In Haymes’ debut novel, Dr. Paul Ochs goes from respected surgeon to inmate 9567245 in a Texas penitentiary.
The Bible teaches that pride comes before the fall, and few books exemplify this better than Haymes’ debut novel. Ochs is a man with good reason to be proud: He’s the chief of orthopedics at GlenHaven Hospital, and he lives in a mansion with his beautiful wife, Carol, and their teenage daughter, Jessie. He has money, family and prestige until the Texas Rangers take him away in handcuffs for multiple counts of Medicare fraud. In his mind, the victimless crime was justified: Carol had cancer, and the only cure was an expensive and experimental treatment. His motive was love, and it had saved Carol’s life. Against his attorney’s advice, Dr. Ochs goes to trial convinced he’ll be vindicated. But the story that the prosecutor, his colleagues and even his wife tell—that her cancer was just an annoyance to him—isn’t what he was expecting. Angry, betrayed and alone, Paul will have time to try to reconcile his reality with theirs while serving three years in prison. But even there, the clever doctor has an endless supply of justifications for ignoring the insights of those around him—until his cellmate, an intelligent blabbermouth named Rene, and Wanda, a nurse at the hospital where Ochs once worked, wear him down into admitting the truth, to them and to himself. Redemption must begin with acceptance, and Haymes expertly explores the rationalizations of a man on a personal journey he never wanted to begin but can’t afford not to finish. Although things wrap up a little too neatly, the lessons he learns make Ochs a compelling character.
A skillful examination of necessary lessons learned the hard way.