
I received a free advance e-copy of this book and have chosen to write an honest and unbiased review. I have no personal affiliation with the author. Dr. Zeus is a unscrupulous and despicable physician who sexually abuses a very vulnerable and impressionable underage girl. This isn’t the first and won’t be the last unless he is caught. He also prescribes addicting medication for each of them to ‘help’ their maladies and make them feel better. This man is unconscionable and without remorse as he attempts to control each of them. He seems to have a need to wield his power and control over every situation in his life and he appears to be sociopathic. He is a major manipulator and a real slime ball. This is an extremely well written novel as Mr. Keech describes in great detail each step that leads into the abuse and the hold the abuser continues to have over the victim. Great character development. We also see how the medical board and our legal system work in such cases and all the safeguards for the protection of all parties. This is an eye opener and well worth the read. I look forward to reading more from Mr. Keech in the future.
Profile Image for Vnunez-Ms_luv2read.
847 reviews18 followers
September 17, 2017
Gynecologist that preys on young women, is addicted to drugs, Did I mention he is also a cheater? This book is told from 3 different perspectives: the doctor, a 16 yr old patient and a relentless investigator who has issues of his own. Bring these three people together and what you receive is one heck of story. I could not put this book down. Awesome read. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review. I will look for this author again
127 reviews3 followers
September 11, 2017
I really wanted to be able to rate this book higher. It starts off well, but then rather stagnates and drags on.

The story is told from three different points of view: a misogynist doctor, a vulnerable teenage girl, and a determined investigator at the medical board.
I liked the way that the story had the different perspectives. It defenitatly kept it interesting. It is a powerful topic and had the potential of being a really great book.
1,246 reviews
October 12, 2017
This is a story of a 16year old girl grieving over an illegitimate baby that she had to give away and being abused by a perverted gynaecologist. I struggled with this, no likeable characters or any I could relate to .The writing style wasn't enabling and the descriptions pedantic. Not my kind of story and seemed to border on voyeurism.
Profile Image for Nancy.
92 reviews5 followers
October 25, 2022
This is a well-written story about some sensitive topics. You may not want to start this book unless you know you have time to finish it in one sitting. There are some situations that are graphic and go into detail, but you will end up more educated and better for the knowledge.

The book is very good. I highly recommend it. It is entertaining. You won't want to put it down.
Profile Image for Trina.
828 reviews9 followers
August 11, 2017
I received this arc from Netgalley.

A good, solid read. This book had me flipping pages like crazy. The things this doctor got up to was unbelievable. I enjoyed reading this book.
713 reviews54 followers
May 7, 2019
Difficult to get into BUT once into the book very interesting read.
Complicated issues but all worked out appropriately at the end.
Very interesting twists and turns both good and evil.
Profile Image for Lynda Stevens.
236 reviews6 followers
August 1, 2017
We are first introduced to 16-year-old Diane Morrell as her legs are in the stirrups, being examined by the handsome and altruistic doctor, Hardwicke Zeus.

Diane, by the standards of the small-town bible belt area in which she lives, is perceived as damaged goods. She had a baby that she gave away for adoption at the age of 14. So it follows that attention from an older mentor figure who always schedules her appointments last might be flattering, though she is sharp enough to ask Dr Zeus why he does this.

Dr Zeus does, of course, have plans for Diane that are not really in her best interests.

Luckily for Diane, she has friends who are truly looking out for her. Dr Zeus Iis also being investigated by rookie lawyer David, who knows a little more of Zeus"s more nefarious proclivities. But will he be able to get a case against Zeus in time? And will Diane become completely ensnared in Zeus's clutches?

The story is told through the viewpoints of both villain, victim and seeker of legal justice. There is a reasonable amount of suspense in the telling, the author displays an awareness of legal.procedures and the frustrations involved in bringing ilvillains with clout to account.. Dr Zeus as satisfyingly sociopathic as a villain besieged with marital and financial problems. Finally Diane emerges from the start as a young woman for whom victim hood was never a true destination, especially as she gains in confidence and self awareness.
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