October 09, 2011
A Cure to Die For by Stephen Mitchell
This was a very interesting book with an interesting premise. It's something that could conceivably happen in real life although the part of me who wants to believe in the good in people hopes that it stays fiction. Self described as a medical thriller, it definitely has an exciting plot, but not so medical that a regular person can't understand it.
A new plant has been developed and can be the cure for cancer and many other illnesses. But before it can be released, its creator Maury, is murdered and the evidence destroyed. Luckily, the creator had many good friends who don't want to see this cure get swept under the rug by profit loving drug companies and medical communities. One of his friends, Alex, comes all the way to Montana from California just to be surprised by information on this drug by a research assistant Cyd and a few other of Maury's friends, but decides to rush in and help them the best he can. But they are in danger themselves. Those who murdered before know there is evidence still out there hiding, and they'll stop at nothing to get it. Cyd, Alex, and the others have to run while at the same time try to find a way to get the drug released on the market and accessible to the average person. It's just going to take everything they have.
The characters as a whole were very believable in this book. Unfortunately there are just too many evil people out there and I think that Mitchell captured the tones of them very well as the antagonists in this book. His main characters I was a little less than enthused with as some of their aspects were a little less than believable (motivations for some things), but for the most part, they were intriguing and fit into the story well. I have to say my favorite character was probably Otis. He didn't have a huge role, but he had an important one and his personality through the book was kind and in general he was a good person. I also enjoyed another minor character, Abraham, even though he too played a very small role. As a farmer he provided a nice sense of normalcy to the craziness of the rest of the book.
For a plot, this was exciting as stated before. It has a very fast pace and I think that that's where this book has some faults. It tends to jump around a lot and skip time spans and as a whole makes the reading very choppy. I think the book would have benefited from slowing down and adding more detail while making the time line a little more structured. As it is the book felt hard to keep up with and it lost something in the telling. The first part of the book is more guilty of this as the time line started flowing better in the second part. The whole premise of the book is of urgency though and it still was a very interesting read. I do have to comment on the locations mentioned in the book. Having recently moved from Montana to Ohio, the first part of this book made me miss Montana as it did a great job of describing the area and reminding me of my time spent there. Probably not what the author was going for but still a nice bonus nonetheless. For those worried about the murder and somewhat more adult themes of this book, nothing is completely graphic and this applies both to the violence and the mentions of sex.
Definitely a good read. For those who like excitement and mystery, this is probably a good book to settle down with.
A Cure To Die For