I picked up The Suicide Effect by L. J. Sellers from Amazon as a free Kindle book the other day. The premise sounded interesting (pharmaceutical company hiding information about their blockbuster drug undergoing trials), so I had moderate expectations of an interesting read. Unfortunately, there were too many character and story line issues that I couldn't get over.
The basic plot follows Sula Moreno, a PR representative for Prolabs. Prolabs has a new anti-depressant drug that is showing major promise, and they're about to be acquired by a larger firm. Karl Rudker, the head of Prolabs, is a sociopathic CEO who is banking everything on the merger so he can move up the career ladder. When the head scientist gives him news that there could be a risk of suicide for certain ethnic types, he doesn't want that news told to the FDA and orders the records destroyed. Sula overhears the conversation, and Rudker suspects she's going to blow the whistle on him and the firm. When the head scientist is found murdered, Sula realizes that she's the only one who can bring the truth to light. However, Rudker is going off the deep end trying to close the merger, and he's willing to do whatever's necessary to keep Sula from passing along evidence.
Generally speaking, the plot is OK. It's the execution of it that fails. Sula comes from a troubled past, and she's trying to regain custody of her son. She's barely scraping by, and is trying to conserve what little money she makes. But once she's fired from Prolabs, she's continually eating out and spending money like she has a nest egg somewhere. She's got major anxiety issues, yet she decides to fly to Puerto Rico (via tickets from a friend) to interview the widows of two men that committed suicide on the new drug. I realize that at times you have to suspend reality a bit for a story to work. But it seemed like I was having to do that most of the time here, and it just didn't work for me.
I wanted to like The Suicide Effect, but it didn't happen.
Disclosure: Obtained From: Amazon Payment: Free
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About the reviewer
Thomas Duff (duffbert)
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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L.J. Sellerswrites the bestselling Detective Jackson mystery/thriller series--a Readers Favorite award winner--as well as provocative standalone thrillers. Her novels have been highly praised byMystery Scene,Crimespree, andRT Reviews, and her Jackson books are Kindle bestsellers as well as top-ranked novels.
L.J., who resides in Eugene, Oregon where her novels are set, is also an award-winning journalist who earned the Grand Neal. When not plotting murders, she enjoys standup comedy, cycling, social networking, and attending mystery conferences. She's also been known to jump out of airplanes.