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From Merrimon Book Reviews
The Magic Bullet
The Magic Bullet by Andrew Neiderman
by Andrew Neiderman          

Medical Suspense: ethics, bureaucracy and pioneer research

Demi Peterson's young niece Jodi Walker needs a blood transfusion, Terminally ill from cancer, she takes a turn for the worse and her rare blood type O/Rh negative makes finding blood donors not the easiest task. Demi's son Taylor is the perfect match. He doesn't want to be a blood donor, but what family can resist the plight of a dying child? At the very least, doing something will ease their conscience. Taylor's hopeless gesture succeeds beyond their wildest dreams. Something in Taylor's blood causes a complete and immediate remission not only in Jodi but another cancer patient. Could this be the magic bullet, the key to a new effective cure?

For Dr. Allan Parker, cancer is the enemy, an enemy against whom he dedicates every thought. Too many lives have been lost already, too many families affected by this deadly disease while promising research itself is boggled down in rules and regulations and clinical trials. Looking into the faces of cancer's victims and all the suffering, how can he not try each and every means within his power to alleviate the suffering for real people in the here and now. Dr. Allan Parker's good intentions and pioneer spirit have unexpected consequences when the secret gets out. Taylor only has so much blood and cancer takes the lives of people every day, every hour, every minute.

Mobster Frankie Vico survived all his years in crime but now he has a death sentence hanging over his head --- cancer. When he sees the miraculous cure of a patient next to him, how can he not want the same cure for himself and with his past, any means necessary, even kidnapping and murder is par for the course. From an act of generosity to a deadly chase, Taylor and Dr. Parker must work together to save their lives.

Andrew Neiderman's THE MAGIC BULLET gives a chilling look into the ethics of medicine, the often slowed down cog-like bureaucratic safeguards meant to protect patients and the business aspects of research that often delay research as well as promote cures. Against the impersonal side of medicine, Andrew Neiderman juxtaposes a range of characters, all who have a personal stake for good or evil in the magic bullet scenario. Indeed, the promise of an instant cure provides a catalyst to unveil the hidden tensions, hopes, greed and generosity of characters as they make choices. Their character defines itself through those choices. Andrew Neiderman writes a fast-paced medical thriller with just the right amount of character development and questions to keep the pages turning with interest not only in the resolution but also in the characters themselves. Although Andrew Neiderman poses thoughtful issues, the thriller itself presents them with a certain lightness and humor that makes this a fun read from start to finish. A shocking encounter with several twists towards the end step up the pace until the wonderful last line.

Andrew Neiderman's THE MAGIC BULLET is a quick, fast-paced
medical suspense that puts together a set of characters into a situation in which medical ethics and self-interest conflict.  THE MAGIC BULLET is not only a book for fans of medical suspense but will also appeal to those a bit more squeamish who wish to forgo the details of gore, plagues, and medical mayhem common in the genre and instead choose suspense that ratchets up the level of everyday scenarios and ethical scenarios in the news. Indeed, THE MAGIC BULLET is suspense that maintains the interest through the characters, the intersection of their motives, and an intriguing set of circumstances that bring them all together at cross purposes.  Although THE MAGIC BULLET poses ethical questions that add depth to the suspense plot and the subject of cancer is not a light one, THE MAGIC BULLET maintains a perfect balance of suspense and characterization to make it an excellent choice for readers who want to just relax or unwind into a fun exhilarating suspense.

Publisher:  Leisure Books (November, 2008)
Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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