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Cry of the Needle

Cry of the Needle [Kindle Edition]

Roger Radford
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

When medical malpractice leads to violent revenge, Irish-style...

Kieran Kelly's world turns upside down when his wife's health is devastated by an epidural in childbirth. Incensed by damning evidence of medical and pharmaceutical misconduct, the tormented former IRA hit man plots revenge against those he deems responsible, including a government that doesn't seem to care.

Kelly's quest brings him face-to-face with an alcoholic physician, an altruistic scientist and a corrupt government minister – but not before the love of a stunningly beautiful but crippled Countess makes him question his motives. He meets Countess Magda von Esterhazy at a meeting of a self-help group for victims of the uniquely painful iatrogenic (doctor-caused) disease that struck down his wife. Magda awakens feelings that he thought he had lost forever.

Meanwhile, one of Kelly's targets, scientist Jonathan Tring, finds himself embroiled in the Machiavellian machinations of his boss, the gruff and corrupt owner of a pharmaceutical company, and the man’s stunning young American wife. In all the mayhem, Tring, too, finds love – and desperately wants to live to enjoy it.

Cry of the Needle is a searing tale of love and vengeance. Revenge that is a dish best served Irish.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 591 KB
  • Print Length: 287 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Roger Radford (17 Jan 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,650 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Brought up in the East End of London, I left school at the age of seventeen and was indentured into a local newspaper. By the age of twenty-six, I was working as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East. I covered two wars from Tel Aviv, but it was the Yom Kippur war of 1973 that remains the most vivid. I was on the first plane out of London one week into the war. I was accompanied by my wife, Yael, and our baby son, Max. Yael had six brothers fighting in the war. Once we neared the Eastern Mediterranean, we were escorted by Israeli jet fighters. It was clear that there was a worry that the Egyptian air force might seek to shoot us down. We landed safely, and it took me a while to get accreditation with the Israel Defense Force (IDF). I later accompanied Israeli forces up the Golan Heights, and I was one of the first journalists to reach the ceasefire line at Km-101 in the Egyptian desert. I was only once in danger of losing my life, and that was from a 'friendly' Caterpillar tractor that was attempting to clear burnt out Syrian armour from narrow paths on Mount Hermon. You would not be reading this but for the presence of mind of a colleague, AP photographer Paul Roque, who jumped out of our car and raced towards the Leviathan, which had just negotiated the brow of the ridge and was heading our way at full speed. It was obvious that the driver had not seen us. Paul managed to alert him just inches from pushing our Plymouth saloon car (almost as big as a tank!) down the mountainside. The closest of calls.

The Yom Kippur war forms the background to part of the main protagonist's story in The Winds of Kedem.

Prior to covering the 1973 war, I had worked as a court reporter, which helped me write the court scenes in Schreiber's Secret, although Nigel Lithman, QC, provided vital assistance in this respect.

There are some things in life that are highly predictable. One of them is that it will be hot and sunny in Tel Aviv, Israel, in early August. On one such day, 8 August 1979, I happened to be visiting the city that I love above all others when I felt my back give out. I was bent double and in terrible pain.

I somehow climbed into a taxi and made my way to Tel Hashomer, the largest hospital in Israel. Within a couple of hours I had undergone a procedure that changed my life irrevocably. It's called a myelogram, and it is the injection of a dye into the spine in order that any prolapse might be seen on x-ray. In those days, the dye was oil-based and was called Pantopaque. It was also too toxic for use in humans.

Almost immediately, I began to feel symptoms such as pins and needles in both legs; symptoms that I had not suffered previously. The attack lasted for such a long time - more than three months - that my employers, the Reuters international news agency, decided that I was too ill to remain in work, so they put me on their Prolonged Disability Scheme.

For the next nineteen years I suffered recurring bouts of this terrible illness, adhesive arachnoiditis, which would perhaps, in my case, be better described as chemically induced spinal meningitis. Its myriad symptoms are described in Cry of the Needle, so there is no need to repeat them here.

Later I met a fellow sufferer, Bobbie Cecchini, via the Internet. The result was helping her to write her traumatic life story, High Heels & 18 Wheels.

I love to hear from readers about my books, my blog, etc., so feel free to drop me a line. You can contact me via my blog at

And one more thing: I'd appreciate your reviewing my Kindle books on and/or, as well as

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful 1 Aug 2013
By ChristophFischerBooks TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
"Cry of the Needle" by Roger Radford is a powerful medical thriller about an epidural-gone-wrong during a childbirth and the long wound consequences for the victims and the institutions trying to cover it up.
Knowing that the story was inspired by real events and actual malpractice (use of toxic dye in spinal cord procedures) gave the plot a powerful authenticity and made this a very compelling and emotional read.
I usually stay clear of medical thrillers or politically motivated stories but Radford's skilfull writing managed to distinguish this novel from simplistic or cliched helpings of the genre.
The victim in the book is Teresa Kelly, wife of London based IRA hitman Kieran which adds an extra layer of interest to the story. Politics come into play and governmental corruption; the pharmaceutical companies with their payrolls and cover-ups serve as the backdrop of a tale of love, rage, revenge and the fight for justice.

Radford introduces several very interesting characters, such as an Austro-Hungarian Countess, Magda von Esterhazy, who helps Kelly in his quest for justice and who introduces a more moral and warm approach. In a separate plot-line one of Kelly's targets, scientist Jonathan Tring struggles with the corruption of the pharmaceutical company he works for but has personal motives that steer his actions.

Character development and suspense are strong points in this excellent thriller. Radford has written a story that is entertaining as it is educational. But in any case, I urge you to read the Author's Note to find out more about the actual background for the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual thriller 11 July 2013
By DonL
Format:Kindle Edition
A polemical thriller with an unusual protagonist. He's a trained killer, an IRA assassin who turns his skills on the doctors whose ignorance and arrogance caused his wife to suffer horrendously. In fact, the author was a victim of a similar medical malpractice, a lifelong affliction which rarely gives a moment of peace from the pain. This is what inspired him to write this book and what gives it a very real feeling of authenticity. We are well able to understand the motivations behind the man's actions and the antagonism towards a profession which occasionally believes it has God-like powers. The tension builds inexorably towards an explosive climax - and we cannot help but find ourselves cheering him on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thriller I have read 6 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
CRY OF THE NEEDLE by Roger Radford is the best thriller I have read this year. I just could not put it down. I believe it to be a masterpiece. The writing is sheer brilliance. It is refreshing to come across a writer who writes with such uncompromising depth, conviction and, yes, emotion.
Throbbing with humanity and veracity, the book pulls no punches in depicting the dark side of arachnoiditis, an iatrogenic(doctor-caused) disease. The story itself develops like a a spider's web - delicate, intricate, yet forceful enough to ensnare us. We find ourselves cheering for the main protagonist, former IRA hitman Kieran Kelly, as he seeks revenge against those he believes are responsible for maiming his wife. There are so many vivid characterizations that, in the hands of a less-skilled writer, the pace might have suffered. But not in this case. Well-meaning pharmaceuticals scientist Jonathan Tring is the star of a sub-plot that links with the main story. His own personal fight against the machinations of his gruff boss, John Proctor, also keeps us on the edge of our seats. The women, too, from the ugly Proctor's stunning American wife, Sharon Proctor, to wheelchair-bound Countess Magda von Esterhazy, who tries to avert Kelly's single-minded murderous aim through love and humanity, are unforgettable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read 3 Sep 2013
By melamie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very moving read. Could not put it down. Very thought provoking. Experienced a whole range of emotions. Not my usual sort of book but really enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Read Ever 10 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition

What a brilliant thriller this is! However, it is much more. It is an education on medical malpractice and consequent cover-ups by the pharmaceutical giants of which the author has first hand knowledge (see author's note at end of book).

The scene is set in London when Teresa Kelly has an epidural which goes wrong during the birth of her fourth child. Already you are gripped with anger that matches that of her Irish husband Kieran Kelly as he watches his wife in agony. Kieran was once a hit-man for the Provisional IRA's internal affairs now leading a life of relative anonymity after leaving his native Belfast.

The consequences of this medical error are far reaching, taking us on a journey that evokes many emotions. We follow Kieran Kelly on his voyage of discovery about arachnoiditis, a disease caused by malpractice. How he plots revenge. How he eventually meets up with the remarkable and courageous Countess Magda von Esterhazy, a sufferer of this awful disease who understands his feelings.

At the same time we have a sub plot with Jonathan Tring, a scientist working for a pharmaceutical company hoping to expose the corruption of his powerful boss, Jack Proctor. Will Jonathan be able to succeed? What happens when he meets Fiona?
What part does the enigmatic Sharon, Jack Proctor's beautiful wife play?

What about corruption in the Government? Will they continue to keep their heads in the sand?

There is so much to this story but in spite of the many angles it is still fast paced.
I wanted to leave all my chores and other responsibilities and just keep on reading, especially as the thrilling, edge of seat climax approaches.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A warning for everyone!
A great read - you become engrossed in the story which is shocking as it's based the writer's real condition. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Catherine O'Connor
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Medical Drama
Cry of the Needle
Roger Radford

Superb Medical Drama

Roger Radford does it again with this superb medical drama, which literally touches raw... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Irene
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Medical Political Thriller
Roger Radford is a consummate story teller. "Cry of the Needle" is a fast-paced medical and political thriller that is hard to put down. Read more
Published 4 months ago by rlo
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes You Think
While medical thrillers are rarely my thing, I find Roger's writing style enjoyable and was instantly enthralled by the story that lay before me. It is certainly not a light read. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Hadena
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't love it, don't hate it
But I doubt I'll bother to read it again. I'd guessed within the first few pages that this was a personal issue and crusade for the author and I think the narrative may have... Read more
Published 4 months ago by txjy
4.0 out of 5 stars A great story
I really enjoyed this book and found the characterisation and narrative highly compelling. My only quibbles come from the occasionally poorly executed foreign language excerpts and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by V
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, powerfully written thriller
I love a thriller, and due to a lack of free time, and the regularity of books published from my favourite authors, there has previously been no room for any other author to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by H. D. Stein
5.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling medical warning to all
We are all guilty of closing our minds to matters medical when raised in a social setting even though the subject may intrigue us enough to Google it later. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Michael LJ Feehan
4.0 out of 5 stars Tina Smith
The books information is extremely well researched and described in detail for anyone to understand completely. It is evident that the author has much experience on the subject. Read more
Published 6 months ago by TINA SMITH
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Changer
Having read and been gripped by 'The Winds of Kedem' I bought Cry of the Needle and wasn't disappointed. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jude Mac
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