Jack M. Bickham, Author Tor Books $16.95 (316p) ISBN 978-0-312-93023-3
The central mystery of this potentially intriguing story is lost in predictable machinations, fragmented characterizations and trailing plot lines. In spite of these handicaps, however, the novel is timely and holds a raw appeal. Bickham (Ariel) explores the business of pharmaceutical research and the temptation to justify human experimentation. Taking a summer sabbatical from her lucrative East Coast practice, Dr. Andra Dover returns to her Oklahoma hometown to work with her mentor, Dr. Max Shrader, who operates a bustling clinic. His diligence and medical prowess have earned him the reputation as a miracleworker, and the devotion of the community in the economically depressed town. At Dr. Shrader's clinic, Andra's enthusiasm is met with hostility and suspicion. She, in turn, discovers incomplete patient charts, unorthodox treatments, questionable procedures and mysterious deaths, all of which point to drug experiments and industrial espionage. As Andra pursues her search, her own life is threatened. Melodramatic dialogue, plodding prose and several obvious cinematic chase scenes dilute what might have been a competent thriller. (September 25)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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