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In recent weeks I’ve been exploring the characters of Not Her Father’s Son. This is the last instalment of the series.

The doctor, Robert Allen Klink, MD. His friends and family call him Allen, his instructors while at university, called him Robert, and to his patients it’s doctor Klink or doctor. A psychiatrist, for most of his career Allen has worked in the private sector, doing some of his most rewarding work with those facing death. It was the murder of his sister that brought him to work with the Department of Justice. Her death was the direct result of a DOJ agent who had not received adequate counseling after a stressful situation. During his practice as a psychiatrist, he has treated patients in all spectrum of mental illness, and though he never worked as a profiler with DOJ, he has tested his skills, in the dark of the night and privacy of his own office, against those he considers the best.

Allen is your basic white Anglo Saxon of German decent; he is a practicing Jew with a penitence for the literary vision of a psychologist, corduroy jackets with suede elbow patches. If you ask him, alone in a quiet room, he’ll tell you he is the reincarnation of a steam era mad scientist which explains his fascination with the time and culture. His favorite book is The Master of the World by Jules Verne. Though he prefers scientifically verifiable facts, he has  studied the work Edgar Casey.

His parents were married until death and he remains close to his three brothers. A man in his mid-sixties, Allen has been married to his high school sweetheart since they were of legal age. He’s never looked at another woman and though rarely looks at her in that same lust filled way he did when they’d first married, she remains the love of his life. There are three Klink children, two daughters and one son, all of whom graduated from university with majors in some form of medicine.  Marilyn, Allen’s wife, runs a tight ship and keeps a clean home. She’s never been diagnosed, to her knowledge, but  fights her nature for OCD and can’t walk past a flat surface without feeling the urge to clean it. She’s not allowed in Allen’s home office where he keeps his one major vice, smoking pipes. Nor is he allowed to smoke anywhere else in the house. His vast collection includes some from as far back as the Middle Ages and one he claims Henry the VIII once owned.

Though every bit the intellectual, one of Allen’s favorite escapes is fishing off a pier near his childhood home, using what his grand pappy used, a basic cane pole with a hook and a worm. During the warmest parts of the summer, he likes to sit with his feet dangling in the water drinking a cold glass of lemonade while he hooks a fish or two. His taste in music remains jazz or classical and he prefers a wind ensemble to a full orchestra. He attends operas, Shakespearean plays, and to appease Marilyn, the occasional ballet.

His greatest accomplishment, remaining happily married to the same woman for more than fifty years. If he has a regret, it’s those individuals he cannot or was not able save from self-destruction. The thing he fears most is outliving his children. When asked about his own death, he quotes Jules Verne “We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.”

 

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