Blog Tour/Book Review: The Price of Compassion (The Golden City #4) by A. B. Michaels

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I’m delighted to be hosting the final stop on the blog tour for The Price of Compassion (The Golden City #4) by A. B. Michaels.  Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour.  (If you’re a book blogger who loves historical fiction, I can recommend signing up as one of Amy’s tour hosts.  She tours some great books!)

You can read my review of The Price of Compassion below.  You can also read an excerpt from the book here.  See the other great book bloggers who have taken part in the tour by visiting the tour page where you’ll find links to their reviews of the book, extracts and other content.

If you’re a US resident, the tour page is also where you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.  However, don’t hang about as entries close TODAY (12th November 2018) at 11:59pm EST.  Please read the terms and conditions for the giveaway.

The Price of CompassionAbout the Book

April 18, 1906 – San Francisco has just been shattered by a massive earthquake and is in the throes of an even more deadly fire.  During the chaos, gifted surgeon Tom Justice makes a life-changing decision that wreaks havoc on his body, mind, and spirit.

Leaving the woman he loves, he embarks on a quest to regain his sanity and self-worth. Yet just when he finds some answers, he’s arrested for murder – a crime he may very well be guilty of.

The facts of the case are troubling; they’ll have you asking the question: “Is he guilty?” Or even worse…”What would I have done?”

Format: ebook (296 pp.)    Publisher: Red Trumpet Press
Published: 27th August 2018         Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Purchase Links*  ǀ  ǀ
*links provided for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme

Find The Price of Compassion on Goodreads

My Review

The reader first meets Dr. Tom Justice in his prison cell, arrested on a charge of murder.  Jonathan Perris, the legal counsel employed to defend him by (friend or maybe more?) Katherine Firestone, is frustrated at Tom‘s unwillingness to talk about what happened.  He sets out to investigate, seeking out witnesses, talking to people who knew Tom and constructing a timeline of the events leading up to the crime with which Tom is charged.

Jonathan’s investigations, conducted with the help of his legal assistants, are interspersed with extended flashbacks, starting with Tom’s childhood on a farm in Nebraska, his teenage years, his medical studies and his move to San Francisco’s Chinatown.  In a neat touch, each chapter of the flashback sections starts with a quotation from someone who knew Tom.  The reader gets an insight into Tom’s early interest in medicine and healing courtesy of his grandmother, his eagerness to learn about not just what remedies work but how and why they work, and his questioning approach to the received wisdom (I use the term loosely) of the time about what is in a patient’s interest.

This is a very skilfully constructed book.  The changes in timeline and location are handled in such a way that the reader never feels lost.  Instead, a picture of Tom’s character gradually emerges that, looking back having finished the book, seems completely consistent with his actions when they are finally revealed.   Details about the murder are gradually introduced.  As well as the mystery element of the story line, the book includes the dramatic events of the San Francisco earthquake, its terrible aftermath and the darker ( or perhaps ‘tarnished’ would be more appropriate) side of the so-called ‘Golden City’.  I also learned some fascinating facts along the way, such as the existence of ‘railway surgeons’.  Yes, who knew there was such a thing?

The suspense is expertly maintained throughout, keeping the reader as perplexed as Jonathan about the the truth of what happened and why Tom acted as he did.  Only at the end is the full truth revealed leaving the reader, as the book description suggests, to ponder the question “What would I have done?”.

The author creates an interesting dynamic between Tom, Katherine and Jonathan, all of whom at some point face a moral dilemma between staying true to their principles and sense of duty, or following their hearts.   The dramatic and emotional ending to the book provides an intensely satisfying conclusion, for this reader at least.

Not having read any of the earlier books in ‘The Golden City’ series (The Art of Love, The Depth of Beauty and The Promise), I was worried about how The Price of Compassion would work as a standalone read. I needn’t have worried.   Using turn of the century San Francisco as the stage and scenery, as it were, the author has created a cast of characters who have ‘walk-on’ parts in some books in the series and starring roles in others. It’s very cleverly and skilfully done, making the series accessible at any point although I would clearly now recommend reading the series from the beginning.

I loved The Price of Compassion and I’ve added all the previous books in the series to my wishlist as well as Josephine’s Daughter, the next book in the series due out in 2019.  I’ve also signed up to join A. B. Michaels’ Readers Group via her website (details below) and received a thank you gift as a result – a free copy of The Art of Love, the first book in ‘The Golden City’ series.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

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In three words: Suspenseful, engaging, authentic

Try something similar…The Devil’s Half Mile by Paddy Hirsch (read my review here)

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About the Author

A native of northern California, A.B. Michaels earned masters’ degrees in history and broadcasting, and worked for many years in public relations and marketing. Now that she’s an empty nester, she has time to write the kinds of stories she loves to read. Her historical series, ‘The Golden City’, follows characters who make their way in turn of the twentieth century San Francisco. She says: “I love creating flawed characters I can relate to, who have to make difficult choices, and who long for happiness like the rest of us. So much was happening in the early 1900’s that help shape my novels. Once I tear myself away from the underlying research, they are fascinating stories to write.”

Currently Ms. Michaels lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband and two furry creatures who are unclear on the concept that they are just dogs. In addition to writing, she loves to read and travel. A dabbler in fabric art, she also plays bocce in a summer league. Her latest stand-alone novel, The Price of Compassion, is Book Four of the ‘Golden City’ series. It will be followed by Book Five, Josephine’s Daughter.

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One thought on “Blog Tour/Book Review: The Price of Compassion (The Golden City #4) by A. B. Michaels

  1. What a fantastic review, Cathy! I loved this book too and already picked up the first one in the series. I really love A.B.’s writing style. Thank you very much for hosting her blog tour & for your review. We appreciate you!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

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