Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Syndrome - Featured Author Book Review

book cover art for Syndrome by Thomas Hoover Syndrome
by Thomas Hoover
Genres: Mystery, Thriller

     Dr. Karl van der Vliet is an undisputed genius who's medical research results in the ability to work miracles. He realizes a way to use adult stem cells that when injected into unhealthy organs, they can rebuild, regenerate and basically fix themselves. This process is the proverbial fountain of youth that can keep diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, heart disease, and cirrhosis at bay indefinitely. Enter Alexa, she suffered an illness as a child that resulted in scar tissue in her ventricle which has been getting worse over the years. Her mother has been diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer's and her brother Grant, the black sheep in the family, is pushing Alexa to join the clinical trials which could heal them both.

     While I enjoyed this book immensely, something really bothers me about it. Ally and her mother have disowned Ally's brother Grant after their father, Arthur, has an accident with a hunting rifle that was no accident. Arthur becomes depressed after his failure to meet the mortgage on the business and feels the only way to dig his family out of this financial hole is to take his own life in an accidental manner so they can receive his life insurance. Granted Arthur wouldn't have been in the situation if he hadn't have mortgaged the business to loan money to his son, we all need to take responsibility for our own actions. Arthur could have refused to help Grant, and the fact that Ally managed to turn the company around and save the business after the insurance company ruled her father's death a suicide and refused to pay up shows that Arthur didn't need to resort to such desperate measures. Yes, Grant is a fairly unsavory character but maybe he would have been a bit more caring towards his remaining family if they hadn't wrongly blamed him for his father's suicide.

     There is a dark and murky side to this tale and an age old moral dilemma. Just because the technology is possible to do something, does not necessarily mean that it should be done. The theory was raised in Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park and Dr. Karl van der Vliet ponders basically the same thing. Unfortunately when humans can wield power that only God should have, they end up with a God complex and start believing that they can do anything that they desire, no matter the consequences to "the little people".

I give it 4 star review graphic 4 stars!

     Also, don't forget that you can download most of Thomas Hoover's work as free ebooks from both Amazon and the author's website.

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