Mary Doria Russell

Random House
Hardcover/416 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6804-3
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"Intense characters, riveting plotlines, and amazing dialogue…"

Doc is a fantastic work of fiction that brings imagination, fact, and beauty together, in order to describe and “tell” each and every reader how overwhelming the life of Doc Holliday was.

Doc was born in Georgia to a mother who was absolutely beyond tough. When Doc first arrived into the world he almost passed away, until Doc was brought into emergency where they repaired his cleft palette. As Doc grew up, by the age of four, his mother spent all of her time working to educate Doc which turned out extremely well. Doc was able to read, write, and fell in love with music and orchestra’s who introduced Doc and his mother to some of the best classical music in the world. Unfortunately, when Doc’s mother passed on, he became an extreme enemy of his father – a man who remarried almost immediately after losing Doc’s Mom. Doc was taken in by his Aunt and Uncle and spent his days playing cards with his cousin Martha Anne, and decided to follow his Uncle into the world of dental medicine.

Now, when Doc falls in love with one of his cousins, and begins his own dentist profession, he also finds that he is dying of tuberculosis. From Georgia, he must travel to Dodge City in order to breathe and work in a dry place that allows him and his lungs to feel better. Unfortunately, as time moves on, Doc finds himself playing cards, drinking, and dealing faro. He also falls for Kate Harony, a prostitute with an amazing background who lives in the world of Dodge City. This is a woman who can speak classical languages, and comes from a ‘classy’ past that hardly anyone knows about.

Wyatt Earp was a man who wanted to buy horses and breed the animals, making money for himself and his brothers. When he begins, he finds himself working as a deputy in order to make money for his future dream. Morgan, his brother, is another deputy in Dodge City who sends out a telegram to let his brother know to come back to Dodge City because the Sheriff has been gunned down.

On top of all this is a mystery. A young man by the name of Johnnie has been found dead inside a saloon that was set on fire. Doc, Morgan, and Wyatt soon begin to understand that there is a conspiracy that led to the killing of the young man, which brings them through a story of thrills, chills, and shootouts that help solve this young victim’s death, as well as the “price” on Wyatt Earp’s head.

From No. 24 Dodge House, which is the office of Doc and his dental profession, to the deserts and gunslingers at the O.K. Corral, this author has done a magnificent job of combining fact and fiction that walks the reader through Doc Holliday’s life as seen through the eyes of friends, family, and a woman named Kate who stood by Doc’s side during his disease.

With this author’s amazing imagination and creative chapters, the reader can actually feel as if they are walking down the main road of Dodge City, Kansas. They can taste the dirt that is being whipped around by the wind, and feel the intense heat on their backs. They can hear the noises of the saloon, and listen to the beautiful accent of Doc Holliday as he works, lives, learns, and deals with life and ‘the end’ that is creeping up on him every single day.

Intense characters, riveting plotlines, and amazing dialogue, Doc is a fantastic novel that all readers will absolutely love.

Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor