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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Loses in Some Cases..., October 7, 2010
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This review is from: The Price of Life (Hardcover)
The Price of Life started slow and needed more definition of the very first case in this legal thriller by Greg McCarthy. In doing that, there would have been more options for the reader if they were reading it as a whodunit...Still, I kept the losers of that case, whoever they were, in the back of my mind as I started to read.

However, for me, the realism, the building frustration of bureaucratic nonsense, bottom-line decision-making and the smugness of involved characters, all drew my interest as a father and mother tried to deal with two tragedies at the same time.

First, a child is NOT diagnosed in a timely fashion by the doctor. As in the case of reality these days, nobody is willing to admit anything wrong is done. However, the lawyer, Grant Mercer believes in the truth of the matter, especially when he is able to pull together medical specialists who are willing to support the defense case.

Grant Mercer is a medical malpractice lawyer who is fighting to save his career in the legislative changes made to cap the payment for loss of life to $250,000. I can really see both sides, since there are indeed frivolous law suits by some people. But, surely, we have got to stop the mindless bureaucracy that sets a rule/regular/procedure that is then administered by clerical staff, and do nothing to look at the individual case events that could influence a more professional and less bottom-line evaluation to be made.

The fact is that the first specialist was indeed at fault...

Julie and Ed Haller are the parents of Jennifer. At the same time that the medical activities began for Jennifer, Ed Haller was still overseas, facing his fourth tour, well beyond what he was supposed to, and is injured, losing one leg as well as other injuries. He himself is being helped by a nonprofit group that has been formed to compensate wounded soldiers and families when regular insurance does not take care of all that needs to be done.

Captain Haller has much personal guilt for not being there for both his daughter and wife...

However, both are intelligent people and are willing to work with Mercer to seek legal help in their loss. They are immediately told their child's life was not worth more than $250,000--and that includes paying their own legal fees.

More and more writers are using fiction to speak out for the injustices in today's world. Personally I applaud them. These books might not fit the mold for a great mystery or readers may be able to figure out who is doing the "bad deeds" but if the concerns of that writer are effectively written into a powerful, gripping story, then I applaud that author for speaking out and sharing!

You got it, the murder of a senator was first, followed by a lobbyist and then another... Captain Haller had begun to sit in on the depositions of various involved individuals. I enjoyed opposing counsel and other involved individuals beginning to sweat under the glare of this father. Why should we not force those just out for money to face the ethical side, the caring side during such cases?!

Nothing surprised me in The Price of Life by Greg McCarthy. I was of course guessing who was killing the victims, but I was more caught up in the lives of a family totally ruined by...the illness and subsequent death of a young child. Maybe if big business became more humane, writers will be writing more fantasy and scifi. Myself, I found this life drama well worth reading and am happy to recommend it!

Book Provided By
Kelley and Hall Book Publicity

G. A. Bixler
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 9, 2010, 6:42:32 AM PDT
Steve Charme says:
This is a well written review. I agree that there is nothing wrong with an author taking a point of view on a social problem and expressing it in a "powerful, gripping story." Harper Lee's classic To Kill A Mockingbird is a brilliant example of that, and to a lesser extent John Grisham's debut novel A Time To Kill (very good, but not his best work). Compared to those two novels the The Price of Life is not only written very badly, but also engages in unabashed "preaching" about the very legitimate issues that the author raises. While that technique may work in a political manifesto, it fails miserably in the world of literature.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2010, 2:50:53 PM PDT
Glenda says:
Hi, I can appreciate what you are saying...can't disagree except...

Here is how I feel...There is no way to use a ranking system to rate books (or most things). Stephen, there is No way, in my opinion, to compare John Grisham or Harper Lee to a new book by a new author, if not a self-published author, at least a small publisher--I don't know which. I feel it is important to realize that getting into that world of literature requires major publishing activities which includes editing, proofreading, and other professionals helping those major authors you mention. To try to rank books from major authors against a new author is like comparing apples and oranges for me. What I do via my reviews is attempt to empathize with what the author has tried to do and whether the storyline is realistic, timely, and how important it could be to readers. Since I personally have seen much of what this new writer is talking about, I could perhaps understand how it reaches preaching level...but I can also see that there are many potential readers who I believe will relate to this story, as it is written. Frankly I think he achieved what he started out to do...perhaps not eloquently, but then again...If I ranked our new Nobel Prize winner's work as a 5...then what good could come from trying to compare??? I try therefore to say what I feel a reader will want to read in a review and except in extreme cases, for individual reasons, will willingly "rate" a book low...to me it is a meaningless exercise that is not effective. I recently questioned a reviewers use of the word preposterous for one of the leading authors in horror. She ranked it low because her opinion was based upon her personal assumption that the concept he used was impossible. I explained that I had seen it used in scifi/horror before and even on TV...By the way, after she declared it preposterous, she wrote very little about the book...I got nothing of benefit from her words until I pushed...

It works for me... I appreciate your comments on my review...
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