I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Simple Cure by Lawrence W. Gold
Published by Grass Valley Publishing on August 16th 2013
Genres: Adult fiction, Thriller
Source: ARC from publisher
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A Simple Cure engages the reader in the search for the cure of malignant melanoma. While an uncommon skin cancer, one American dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 61 minutes). The incidence rate has tripled in the last twenty years.
When nature, in her ultimate act of irony, strikes Richard Powell, a cancer specialist, with malignant melanoma, a highly aggressive form of cancer, his wife, Terri devotes her life to curing the disease that ultimately kills her husband.While research laboratories are characterized as noble in search of cures, and proprietary drug companies are caricatured as ruthless and materialistic, too often, the distinctions aren’t so clear.The murder of a drug courier to obtain an experimental and promising treatment for malignant melanoma, unleashes a chain of devastating consequences.People for Alternative Treatment, a company created to find cures for rare diseases, had fallen on hard times and become a subsidiary of Kendall Pharmaceuticals, a company with very different values.Experimentation with a vaccine against tuberculosis is showing surprising effects in controlling malignant melanoma at PAT and UC Medical Center. Kendall is enthralled with the economic potential of such a treatment, while researchers are leery and have many unanswered questions.Kendall’s determination to push the vaccine into clinical trial at all costs is in conflict with Terri and her ethical associates.When clinical trials begin, the vaccine’s effects are miraculous. Soon, however, once again, we see the rule of unintended consequences.
And what a story it was. I won’t bother summing it up; you can read the summary above (if you didn’t skip it like I do sometimes when reading reviews). The problems appeared quite quickly, from the first chapter onward, and there were a few exciting twists. At one point I remember thinking, HOW IN THE WORLD is this going to resolve itself? I couldn’t see a happy ending in sight. But it wrapped up quite nicely. It also presented a lot of ethical issues (well, it is a medical thriller) that might be present in real life. In real life, I doubt it would be so easy to mess with medical studies and bring in extra people unnoticed, but I guess it happens sometimes and it wasn’t something I thought too hard about while reading. But when you do bring in people, especially people close to you, that does indeed bring in a lot of ethical issues to think about, and that’s more or less what happened. That became a big thing towards the end of the book.
One thing I admire about this book was the substance. It had so much more action and trickery and plot than I anticipated going into the book. Things were happening left and right and I was pleased to find I could keep up adequately. These evil people over here were doing things, Terri was dealing with her own life, these good people were busy doing their work, and people were dying. But like I said, the pacing was good, and the plot was always interesting. It was good to see the good guys’ side as well as the bad guys’ side, and it was also interesting how you weren’t quite sure of who the bad guys were because of how much they got involved in the evil. Oh, that guy didn’t really know much, so he wasn’t making any conscious evil decisions, so I can’t really consider him a bad guy, and so on. It kept you guessing until the end.
Also interesting to note is that people’s roles changed drastically throughout the book. Terri really didn’t have that much of a role in the beginning, but she became super important, the main character, I’d say, towards the end. Karl, the Kendall Pharmaceuticals thug, wasn’t really a menace until he became the prime bad guy, and then it turns out he was really controlled by the corporation. Who’s to blame? Matt starts out as just a guy at the gym but then takes up his old cop duties in order to get to the bottom of things. Things change a lot. You can never see what’s coming, but it doesn’t disappoint. And oh, the characters…
Matt: An all-around nice guy. And quite helpful as a cop. It’s a bit obvious that he and Terri have a thing (it’s not really spoilers-worthy), but the romance is by no means the central part of the story, and nor is it really unusual. It’s typical, I suppose. He does seem to want to protect her too much, and if nothing happened to Terri when she was alone, I’d say it was annoying, but things DID happen to Terri and she needed protection. Sure, she was awesome at defending herself with all her karate (or whatever she did) stuff, but she really couldn’t handle everything herself. She nearly died a few times. So he was justified in wanting to protect her. A good guy.
Karl (the Kendall Pharmaceuticals thug): He was EVIL. SO EVIL. I HATED him. I wanted him out from the start. He was just pure evil JUST TO BE EVIL and I could never really understand his motives until I realized, he’s really just a hateful person. He went to extremes. He deserved his fate.
I won’t write about anyone else because they’re not really noteworthy enough.
It was a good ending, I guess. A bit unexpected. And I admit, I was confused by the epilogue. But still, the main story had a happy enough ending and I was satisfied. I didn’t think there was a way for things to work out, but there was, and it was good.
Good vs. Bad
- bad guys (easy to hate!)
- writing style
- could possibly be hard to follow (but not really)
- other than that, I got nothin. It was a great book!