The Price of Compassion: The Golden City, Book Four

Written by A. B. Michaels
Review by Julia C. Fischer

The Price of Compassion is part of A. B. Michaels’ The Golden City series, though the five books do not need to be read in order. In this fourth installment, Michaels focuses on the early 20th-century story of Dr. Tom Justice. Hailing from a farm in Nebraska, Tom attends the University of Michigan and then Johns Hopkins medical school. After visiting his good college friend, Jimmy “Panda” Wong, in San Francisco, Tom remains in the Golden City to treat patients in Jimmy’s clinic in Chinatown. Here, Tom constantly crosses paths with Katherine “Kit” Firestone, who challenges him and frustrates him, and who, of course, he ultimately loves. In the midst of this, the earthquake of 1906 hits San Francisco, and in the destroyed and fire-ravaged city, Tom and Katherine use their medical training to help survivors. Framing the book is a legal trial that finds Tom accused of his cousin Eli’s murder, which occurred during the aftermath of the earthquake. Katherine, desperate to help Tom, hires him a lawyer so that he will hopefully be acquitted.

A.B. Michaels presents a sweeping and epic drama during the Gilded Age of the United States and takes the reader from Tom’s early farm life in Nebraska and medical school in Baltimore to San Francisco’s Chinatown, a train hospital in Texas, and William Muldoon’s hygienic center in New York State. It is immensely readable, with romance, medical history, natural disaster, and a murder and legal trial. The reader is in for a treat with Michaels’ tale of a gifted doctor whose mental state will ultimately affect his body and his romantic life. This book is highly recommended for those who love Barbara Taylor Bradford and John Jakes.