A doctor-writer's third novel palps the body politic of organized medicine with some authority, and, along with the personal problem it has to equate, it manages to expose many of the encysted attitudes and more dangerous practices in this profession, as well as the dedication of many of its members. In particular it follows John Crest, through medical school, internship, to the time when he becomes the associate of Parkindale, in a small New England town, and marries his daughter, Emerald. A magnetic figure with a tremendous practice, Parkindale has little time to road, think or often examine; his often fatal mistakes are known to his colleagues; his children are still struggling against his dynastic domination. Before long Crest makes his choice, breaks with him and goes into practice alone. His marriage also dissolves, shortly after Emerald delivers a hydrocephalic baby and her father performs a gratuitous hysterectomy on her. After the war, Crest returns to Sentryville- with a new wife, but the same conflict to resolve. Still, Parkindale's death, as he faces a criminal charge, leaves Crest- and others- with a respect for the old man as well as a certain tolerance of his fallibility.... Not for the delicate, this entails a lot of strong medicine and radical surgical procedures, and much of it is close to the groin as well as the gut. Still, it is highly readable, and may do for the audience which has been spoonfed by Frank Slaughter.