Monday, May 28, 2012

Dead End Deal by Allen Wyler

Summary (Courtesy of GoodReads):   World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world. His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions. But when the procedure is slated for testing, it all comes to an abrupt and terrifying halt. Ritter’s colleague is gunned down and Ritter himself is threatened by a radical anti-abortion group that not only claims responsibility, but promises more of the same.

Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter turns to his long-time colleague, corporate biotech CEO Richard Stillman, for help. Together, they conspire to conduct a clandestine clinical trial in Seoul, Korea. But the danger is more determined, and more lethal, than Ritter could have imagined.After successful surgical trials, Ritter and his allies are thrown into a horrifying nightmare scenario: The trial patients have been murdered and Ritter is the number one suspect. Aided by his beautiful lab assistant, Yeonhee, Ritter flees the country, now the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin named Feist.

And here's what I thought:   I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy Robin Cook, James Patterson, or generally, like medical thrillers.    I'm putting that first here, since I usually don't review this genre on my blog (just in case you were thinking this was a YA novel).

The author has a medical background, and that is clear in this book --- when he writes about medical research, it's completely believable, and makes sense.   I also liked how there were a lot of twists in the story --- just when I thought I knew what was happening, and why, something would happen to completely turn me around.  I also wasn't always sure if the characters were good guys or not (which is a lot like real life, isn't it?).   Like a lot of good thrillers, I was kept guessing, and I enjoyed that.   I also liked how the author took the story beyond the United States and into the international arena.  

Author Allen Wyler 
As far as the characters in this story were concerned, I really didn't feel like I had a strong connection to any of them.  It was more the storyline that kept me interested -- the "what's going to happen next" factor, compared to the "I really care about this character."  That's fine with me --- I don't need to love a character to be curious about what's going to happen with them (or to them).   The author did such a good job with the pacing and the storyline that I just kept turning the pages.

Please note -- if strong language is a turnoff for you, then be advised there is a fair amount in this book, especially when Feist is our primary viewpoint.  I believe that the strong language used suits the character using it, but I know some readers find the frequent use of the F-word to be unsavory.

Thanks very much to Anna at Blue Dot Literary for sending me the info about this book.   To learn more about this book, and the author, please visit Astor + Blue Editions.

First lines (Prologue):  Seemed like a dynamite idea twelve months ago.  Still did, for that matter.  But now Marge Schwartz was killing him because of it.


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