(From the author):
Martin Firestone can't figure it. He knew his father, celebrity painter Leo Firestone, had a short fuse, but when he told Leo he'd been accepted to medical school, the old man threw a record tantrum. Just exploded.
Once Leo has calmed a bit, he tells Martin a story about his own father, Samuel, a legendary doctor in the small city of Hobart, NJ, but a man with some impressive moral and ethical flaws. During the summer of 1943, at the age of sixteen, Leo worked as his father's extern, during which time he witnessed a good deal of questionable behavior. Supplying heroin to an addict, trafficking in black market pharmaceuticals, performing illegal abortions, selling newborn babies to desperate adoptive parents all in a day's work for Samuel Firestone, M.D.
When Leo thinks his father has covered over a murder by diagnosing a heart attack, he spills his concern to his friend, Harmony Belmont, the girl next door, and the two teenagers decide to investigate. They trespass, break and enter, commit petty larceny, even dig up a grave. Their trail of clues leads to Fleischmann Scrapyard, where they uncover a major operation in black market metal, in the process running afoul of dirty, vicious Oscar Fleischmann, Samuel Firestone's longtime nemesis. By the time Leo realizes he and Harmony are in far over their sixteen year old heads, it's too late to just call off the investigation.
But there are loose threads in Leo's story, and they bother Martin. He goes snooping in Hobart, and like his father sixty years earlier, comes away with more junk than he'd bargained for.
Original title: First, Do No Harm
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Amateur