Young doctor Linda Ford swaps a busy London teaching hospital for a six month post at a small West Country General Practice. She soon discovers that countryside life is far from uneventful.
John Cooper, the senior doctor, warns Linda not to get emotionally involved in her cases. But Linda can’t help taking a personal interest in her patients, particularly when their problems seem to be more than medical. And as this is the late 1970s, Linda also faces some misgivings about a female doctor. Especially a young and pretty one.
Linda clashes over medical matters with Dr Peter Cooper, the older doctor’s son. But there is an undeniable attraction too. Where will it lead? And as Linda is keeping Peter’s place until he joins the practice as his father’s partner, what will her future hold?
Ebook: £1.99: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IXVMROU/
Paperback: £5.99: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1909752126/
About the author
Jean McConnell is a prolific writer of plays, television and radio scripts, and short stories. Her stories have appeared in anthologies and magazines worldwide. For television she has written for the BBC (including the popular BBC medical drama Dr Finlay's Casebook), Granada and channels in the USA and Europe. Jean's radio plays have been heard on the BBC and in Germany and Zambia. Her plays have been performed in theatres around the UK and internationally. She is a member of the Crime Writers' Association and a Vice President of the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.
Linda meets old Dr Cooper’s son, Peter, for the first time, while she’s standing on a chair, reconstructing a scene to figure out whether a patient had been telling her the truth about a recent gunshot wound...
Doctor Cooper left the room, and Linda found herself under the scrutiny of his son. It was a challenging, appraising regard. All right, thought Linda, so you’re worried that your father has a fool for a locum. Well, you are quite mistaken, sonny boy.
‘Your father has told me so much about you,’ said Linda. It wasn’t strictly true, but it scored her a point in the little duel they were engaged in.
‘And it’s all true,’ said Peter, cheerfully.
But his ears went pink, and Linda suddenly liked him better.
He poured them both a sherry.
‘Were you up on the chair for any particular reason? Mouse? Flood warning?’
‘I must have looked ridiculous, but there was a serious purpose. There was an accident today ‒ with a gun. I was trying to see how it could possibly have happened ‒ and I don’t think it could have. Not like they said.’
‘Tell us about it at supper,’ said Doctor Cooper, entering on her words. ‘And I’ll be very much obliged if you’ll stay down off the furniture. I’m too tired to set any broken bones this evening.’
When they’d drunk their soup, Cooper gave her his permission to talk. At once Linda told him about the incident at the Tomkins.
‘‒ and there was no mud either on his clothes and the rifle and I’m sure it could never have happened the way she said. In fact, I’m as certain as I’m sitting here that Mrs Tomkins was lying!’ Linda flung down her spoon heatedly.
‘More than likely, my dear. More than likely,’ said Cooper equably. ‘If you were as familiar with the intrigues and deceits of the female sex as I am, you wouldn’t find it so surprising.’
‘Challenge her, Doctor Ford, challenge her. Tell her you don’t believe a word of her pack of nonsense.’
‘She seemed nice enough,’ said Linda.
‘They all do. They all do.’ Cooper cut himself more pie.
‘But her story was definitely untrue.’
‘Catch her out, my dear. Go ahead. Have no mercy.’
‘My word, father, we’re in a very belligerent mood,’ said Peter.
‘Do you wonder. Six miles out to see Mrs Mandeville, only to have her clasp my hand and whisper the time for an assignation.’
‘Oh dear.’ Linda knew Mrs Mandeville was a newcomer to the district and had definite designs on Cooper, luring him to her house on any pretext. So far the doctor had nimbly avoided her wiles.
‘It’s a battle of wits,’ said Cooper cheerfully, ‘but I have a plan to confound the woman. I propose to turn up at the “wrong” time ‒ in fact when her husband is home, which will, I hope, both infuriate her and embarrass her, since there is nothing wrong with her whatsoever.’
‘What a devilish plot,’ said Linda, laughing.
‘’Tis rather. Have some more salad.’
‘You’ve yet to know my father,’ said Peter. ‘Don’t be fooled by that old-world, disarming bedside manner.’
‘Nothing wrong with a bit of charm, my boy, to help the medicine go down.’
‘I’ll remember that,’ said Peter, and turned to refill Linda’s wine glass with a heart-stopping smile.
A chip off the old block all right, thought Linda. A good thing I’m older and wiser than I was or ~~~‘To more serious matters,’ said Peter, leaning towards her earnestly. ‘Tell us the intimate details of your personal life.’
‘Certainly not,’ laughed Linda. ‘They’re not suitable for your innocent ears.’
‘I might have guessed. I should think you’ve caused a bit of a stir down here in Sleepy Hollow.’
‘Of course. Wild parties. The lads of the village battering my door down ‒’
‘And who could blame them, indeed.’
Under his searching eye, Linda was lost for words and began concentrating on her plate. She was usually a fair match for this kind of banter. She felt cross with herself for finding his physical nearness attractive and distracting. She must keep her cool with this self-assured gentleman.
‘You didn’t bring Susan down this time then, Peter,’ said Doctor Cooper.
‘No, she’d got her head down in work. Needs to catch up a bit.’
So he has a girlfriend, thought Linda. That’s all right then. Yes. Good. Splendid.
‘Has Susan fallen seriously behind?’ asked the older doctor.
‘Don’t think so. Not sure really. Haven’t seen much of her lately.’
So there wasn’t a girlfriend. Ah.
‘I’m a couple of ladies behind, am I,’ observed John Cooper.
‘Yes,’ said Peter. And they all laughed.
Sound good? Thanks to Ian at Corazon Books I have a copy to give away to a follower, enter via the Rafflecopter form below a Rafflecopter giveaway