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The Cure: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2014
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From Publishers Weekly
In this unusual if uneven thriller from Richards (Wired), researcher Erin Palmer seeks a cure for psychopathy as a result of her having witnessed at age 11 a psychopath slaughter her parents and sister in her hometown of Medford, Ore. Along with a colleague, Hugh Raborn, the emotionally damaged Erin is involved in an illegal experiment with Arizona prison inmates. When Erin's university shuts the project down, Steve Fuller, who runs a scientific firm called Advanced Science Applications, takes an interest in Erin and her research. Fuller's pursuit of Erin leads to a kidnapping attempt that sends her fleeing with love interest Kyle Hansen, an expert in quantum computing. Meanwhile, Hugh turns out to be something other than he appears. Those willing to put their sense of disbelief on hold may enjoy the many ensuing twists and turns that veer into the SF genre, but others will be unhappy with the unlikely mash-up. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media Group. (Sept.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The latest novel by molecular-biologist Richards is a mixed bag. The story is imaginative: a girl sees her family—father, mother, sister—murdered by a psychopath, barely escaping with her own life. Years later, she’s a grad student studying the biological nature of psychopathy and, with the aid of a wealthy partner, hoping to find a cure. But her years-long obsession may have clouded her judgment, and she’s about to discover that the cure can be much, much worse than the disease. If the writing were as good as the ideas, this would be a first-class thriller, something to rival the best of the late Michael Crichton, but, unfortunately, the author stumbles a bit on the execution. The book seems wordy, with narrative passages that feel repetitive and dialogue that goes on longer than it needs to (or it could be that his characters don’t know when to stop talking). The effect is that the author seems to be hammering home his points, as though he doesn’t trust his readers to understand him otherwise; this, no doubt, wasn’t his intent, but it’s off-putting all the same. A solid thriller, but with tighter editing it could have been a better one. --David Pitt --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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While I was swept up in what must be Dr Richards' characteristic pace of action, mysteries and discoveries unlocking those mysteries, I was momentarily disturbed by the introduction of Drake et alia. At first, I did not see the need for this fictional "bifurcation" from the primary plotline but as the COMPELLING ethical questions related to a certain psychopathology reared their heads in very striking and thought-provoking ways, it became more clear how the plot was expanding from a specific focus on one ethical concern to several and ultimately to concerns with (literally) universal implications. I was genuinely drawn to ponder questions raised by this part of the book, and pleasantly so.
Plot twist, in micro and macrocosmic ways continued throughout the story to the very end, holding the reader in a hypnotic grip to continue reading until the book was done. From what I've read in other reviews, this too is one of Dr Richards' literary techniques and many readers have jokingly complained about not getting but "4 hours" of sleep a night while working 8 hour days, "under the wicked spell" of the author's mind control.
All in all, I loved the way that Dr Richards keeps exposing me to new theoretical ideas in physics, biology, genetics and neurology. I adore being challenged to examine the concepts that, like Taoism or Jungian Psychology, enjoin us to "embrace the dark side," or to remember the philosophical and epistemological tenants of Nietzsche regarding good and evil.
Dr Richards is a Renaissance man who reminds of of other brilliant writers like Crichton, Isamov, or Herbert, with the pace of Clancy, eschewing the nonsense of a story like Langoliers by King or the nauseating compulsion for minutiae of Brown.
I continue to be a great fan and have begun WIRED (half way through)!!!!!
Mutant_Dog, PhD (Clinical Psychology), MS (Ed Psychology), BS (Premedicine), Post Doc (Applied Psychoneuroimmunolgy), Diplomate in Medical Psych, Studies in Nuclear Physics (MIT 1 yr), American Military University (Intelligence & CI), Intelligence Officer (Ret), NSC (Instructor), Emergency First Response (Instructor), Several Univerities (Adj Professor of PNI and Med Psych (ret)), Isshinryu Karate Do (Shihan), Currently into Special Operation OCONUS.
One note to those who, like I, are religious: as good as it gets, the book is, after all, fiction. Further, the science fiction exceeding today's knowledge about DNA is imbedded in well established descriptions of psychopathy that won't turn a strict realist off if he/she can tolerate information transfer from an extraterrestrial source.
In short, "The Cure" is inarguably another supremely captivating book by Richards. The novelty of the story and its excellent composition demand that I give it another 5-Star rating, since a 6-Star isn't available.
Richards' writing career should keep skyrocketing!
Martin Fricke, Ph.D.