Plot/Idea: Fade to Blue, a breakneck medical thriller, offers readers a compelling setup following biotech researcher Sarah and her unorthodox methods to end Alzheimer's. The storyline is interesting and engaging, and the plot unfolds at an even, steady pace.
Prose: Scheer is an accomplished writer, able to craft tension that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The story's pacing is on point, and the prose flows smoothly throughout.
Originality: Scheer's thriller stands out for the capable tension he builds through intricate scene setting and believable events.
Character/Execution: The central characters serve the storyline well, particularly Sarah, as she struggles to come to terms with her dangerous new circumstances—while trying to find a way out.
Date Submitted: May 29, 2023
Sarah is an engaging protagonist, driven to unreasonable extremes in her work and then just as unwaveringly determined to thwart her enemy, the killer known as Marcel. She’s also gratifyingly savvy, as Scheer sets up a twisty battle of wits, crisply told, with memorable reversals and bursts of jolting action. In her many attempts to escape and outrun her pursuer, Sarah realizes Marcel is not working alone and that there’s no safe place for her to hide. He insists that following his instructions and taking his monetary compensation are her only guarantee that she may survive this ordeal. But Sarah, like readers, has an idea of Marcel's intentions for her once their "partnership" is over. What readers won’t suss out, however, is how she’ll try to turn the tables and save herself, her loved ones, and the potential victims of her research.
Fade to Blue kicks off with shocking twists and attention-grabbing characters. The ongoing discussions between cat and mouse are tense, especially as the lines between terrorists and anti-terrorists working undercover become blurred. The stakes are high but also personal—Marcel’s monologues, while not likely realistic, are a lot of fun. Filled with vivid characters and a fast moving plot, Scheer has written a winning page-turner.
Takeaway: The tense story of a scientist trying to keep her invention from terrorists.
Great for fans of: J. D. Barker’s The Fourth Monkey, Sharon Bolton’s The Split.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A
Combine a thriller story with the ethical inspection of an overworked medical researcher convinced that her work can change the world for the foundations of a powerful examination of medical possibility and danger that is Fade to Blue.
The story opens with pain ... Sarah's pain, as she struggles to rebuild her stamina after quitting smoking. This effort accompanies a brutal work schedule surrounding the search for a treatment for Alzheimer's that could change the world.
It all could be so much easier if she were free to conduct the one forbidden experiment that could result in real change. The lure proves too much as Sarah gives in to her convictions that her research is illuminating a path of positivity that others can't see, only to find that, in fact, its results introduce a nightmare, involving her in terrorism and brain-destroying power.
Hank Scheer crafts a powerful story and a set of characters that swirl around Sarah's decision with equally significant objectives and perspectives that clash in unusual ways.
There are chase scenes, foreign backdrops, and forces set in motion that jeopardize not only Sarah's life and her purpose, but the results of an experiment gone dangerously awry. As deaths mount and Sarah finds herself far from her objectives and her supportive friends, readers follow her into a world replete with ethical and political twists.
Scheer masterfully accents the changing landscapes and situations that move from a research's illicit decision to lives and nations affected by the release of a new force of adversity and challenge into the world. He navigates Sarah's changing perceptions with a deft hand to outlining criminal and legal special interests alike; both of whom intersect with Sarah's life in unpredictable ways.
Thriller readers (especially those interested in medical conundrums which lead the protagonist into uncharted ethical territory) will relish how the technological and medical aspects of the story neatly dovetail with individual perspectives and special interests.
Libraries seeking medical thrillers which do a fine job of adding international intrigue into their mix will find Fade to Blue a powerful story of pain, redemption, and an earth-shattering mission to deploy a drug which could be used for good or evil, depending upon who controls it.
The strong characters, fast-paced action, and ethical dilemmas create thought-provoking reading suitable for book club discussion, contrasting nicely with other standout medical thriller genre reads.