THE BRENDA MANEUVER by

THE BRENDA MANEUVER

By
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KIRKUS REVIEW

With some so-so puns (poor man's De Vries) and some solid savvy about Medicare abuse, Rosenberg makes a gently comic diversion out of this fraud-investigation-cumsoul-journey. Dr. Nicholas Kaminsky and his college-pal, lawyer Jim Franklin, have been running a tight ship at the New York City Health Care Evaluation Department--which reviews Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance claims submitted by doctors. But then come the startling claims of a Dr. Underwood--who seems to have collected ""three fresh eggs"" as fees from patients treated with ""holy dust."" (Nick and Jim fail to have Underwood declared officially bananas.) And even more disturbing is the matter of several disappeared psychiatrists--all dead and all still sending in claims! Certainly they're what Harry Pearl, a soon-to-be-eliminated loan shark, calls ""Sigmund Frauds."" (Nick, a would-be punster himself, is a bit jealous.) So Nick leads a medical/legal team into a computer chase to find the weak link in this master ripoff plot--while he's also revisiting his childhood traumas in the hopes of saving his marriage; wife Lynn has been hounding him to become a ""real doctor"" instead of a paper chaser; Nick seems to have a fear of coming out in the open to face patients; and his personality is split between timid, hard-working Dr, Nick and ""Crow,"" the joyful-jokester side discovered in his boyhood glory-days at good old Camp Glomar. Eventually, then, Nick and ""Crow"" will cohere. The marriage is saved. And, after computer toil, a murder, and some hard sleuthing, the phantom psychiatrists materialize as a bizarre con-combo. Decorated with eager-to-please yocks (""out of the frying pan and into the foyer"") and the authentically grimy innards of N.Y.C. offices: an amusing and companionable entertainment, notwithstanding Dr. Nick's less-than-compelling self-analysis.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1982
Publisher: Newmarket