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Pocket 8s: A Psychothriller About Choice, Chance, Timing—Euthanasia—and... Luck.
Amy Sewell. Amy Sewell, $12.99 trade paper (178p) ASIN B09NMJP5T5
Sewell (The Mad Hot Adventures of a Documentary Filmmaker) makes her fiction debut with a mesmerizing crime novel, which opens with Dutch, who runs an illegal aided-suicide business, helping a client, Phoebe, end her life. As part of her meticulous preparations, Dutch ensures that Phoebe has food in her stomach to prevent regurgitating the fatal medications and that Phoebe’s sole living relative, her son, Hal, isn’t home at the time. But soon after Phoebe dies, Hal unexpectedly returns, forcing Dutch to scramble to hide. In so doing, she leaves out an aromatic candle that could be linked to her. She escapes, only to learn that her illegal career is no longer a secret, forcing her to try to evade the law and still find a way to fund the care her disabled daughter needs. Sewell balances Dutch’s attempts to remain at liberty with her interior monologues justifying the morality of euthanasia. Dutch admits, “I do two things very well—play poker and kill people.” She adds, “both had a synergistic correlation that had to be in tune and balanced. Once this scale tips, too far one way, or the other, the sense of order changes and it ruins everything.” This seamless blend of a timely ethical issue with a strong thriller plot merits a wide readership. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 05/20/2022