Vail Novelist Scores With Murder Mystery
by Thelma Rubinstein
The Vaily Daily
December 27, 2000
When he's not hiking, skating, or skiing, Joseph "Ted" McFadden
of Vail, a retired neurosurgeon, is writing short stories and novels.
"Hermes' Viper" is a recently published page-turner, a novel profound
What the novelist John Grisham does with law, McFadden does with
medicine, setting his novel in a large hospital where an unusual
number of deaths are happening. Drawing on his knowledge of hospitals,
medicine, and neurosurgery - in particular its successes, failings,
and flaws - he weaves a captivating tale of life and death in a
large Chicago hospital.
The riveting story focuses on Dr. Stuart Holton, as protagonist,
being stalked by a deranged woman afflicted with erotomania (Old
Maid's Insanity) and multiple personality disorder.
The novel begins with the loss of a beloved wife who has died
of a mysterious disease; Stuart is left with three children. As
he becomes aware that an unusual number of patients are dying, Holton
gradually begins to fear for his children, his parents, and a woman
with whom he recently has fallen in love. And the stalker herself
cannot find her own true identity among her many personalities.
The novel's plot is a cat-and-mouse game, vivid and exciting enough
to become a movie. In addition to descriptions of great beauty and
intensity, the book also expresses a profound philosophy.
"Hermes' Viper" is the first of three books to be published. Vail's
McFadden taps all of his experience from his childhood on a farm
in Mississippi, to his experiences in brain surgery, removing tumors
and squelching the burst of an aneurysm with a clamp he invented.
Thelma Rubinstein is a retired teacher of English with 25
years of experience, teaching many courses in literature in a
senior high school on Long Island.
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