New on the bookshelf: The Madhouse
Lawrence Matrick, MD, FRCPC, spent most of his nearly 50-year career teaching and working in the Vancouver area. Prior to his retirement, he was an assistant professor in medicine and psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. He also taught medical students and supervised psychiatric residents at the Vancouver General Hospital, while also running a full-time private practice.
The Madhouse (2019) is his second work of fiction.
Briefly describe the subject of your book.
I drew from an extremely evocative world where danger lurks around every corner, especially where medicine is practised in a psychiatric institution in the early 1960s. But The Madhouse is more than just a gritty crime thriller. I am a retired psychiatrist with experience as a mental hospital resident. I sought to employ the medical practises of 20th-century Psychiatry to terrifying effect. This novel is not for the faint of heart. It is chock full of bone-chilling afflictions and remedies, ranging from venereal disease to lobotomies and shock therapy. I made great effort to include them without ever seeming gratuitous. As an added bonus, I added an epilogue detailing a brief history of the evolution of mental institutions.
Briefly describe what motivated you to write this book.
Mental illness is now in the forefront of most publications, newspapers, radio and TV. It was long considered the “let’s not talk about this” and the “hush-hush” areas in our society, but no longer. I attempt to give the reader some insight as to mental illness in the past and the awesome changes going forward. My next book, M.D. Confidential describes all the diagnostic categories of mental illness. It will be published in the next few months. Details will be posted on my website (lawrencematrick.com).
Why will your book interest readers?
The public is becoming more aware of the devastating effects of mental illness on families and throughout society. Physicians and all those in the health field must be more cognizant of mental illness and the diagnosis, therapies and treatment modalities now available to the individual, the parents, families and the community.
The Madhouse is available in libraries, Indigo bookstores, Amazon and via lawrencematrick.com