AUTHOR: Marla L. Anderson
Star Rating: 4.5
I do enjoy a good legal thriller. I think many do. It’s the thought of battling for a person’s liberty, particularly if they happen to be innocent. Unethical by Marl L. Anderson is a little different to your typical courtroom drama. In this cleverly plotted novel, attorney, Josephine Rinaldi, is forced to investigate the goings on at the Kessler Institute where her father is getting help for his Alzheimer’s. There, she uncovers a conspiracy of illegal experiments and risks losing everything.
As I enjoyed this novel, I was reminded of a 1990s film starring Gene Hackman and Hugh Grant called Extreme Measures. This book, like the film, looks at ethics in the world of medicine, in particularly, the extent doctors should be allowed to experiment on humans.
All in all, this novel is a rich tapestry, strong on character and almost as strong on plot. Set in San Diego, it is a story written with a gold-tipped pen; a story full of complex characters, many, if not all of them, inherently imperfect and distrustful of others. And, I must say, I enjoyed it very much.
So, to the important bit. Can I recommend this book and who to? Well, the answer to the first part is a ‘big, fat yes’. Who to? Readers who enjoy a good thriller will find this ticks pretty much every box. In fact, this book is perfect for fans of John Grisham’s very popular book, The Litigators. Also, anybody interested in Alzheimer's might find this a bit of a page turner. Although my knowledge of the disease is limited, it seems the author has researched the subject well.
Enjoy! As thrillers go, it’s pretty thrilling.
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
“Thriller readers who choose Unethical for their daily dose of tension will find a fine blend of personal and professional conundrums in this story. Here, a San Diego lawyer struggles to care for an ailing father with Alzheimers while simultaneously fielding her work.
Enrolling him in a clinical study at an institute at first appears just the solution for simultaneously caring for him while she does her job, but when questionable medical processes arise during his treatment, Josephine finds herself embroiled in a case that strikes too close to home.
Medical ethics demand that Dr. Adrian Kessler sacrifice the most important part of his examination to let nature take its course with sufferers at the end of their lives. Experimental protocol demands that this process be artificially manipulated for the sake of the greater good in developing an effective treatment. And so he errs on the side of science, entering into a gray area that places his career and Josephine's life on the line.
Think the style of a Robin Cook medical investigation, but with more of a focus on ethical conundrums faced by science and the law as the story evolves. Add suspense and intrigue as Josephine draws too close to a truth that ultimately challenges her own ethical foundations. Add a dash of hope as she faces her father's miraculous recovery and suspects that much more is involved than a successful research project.
Unethical excels in its ability to introduce ethical challenges throughout the course of the story as different discoveries affect and reinforce the positions of all involved. This focus lends a psychological and philosophical depth to the inspection that questions the ultimate motivations of researchers who operate both for the greater good and their own scientific acclaim.
What is worth the price of seeing a loved one return from the living dead? Jo is about to find out as she questions whether justice applies to seeming miracles that come at a high price. In a world where investigations assume the guise of subterfuge and the fine line between good and bad guys is mercurial, what side should Jo choose?
As her own father becomes entangled in the web of truths and lies, he, Jo, and others struggle to do the right thing as the situation spirals out of control.
A wonderfully tense thriller evolves, offering legal and ethical twists and turns that should appeal to fans of Robin Cook's medical investigative pieces and John Grisham's lawyer dramas alike.”
--D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
I enjoyed reading “Unethical, A Psychological Thriller” by Marla L. Anderson who, in my opinion, is a brilliant author who has written an exciting, intriguing, and exceptionally entertaining story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I feel this author is gifted and very talented for writing this very creative and thrilling story.
I also like the way the author writes in a very professional manner with a style that is highly descriptive, concise, crystal clear, and dramatic. For example,
“Three days later, Jo hadn’t heard back from Scott Benson, but she was too ill to care. She lay in bed, immersed in a miserable self-pity, surrounded by wadded up tissues. She’d come down with whatever virus was going around the office. Her throat felt scalded with acid and every muscle ached. Just lifting her stone-heavy head from the pillow took all the willpower she could muster. When the front doorbell chimed downstairs, she cursed at whoever had the audacity to disturb her suffering…”
I felt the writing was fast-paced and the action scenes are highly intense. And, in my opinion, the story has a great amount of love and very heart-warming aspects to it.
In my view, this author has an excellent sense and unique talent for gradually building up throughout this book a seriously thrilling drama. I felt the story is written in a unique, creative, and very imaginative way which made the story fascinating to read.
Here is another brief excerpt to show you what I mean,
“She struggled to wrap her mind around putting herself and her father at risk. But if what Scott said was true, they already were. Someone out there was ready to use any means necessary to get control of them, with or without Scott’s cooperation. She had to admit Scott’s plan had merit. By making it look like they were complying, they might control the outcome. Assuming he’s telling the truth. The possibility that he was lying was too horrifying to contemplate…”
Finally, I found this story to be fresh and uncommon with unexpected twists and turns as the author winds the reader through this captivating story. I also liked the ending very much and felt the ending was warm and carefully crafted and a pleasure to read.
All in all, I felt this story is original, and very well done! Highly recommended!
It was my pleasure to receive a free copy of this book but that does not in any way affect my opinions in this review of an excellent book."