The Eden Prescription
By Ethan Evers
(Booksurge Publishing, Hardcover, 9781439276556, 326pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
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Sinister forces stop at nothing to squelch a medical breakthrough in this adrenalized thriller. You'd think everyone would rejoice over a cure for cancer, but if it's a cheap and un-patentable cure, shadowy interests that profit from cancer treatments may find it more of a threat than a boon. That's what Annika Guthrie and Elliott Lindell, researchers for competing pharmaceutical companies working on concurrent trials for rival chemotherapy drugs, didn't count on. As alternative medicine enthusiasts, the pair have teamed up to secretly give their patients a cocktail of natural supplements and plant extracts formulated by Elliott's brilliant computer model of cancer cells. Annika's joy over the resulting miraculous remissions turns to dismay when said patients start dying off in suspicious accidents. But that's par for the course in a medical-industrial complex where every slovenly lab tech is a spy and paramilitary squads are a cost of doing business. Soon everyone is after Elliott's model, including Russian assassin Sydney (née Stalina) and a sinister outfit known as The Trust that is led by a never-seen man named Smoke whose cigarette-hoarsened voice on speaker-phone tirades suggests a looming need for the cure. Assisted by Annika and her long-suffering husband Peter, Elliott pinballs around the world on a complex and not quite coherent plan to save his life's work (and his life). The author includes a bibliography on natural cancer treatments, but Elliott's all-important cancer model is mainly a MacGuffin that propels a frenetic plot that makes no more sense than is strictly necessary. (One character hits on a strategy so sane and obvious--publicize the formula and sell it out of a Tijuana clinic--that you just know it will end badly.) Fortunately, Evers is a skillful writer who expertly choreographs a sprawling cast of colorful characters. He balances nifty oncology procedural with suspenseful intrigue and taut action scenes that teeter between agonizing stand-offs and jolting shocks. The result is an engrossing, well-paced thriller that will keep your heart rate up. An entertaining debut that's just what the doctor ordered.
--Kirkus Review, November 8, 2010
What if there was a sophisticated cocktail of nutritional supplements and Chinese herbs, that could cure most, if not all cancers? A cocktail that had no significant side effects, was inexpensive, and dramatically outperformed every pharmaceutical drug on the market? Would the pharmaceutical industry applaud this cure, stop selling cancer drugs, and move on to other things? Or would they use their billions, their lobbyists, their profit-above-all-else mentality to discredit the cure, destroy the recipe, and otherwise lie, cheat, steal, and murder their way back to the front and center of the war on cancer? This not-so-impossible scenario is the core premise of The Eden Prescription, a whirling dervish of a novel that keeps the reader turning the pages with impeccable dialogue, relentless action, believable characters, up-to-date science, great conspiracy theories, and lots of really old money and priceless antiques. Dr. Elliot Lindell, the novel's protagonist, is a brilliant, ultra-wealthy, renegade scientist on the edge of inventing a world-changing cancer cure and computer model. The three-dimensional model simulates cancer cells dying under the influence of his quintessential mixture of Israeli pomegranate extract, rare Thai ginger, vitamin D, Chinese herbs, and several other supplements. Annika Guthrie, his trusted protegee, is an attractive young graduate student who, as a teenage science prodigy, helped her cancer stricken father extend his life by several years using natural modalities. Though both abhor the industry, they ironically work for competing pharmaceutical companies that have no genuine interest in natural cures. There are several craven antagonists who belong to an exceedingly rich and powerful top secret organization with a dystopian plan to take over the world. They will stop at nothing to get Lindell's recipe and computer model before they get into the hands of suffering cancer patients, and destroy one of the most profitable rackets in history. The good guys are only slightly less unconscionable, but want to keep Lindell and Annika alive for their own exploitative purposes. Both sides have an endless supply of ex special-forces mercenaries with a stellar collection of high-tech guns, bulletproof Range Rovers, speedboats, helicopters, and an aerosol can that sprays an undetectable heart-stopping mist. This is an exceptional piece of fiction. Anyone who knows someone with cancer, or has an interest in natural cures is going to thoroughly enjoy this book, as are fans of conspiracies, mysteries, thrillers, science, computers, and even lovers of romance. --Patty Sutherland -- ForeWord Clarion Review, November 3, 2010: Five Stars (out of Five)