Days of the Giants

Days of the Giants

by RJ Petrella


Publisher Wide Yard, Inc.

Published in Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


Days of the Giants follows intern Slater Barnes through a conflict between Boston City Hospital staff and corrupt municipal officials. Inspired by Boston City Hospital’s public mission to treat patients regardless of personal resources, Barnes finds meaning in his work and falls in love with the institution. But when corrupt city officials mastermind a moneymaking scheme that threatens the hospital’s very existence, Barnes and the rest of the BCH staff are forced to defend it. Then, a resident is murdered... Portions of the proceeds from sales will be donated to Boston-area charities.

Sample Chapter

I don’t like telling stories.

You should know that. My dad was the storyteller, God rest his soul, but you’re going to just have to settle for me. There’s a ton of other things that I’d rather do, believe me, and I can’t really write, but I’ve decided to try to tell you this story the best I can. My wife “encouraged” me to do it, to use a nice word. She’s a special woman, but she’s a royal pain in the rear sometimes.

She thought, and maybe she was right, that telling people what happened at Boston City Hospital when I was an intern there might help someone, somewhere. I don’t mean to get all philosophical here, but one of my old teachers used to say it’s some kind of a reflection. It’s hard to explain in a sentence, but that’s what I believe.

Let me tell you, we walked around that place with people who couldn’t be beat, not only as doctors, but as people. So to have seen some of the things that happened to them, it still makes me feel pretty bad, even today, after all these years. No joke. I mean, City was a hard place to train even in a normal year. What we went through my intership year, I wouldn’t wish on anybody. That’s why I’m going to tell you the story, if you want to hear it. I know you might’ve read about it in the newspapers or whatever, but you don’t know what really happened or why. I was there.

That hospital changed my life. You know the saying about the worst of times and the best of times? It was like that.

The other part of this is that my step-dad, Melvin Garrott, happened to be the president of Academy Hospital at the time. Academy was a private hospital, and it was supposed to be one of Boston City’s “sister” hospitals. Well, it was, and it was right next door to us, but our relationship was a lot hairier than that.

Mel and my mom got married when I was in my first year of medical school, only three years after my dad died. Honest to God, throughout medical school I hated Mel’s guts. Why? Well, I wouldn’t have told you back then, but what it came down to was that he wasn’t my real dad.

But I started to look at Mel a little different while I trained at City, and things got more complicated from there, you’ll see if you stay with me. And as hard as it was, in the end going through all that stuff helped me understand my own life better. I’m not saying I understand everything about what happened. I’m only giving you my part of the story, because that’s all a man can do. But I do know a good piece of it. And don’t expect me to start throwing fancy words at you that I learned in medical school. I don’t have the time. Or the inclination.

I’m in another “place” in my life now, as some folks like to say, but when you come right down to it, I’ll always just be Slater Barnes, the kid from Farview, New Hampshire, who won the Willow Creek Memorial Day Road Race when I was eleven. Ask my wife. If anything, the older I get, the more “mountain” I get, if that makes any sense to you. It’s like I’m going backwards.

In a way, you’re lucky that I’m even telling you as much as I am. Don’t take that the wrong way, I don’t mean that to sound like I’m high on myself. But I mean, a few years ago I wouldn’t have said even this much. We’re New Englanders, and we don’t talk about anything real personal, especially with people we don’t know. And I don’t know you from a hole in the wall. No offense.

I figure I’d better get the story out there now, while I’m still in the mood. That’s why I’m going to try and tell you what happened to Boston City—and me along the way.

Still, I’ll have to push myself pretty hard to go into the details. So, honest to God, don’t ask me too many questions.


Excerpted from "Days of the Giants" by RJ Petrella. Copyright © 2015 by RJ Petrella. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

RJ Petrella

RJ Petrella

RJ Petrella is a physician, research scientist and writer in Boston. He was born in Providence, R.I. and grew up in the city's West End. He has authored or co-authored a number of scientific articles and op-eds. Days of the Giants is his first complete novel. He is married with three children.

View full Profile of RJ Petrella

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