Genre: Medical thriller
Publication date: May 12, 2017
I’d guessed the plot after the first two chapters because there’s nothing new about it. I believe I’ve read similar books or watched movies with a similar story. But the author’s ability to create a super tense atmosphere–where you keep wondering who is going to drop dead next–has won me over.
I am a fan of Robin Cook and I tend to compare every medical thriller to him. Running Still sounds a lot like one of his novels.
Small town folk are developing a rare form of cancer, for which a new drug called EBF-14 is being prescribed by renowned oncologists. A man sets out to understand what is really happening. He’s up against a large multinational pharmaceutical company with money and connections.
People who discover the secret or parts of it are ruthlessly eliminated, and as a reader, you’re constantly in fear of the main characters losing their life before they can bring the perpetrators to justice. It’s all so nail-biting and anxiety-inducing!
There’s an incredible amount of detail about picking sophisticated locks and safes and I’m impressed by the amount of research that has gone into it. I won’t say I was able to follow it all but I did learn a few things.
Late into the novel (around 75% in), there’s a twist that I never saw coming. That was one of the high points of this book. The disappointments faced by the characters were indicative of what happens in the real world when you’re fighting against powerful entities.
However, there were a few things that held back the novel from realizing its true potential. The author tends to launch into lectures when attempting to provide information about things such as healthy eating, how pharma does business, and how certain institutions are structured.
He repeats facts about the fishy nature of the drug so often that it becomes annoying. The tone of the novel is too strong and too in-your-face. I’d have liked it to be more restrained, subtle, and mysterious.
Also, the ending is too conveniently wrapped up, as if the author felt he owed it to the readers to give them a feel-good end.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend it to people who enjoy dramatic, tense medical thrillers.
(I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery in exchange for an honest review.)
Jack Turner has a problem. Less than a year after escaping the big city for a taste of the simple life, his family is sick. His wife and kids have all been diagnosed with a never before seen illness. But why isn’t he sick? And how is there already a drug available for this new disease? Jack will stop at nothing to get answers, and to save his family.
With the help of some surprising and unexpected friends, he uncovers a conspiracy that is bigger than anything he could have imagined. But is it more than he can handle?
Filled with action, drama, and suspense, Running Still is a roller coaster ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end!
About Steven Sheiner
Winner of the first ever James Patterson Master Class short-story writing contest, Steven Sheiner is an optometrist turned writer, proving that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams! He began his college career as an accounting major, and then proceeded to change his major three times. He had no idea what we wanted to do professionally, but always loved writing. His parents told him what most parents tell their kids when they want to pursue their dreams: “You’ll never make any money at that!” So Steven went the “safe” route, and became an optometrist. But twenty years later, he still regretted not pursuing a writing career, and decided it was about time. At forty-five years old, after having been an optometrist for twenty years, he decided to write his first book. Steven Sheiner lives in South Florida with his wife and two boys.
Website – http://stevensheinerauthor.com/
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/drstevesheiner