Thursday, February 16, 2017

Deep Water by Christine Poulson

Christine Paulson's medical thriller, Deep Water, provides a glimpse into the highly competitive field of pharmaceutical research and development. The book opens to a clinical trial for a treatment for obesity. But something goes seriously wrong. Fast forward to a legal battle over the patent for the obesity treatment. While elsewhere in the lab, another researcher is trying desparately to find a treatment for rare genetic condition.

Three main players share the stage of Paulson's novel:

  • Katie, a medical researcher, just starting out and learning the hard way about lab politics, funding and ethical dilemmas
  • Rachel, a mother desperately hoping that Katie will find a breakthrough treatment for her ill daughter
  • Daniel, Rachel's husband and lawyer, involved in a pharmaceutical lawsuit asserting a company's claim to a drug patent.
These three characters are drawn into a web of murder, arson, and betrayal. And ghosts of a past relationship threaten to drive a wedge between Rachel and Daniel's marriage. As Daniel and Rachel want so desparately to find a cure for their daughter, the lines of ethics start to blur.

Readers will learn a lot about the field of medical research (some fascinating and some rather troubling). Poulson's work reveals the temptation everyone faces to cut corners; but when lives are at stake, the consequences can be chilling.

Grab a copy of Deep Water and immerse yourself in a maze of medical mystery!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Deep Water from Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Oswui: King of Kings by Edoardo Albert

Oswiu: King of Kings is the concluding book in a trilogy detailing his ascension to the throne during the Dark Ages (early 400AD). One gets a very clear glimpse of a time of barbaric wars rife with deceit and treachery.  When kings made alliances and entrusted their children to foreign kings for the sake of peace. Oswiu's family had forsaken worship of pagan gods and were followers of the one true God. But the pull to return to the familiar gods of their ancestors was an ever present struggle. Especially when surrounded by enemy kingdoms who mock your God.

It's quite a sweeping trilogy that is based in large part on fact, helpfully explained by the author in his end notes. Written histories from the Dark Ages are understandably scant but Edoardo Albert has pieced together as much as he can to create the skeleton of the story and then added vivid details to flesh out the body of the work.

For those who have not read the prior two books (or who need a little refresher on the details), the author provides a very helpful summary of books one and two. I would, however, strongly recommend beginning with the first book to understand much of the power struggles. A complete cast of characters and a bit about each is included at the beginning of the book as well as a glossary for words which may be unfamiliar to readers. And lastly, the author includes a brief pronunciation guide. All excellent resources for readers!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Oswiu: King of Kings from Kregel Publications for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.