The Last Widow

Last widow

Author: Karin Slaughter

Series: Will Trent #9

Publisher: William Morrow

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A kidnapping, an explosion, and the threat of a biological weapon bring together a story that is intricately laid out and hard to put down.

 When a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is kidnapped in broad daylight from the parking lot of a shopping center, authorities search high and low for any clue as to who took her and why. Days and weeks go by with no sign of her and no ransom demand until bombs start going off in Atlanta’s busiest neighborhood as a statement and a distraction. As first responders rush to the scene, Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, and his partner Sara Linton reach a car crash at the outskirts of the bomb radius. Not knowing they have just stumbled upon the bombers, Sara tries to help and ends up being kidnapped as well. Will works from the outside to get his partner back while Sara works from the inside to figure out who this group is and what they are really after before it is too late.

 First of all, I went into reading this book not realizing it was the ninth in the series. Not totally sure if that helped or hurt my take on the story. Maybe having a little backstory on Will and Sara might have helped my enjoyment, although I did get a lot out of the chemistry between the two characters. They had a great dynamic and I had no idea this was not their first book, but it does make sense the way they were written so well together. There was A LOT going on in this book and if readers aren’t careful, they will miss key elements to the story. That being said, I felt a good hundred pages could have been cut and the story wouldn’t have lacked anything. With so much going on, it was hard to follow at times, but I will say Slaughter did a great job with tension at critical moments. The last 50-75 pages really brought the emotion out and made me care about the characters when it counted. I have seen lots of mixed reviews on this title and agree with both sides There are lots of good points in the book, but it was a little slow at times. One of the best parts for me was the different points of view, this gave me as the reader more of the story to see and understand. There is a lot of harsh language throughout, and while it does fit with the characters and how they would respond to a situation, readers need to be aware before reading. I would recommend this to an audience who love thrillers, especially ones that deal with medical issues, bombings and radical groups.

 I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Race for the Mind

Race for the mindAuthor: Daniel Gerard Welch

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: December 1, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Probably the most informative medical thriller that I have ever read!

As the population grows in number and the average life span continues to lengthen, the number of cases of Alzheimer’s disease continue to increase as well. As the current leading untreatable disease in America, millions are affected every year.  As the mind continues to degrade over time, family and loved ones can only watch and support the best they can, often having just as negative an effect on them as the actual person diagnosed.  Hopefully one day, there will be medicine that can cure or at least recede the symptoms.

BioNeura, a small medicinal start-up company in San Francisco, has just determined that a new experimental drug that they have developed shows positive signs of deferment of the disease. But they lack the capital needed to get the drug mainstreamed so that it can be reviewed by the FDA.  The group begins with a quest for venture capitalist partners to begin further development of the drug.  What ensues is a step by step process of how the company must begin to make this drug available to the market, as well as the time that it takes to actually put the drug through trials, funding, marketing, and eventually a successful product lunch.  But there are always antagonists along the way such as rival companies, activist groups, and sometimes even our most personal relationships. Race for the Mind is destined to become a hit.

This is probably the most informative medical thriller that I have ever read! I know a little bit about the process that it takes to have a drug considered and eventually approved by the FDA for market, but this book really took it to the next level to let the reader know just how long that it can take.  Another interesting part of this book was the process of growing a small start-up company into one that handles full production, manufacturing, and distribution of products.  It was very interesting to see the dynamic of the leadership and watch it unfold each time the company took a new step, be it a merger, acquisition, or going public.  I loved watching a cast of unlikely characters who all initially meet at a conference in Las Vegas come together to create a great story.

I highly recommend this book to people who love a good thriller and anyone who is interested in Alzheimer’s disease.

I received a compliment copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.