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Pharmaceutical Reviewed by

posted Jan 5, 2015, 12:03 PM by Walter Kreucher   [ updated Jul 1, 2017, 5:11 PM ]

Catholic Fiction Review “We are not market followers but market leaders. Business is a predatory sport and you all better understand what that means.”

Do you love a good conspiracy theory?  I do. And in this, the latest book by Kreucher, you can enjoy one. In the quote above we are introduced to one of the main ingredients of a good conspiracy – greed. CEO R. Curtis Larson is out to make money and doesn’t have a lot of scruples about how to do so. Many of the women who use the products of his company will become ill or even die, but his need for profit is all Larson considers.

The need for power is the other ingredient and that is brought to the story by character Emma Blythe, First Lady of the country. Her desire to use her authority to advance her pro-choice agenda backs the greed of Larson. However, her pro-choice stance runs even deeper than wanting women to have the ‘right to choose.’ She feels the need to force abortion and birth control on women without their consent or knowledge. She especially wants to use social engineering to limit the number of children born to the poor.  The author describes her with this powerful statement…“She said her prayers to Margaret Sanger.”

As with all good conspiracies, there is a hero. Diane McMichael is that hero. Planning and wishing for a family for herself, this high-powered executive who is savvy about the inner workings of Washington and the political scene, stumbles upon the secret scheme of our antagonists. Diane’s intelligent insight and resources soon lead her to uncover the plans of Blythe and Larson.

In an effort to keep her quiet they involve her in a debilitating car crash that they hope will end her snooping. It doesn’t, and so the story progresses.

This is a fast-paced and interesting work. It is clearly Catholic because it takes a pro-life stance that is in compliance with the teachings of the Church. It delves into the deeper fears of many, that the government is becoming a ‘nanny state.’ Kreucher’s book highlights a possible future where the elite, in their arrogance, control the poor and use political manipulation and misinformation to promote their program. It would be hard to believe this story, but in the light of past indiscretions of the government (like the Tuskegee syphilis experiment) and the skillful writing of this author, it becomes entirely plausible.

It is also Catholic in the sense that we, as believers, are taught that one cannot do an evil even for a moral reason. It is when we justify sin for a higher good that we have lost our moral compass. The antagonists of this tale believe that the ‘end justifies the means.’ The moral lesson of this novel is that one’s own conscience can become easily compromised without the guidance of the church. This clearly supports the wisdom of the church.

If I have one complaint about the novel, it is that Kreucher “reuses” a character from his novelDandelion Man.  As someone who has read both books, I found this to be a little disappointing. While I think the author could have spent more time developing his main character, I think he has found his niche. This is an action packed work. It is fast-paced and keeps the reader interested until the end. The medical background is well-researched and presented. Once the author hones and develops his skills in this genre we may have a Catholic ‘Robin Cook.’  I look forward to Kreucher’s next book and hope he continues his excursion into the medical mystery genre.

By: Karen Kelly Boyce, 2012 Recipient of the Eric Hoffer Gold Award in Fiction