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Side Effect

Sandra Feder

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Thornwood Publishing Company LLC

Published : 2000

Copyright : Sandra Spewock Feder

ISBN-10 : HB 1-930541-05-8
ISBN-13 : HB 978-1-930541-05-4

Publisher's Write-Up

Have you ever licked your finger to turn a page in a book, or to separate the pages of a letter? A harmless gesture, unless you died as a result of it.

In the opening pages of Side Effect, death is delivered by mail. What these people do? Why did they have to die? Who could possibly profit from such cold blooded murders?

In Side Effect - set in the drug industry and taking place over just nine days - a group of ruthless people come up against a brilliant and bull headed man who will risk anything to defend what is his. Dr. Grant Fraser, who lives and breathes drug research, creates an immunity-strengthening drug that may change the way doctors fight disease. When his employer, Altimate Pharmaceuticals, abruptly stops research on his drug. Grant doesn't believe the reasons he is given and he is determined to know the truth.

Grant discovers that his drug has a disastrous side effect, exploited in a widespread scheme that has caused a number of deaths. He feels responsible for his creation, and tries to stop the conspirators before anyone else dies - in spite of their repeated attempts to kill him. Who is actually behind the scheme - and the real purpose they have for his drug - are revelations that turn his world upside down.

Side Effect is a very real and captivating story.

"I did actually read the whole book and found it interesting and entertaining. A scientist as "hero" in what is essentially a mystery novel is a bit unusual. There are also plenty of twists and turns in the plot to hold your interest. The scientific material is well done, certainly more detail and more accuracy than one usually finds in works of fiction."

Dr. Michael J. Pikal Chairman, Pharmaceutical Sciences. University of Connecticut
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310501) Rating (7/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 7/10
It is, I am sure, a matter of note that there are some very expensive drugs out in the world today. Anyone who has read a newspaper has heard of Viagra and has heard how our beloved NHS is struggling to fund the wide range of treatments available whilst trying not to allow the exorbitant cost of drugs to totally overwhelm the budget allowed for providing care for the many other users.
It is a political hot potato, how to keep most of the people happy for most of the time.

Side Effect is based within the hugely expensive world of the Pharmaceuticals Industry, where companies are constantly trying to find new ways to defeat the old enemies of disease and death. Anything that can find a place in a doctors arsenal is worth staggering amounts of money to the company that can bring the drug to the marketplace.

Unfortunately, for every new drug that makes it that far, dozens find themselves on the scrapheap, often after years of painstaking research.

Side Effect is the story of one such research project. The researcher is Dr Grant Fraser, who has been working on one such project for several years and feels that his drug has great potential. His original project involved two pieces, but one was cancelled because it did not seem to have the effect that it was supposed to have, and so he has devoted his life to the other one, especially since the love of his life died in an aeroplane accident.

He is a driven man, his research is all that has kept him going since she died, and when he is told that the new drug is also going to be cancelled, he needs to investigate for personal reasons.

What he finds is that some drugs may be used for their original purpose but some find a side effect that is potentially worth something to people who have a hidden agenda.

Side Effect is interesting because it is a story about the other side of the great pharmaceutical industry. There are some very large companies with money to burn in order to insert themselves into your bathroom cabinet. Unfortunately, with such an industry, it will have successes and failures, drugs that failed completely in one area may find a new lease of life in a different sphere, an excellent example is that of the accursed Thalidomide, now finding a home in the treatment of Bechet's Disease, with very promising results.

I enjoyed this book, for several reasons. It is well researched, either the author has worked in the pharmaceutical industry or they have spent a lot of time and effort to be able to write this book. You know that I am a sucker for good research, I have told you all several times. The opening of the story, always so crucial, is excellent, with different characters being brought in, and it is difficult to try to second guess the author, as further events unfold, it proves even more difficult, keeping you guessing.

The story is well paced, happening as it does over the very short period of nine days, although there are events which occurred before this period, we do not find out the relevance until now. The other thing that I liked is that the main character is a scientist, (with a dog - sorry, sentimental moment here, I like dogs:) )

Dr Fraser tries to sort out the tangle in which he finds himself, but unfortunately he keeps digging himself yet deeper. His relationship with his co-workers starts to suffer and yet he keeps on going. He finds some unlikely allies, and some unworthy friends, showing that all is not what it seems to be, and that seemingly unrelated events have a link.
Chrissi ( 31st May 2001)

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