Summer reading for cardiologists: Deadly Rhythm

Dr Samuel Goldhaber


August 09, 2013

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Dr Samuel Goldhaber turns his attention away from thrombosis to focus on summer reading with his review of Dr Peter Kowey's second thriller . Much has changed since Drs Goldhaber and Kowey were fellows in the same cath lab, but digitalis proves to be a uniting theme.


Murder he wrote: The cardiologist as novelist


This is Dr Sam Goldhaber for the Clotblog at speaking to you from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and for a change of pace today I'm going to review a book called Deadly Rhythm by Peter Kowey. This is Peter's second novel and, of course, like many novels, it is based on a lot of personal experience and knowledge.

The book is centered on poisoning from digitalis. I can certainly tell you that without giving away what happens. It is quite an adventure. The book is based, in a large part, in the Philadelphia area, and Peter hails from Philadelphia. I will also tell you in the interest of full disclosure that Peter and I were cath lab fellows together, both trained by Dr Bill Grossman.

This second novel of Peter's is even tighter and more action-bound and action-packed than the first, and it was certainly a page-turner for me. I decided to read it when I was traveling to the American Thoracic Society meeting in Philadelphia, because I did know the book was based there and it really made for an exciting tale, somewhat unpredictable in how the plot twisted and turned, and it required bringing back a lot of memories of all the things that can go awry with digitalis toxicity. Dig toxicity also holds a special place in my heart, because I was trained by Dr Tom Smith,whose lab invented the antidote, the antidote, to digoxin, which has been lifesaving for suicide attempts and homicide attempts, so I recommend Deadly Rhythm to you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I will try to show you the cover of it. 

This is Dr Sam Goldhaber signing off for the Clotblog.


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