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4.7 out of 5 stars45
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2012
This was my second book by the author, and it did not disappoint at all.

First up, to me as an Indian reader, there is a marked difference between the usage of the English language by the author, being British, and the predominantly American authors one gets to read through Amazon. The author's narrative is intelligent, impecable, smooth and his vocabulary is exceptional. Most significant is the absence of dramatic, high-pitched, and brusque narration. Hardly any slangs, abbreviations, or acronyms used. So, instead of 'asap', it is "as soon as possible"; instead of "BTW" or "by the way", it is "incidentally"...... all in all, it is an absolute pleasure to read his works.

Now, coming to the novel itself. The story revolves around two parallel developments- one of mysterious deaths of two young girls who are found to have died of cancer inexplicably, and the other is the co-operation between a general hospital and a commercial enterprise for testing new forms of gene-therapy for cancer treatment. In the middle of both these parallel developments we meet our protagonist Dr. Neef, who happen's to be a doctor involved both in the deaths of the girls as well as of a few other people who seem to have gotten infected mysteriously from the same contaminated source, and also in administering the gene-therapy trials. The plot builds up nicely throwing the reader into a world of deceit, red-tape, injurious competition, obtrusive media and government cover-up.

The pace of the novel is decent, but not fast. The mystery is intriguing, but not confounding or astonishing. The plot is interesting, but not overly exciting. Then, why did I like this, despite so many qualifications? In addition to my obvious liking of the author's use of the language, the answer lies in character development. Dr. Neef's character is brilliantly nuanced, and so completely natural, that he is believable as a real person. Similarly, the other characters of the novel are also very "real", all of them having their respective strengths and failings. There are no over-the-top heroics, and yet we see a hero emerge. We are made to wish for a miracle to ensure a happy ending, but none happens; yet the story ends happily.

If you are looking for nail-biting, edge of the seat thrills and chills, please give this a go and pick something else. If, however, you wish to read a suspense fiction for the sheer joy of reading, don't miss this!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 April 2012
I was lucky enough to get this as a freebie, but would have been happy to pay the download price. This is a change from the Dr Dunbar series, but similar in theme to other stories by Mr McClure; a protagonist with a medical background who becomes involved in ethical issues.

Mr McClure always tells a credible and gripping tale. His prose makes for excellent escapist reading. The story is well plotted and paced and the characters are well defined and totally believable. But there's always a thought provoking underlying issue and one which could affect any of us at any time. In this instance he explores NHS funding issues, pharmaceutical exploitation and press manipulation (amongst other things!). On the face of it gene therapy developments might not make for the most gripping story. Mr McClure's medical background really gives the lay reader an insight into and understanding of difficult scientific subject matter. This tale brings to life the reality of the NHS Trust treatment lottery as a result of funding issues and how next generation treatments are trialled.

It's an affecting story in that it centres on children with terminal cancer. Emotive subject matter treated with compassion and sensitivity and once again turned into a compelling, page turning thriller. Really enjoyed the book and if you want a first rate medical mystery with a sting in the tale, this is for you. Thanks Mr McClure!
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on 7 March 2012
I have only recently discovered Ken McClure and have purchased nearly all his books and never been disappointed with clear and concise descriptions of medical information and his plots. Keep up the good work and please produce many more excellent thrillers!!
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on 2 March 2012
This guys books are a very good read.
They are not trying to preach or be clever, just a dam good read.
I've read about 10 of his now......
They are especially good if you like a scientific (medical) bent to a novel.
He must write at a prolific rate!
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on 30 June 2012
I really enjoyed this story - a "who done it" based around the newest field of medicine and its possible dangers.

The tale is based on Dr Neef - head of a childrens cancer ward, and the initiation of gene therapy as a treatment for his dying patients.

Neef, a lonely widower of 4 years who has only his work in his life, is challenged by the appearance of Eve, a reporter initially looking to discredit the doctor and his hospital

The tale unfolds at an excellent pace, dangling the next part of the puzzle so you just have to read a few more pages to find out if your suspicions are true. I read the book in two days!

The handling of the scientific background information and technical terminology was excellent, outlining this new field of medicine and its possible dangers in an easily understandable way.

The characters are well rounded and believable and the writing flows smoothly - not a boring. "scan over" minute in it for me.

I can highly recommend this book, it has everything- a thriller, a romance and a really brilliant twist at the end, and an introduction into this newest field of medicine
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on 9 April 2012
As a book I enjoyed it but it struck a number of false notes which rather spoilt it for me.

I am not a social worker or even close but experimental drug therapy on a child in care without social services even being mentioned? Let alone the child being taken out of the hospital by an unvetted friend of his doctor whom he has only met once or twice? Not going to happen. This was far more unbelieveble than the gene therapy if a sad reflection on modern times.
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on 14 November 2012
I downloaded this as a freebie some time ago and only got around to reading it recently - why did I wait!!! It was the best read I've had for a very long time.

I love medical mysteries anyway and this one is superbly written and the medical detail is written in such a way that the lay person can easily understand what is going on.

Others have comprehensively reviewed the plot of this book, so I won't add anything to those. There is some author's licence in the inaccuracies about the child in care who is dying and in whom Dr Neef and Eve take a special interest, but it really doesn't matter - it is a work of fiction, not a factual story after all.

I strongly recommend this book as a fast-paced, different crime story that is completely unputdownable! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books on my Kindle now. I've just started on 'Trauma'. I might even actually pay for further books when I run out!!

In his photo, the author looks quite dishy too!! (Sorry Mr McClure, but you do!!).
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on 2 May 2012
I think when people read my review of this, the first thing I would urge is that when you're about to read this book, get comfortable and have a supply of tissues.

It's possibly because of the main setting being children's oncology, but this tugged at my heart strings all the way through and I was left wondering about Little Neil.

Another superb work from the genius that is Ken McClure!

5 Star
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on 22 April 2013
After a bit of a slow start, I really got into this book. The author's obvious knowledge of his subject matter came over clearly and authoritatively, which made the story all the more believable. Yes, the journalist being allowed to take the little cancer patient out for trips did seem unlikely in this day and age, but I didn't really care, because the science bit was so good. I worked out who the 'baddie' was quite early on, but I wasn't prepared for the extent of his madness, and was biting my nails as our doctor turned sleuth hurtled towards a sticky end. And this author knows what he is talking about, so I guess ambition to be on the cutting edge of medical research can be that addictive. The characterisation was nicely observed in a blokey kind of way, the romance was understated, making a pleasant change from the graphic sex scenes which seem to be mandatory these days. I would definitely read more from this author.
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on 24 July 2012
The goodies and baddies in this story are not the ones you might expect which adds to the thrill of the book. Who is sabotaging what, who is misleading, lying and dissimulating? This story will keep you guessing, and rooting for the kids who make up the victims.

Michael Neef is a dedicated doctor who is still grieving for his dead wife. He meets sassy journalist Eva and is both horrified and fascinated by her. Together they start to uncover the dirty story around the deaths of the girls and discover at the same time a mutual appreciation.

A good thriller with a sympathetic love story, this book will enthral you and keep you on tenterhooks.
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