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February 21, 2003 - Image 70

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-02-21

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Arts Enter ainment

On The Bookshelf

Super Sleuths

Local authors pen thrillers.

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preeminent in studying her condition.
"I want readers to understand what
it's like being a doctor and to learn
Jewish doctor, a Jewish
something through each book," says
attorney and a Jewish jour-
Rontal, who maintains his full medical
nalist — all from metropoli- practice and teaches at the University
tan Detroit — have a major
of Michigan.
accomplishment in common. Each has
"With this book, they will understand
written a thriller that recently has been
spasmodic dysphonia and its treatment
released. And each has put a little bit of with injections of a purified toxin from
himself into his daring hero.
the bacteria causing botulism."
Gene Rontal, a head and neck sur-
Rontal, who stays up late and gets
geon practicing in Farmington Hills,
up early to write, decided to make his
has come up with the second book in
character Jewish because he could
a series that spotlights the detective
relate to that. He also wanted to devel-
work of a Jewish head and neck sur-
op a Jewish hero who had both brawn
geon taking malpractice sleuthing
and brains.
assignments from an insurance
"I'm writing my books
in sequence," explains
Matthew Engelbert, an attorney
the author, already fin-
who works in development at
ished with the next vol-
Michigan State University, has self-
ume, about a serial
published a novella about a Jewish
killer, and working on
law student who exposes govern-
ideas for the one after
ment corruption and influences
critical elections.
"I enjoy writing and
Larry Altman, a retired newspa-
being a physician," says
per editor living in Rochester Hills,
Rontal, married with
has chronicled the undercover work Gene Rontal
two grown children,
of a Jewish reporter who discovers
"and I hope I can
and counters the emergence of a new
express that feeling in the series."
generation of Nazis.
All three main characters confront
Matthew Engelbert
grave dangers to themselves, and their
actions raise the suspense levels of the
When Matthew Engelbert, 34, was a
fast-paced mysteries.
student at Wayne State University Law
School, he toyed with an idea he
thought would make a
Gene Rontal
great movie. The father of
Gene Rontal has lots of ideas for
a friend, after hearing the
medical mysteries, and he's polish-
plot, suggested a book.
ing off one after another.
That suggestion
"The new book was easier than
recently materialized
the first because I have become
with Uncivil Procedure
more identified with my main
(1st Books Library;
character," says Rontal, 58, of
$9.16), currently avail-
Lethal Dose (SterlingHouse;
able at local bookstores.
The novel follows the
M atthew
"While working on the previous
dangers faced by Todd
En gelbert
novel, Sterile Justice, I learned a lot
Chase, in his second
about character development, pac-
year at the fictitious
ing and other skills that go into writ-
Keith School of Law.
ing fiction."
Chase, hired to assist the most presti-
Rontal's mystery, woven around the
gious professor at the school while dat-
medical and detective work of Dr.
ing the most attractive woman on cam-
_ Benjamin Dailey, unravels ,a complex
pus, probes the circumstances behind
plot as the doctor-detective searches for
the murder of his boss. The schemes he
the cause of the critical illness of his
finds involve the misuse of funds desig-
girlfriend while investigating a specialist
nated for urban renewal housing.

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