Contact the Author |


“Fast-paced and heart-pumping.” -Eugene Libres


Kirkus Reviews

A pharmaceutical war in Sweden incites kidnappings, murder, and betrayal in Justine’s (Traitors from Inside Out, 2014) medical thriller.

Althonat Global CEO Dr. Martina Strömstedt Edgren is lucky to awaken from a coma after a Dodge van slammed her Volvo into the icy sea. It may have been attempted murder, nearly identical to her parents’ fatal accident, and American expatriate Dr. Steven Rangor is the first suspect. Rangor, who threatened Martina on the night of her accident, works for rival company Citaraph. Althonat’s natural miracle drug, Rensblad, and malaria cure, Botanik Herbier, have been challenging Citaraph’s Life-Vaccine on the market. While Rangor tries to discredit Althonat and its use of alternative medicine, Martina believes Life-Vaccine compromises the immune system, part of the company’s covert “population reduction” plan. Meanwhile, the enigmatic Arlik Glenborg Ltd. makes a legal claim on Rensblad, while Martina’s papa, Peter, the drug’s engineer, had made unexplained payments to Arlik. Martina digs up dirt on Rangor for leverage, but having endured treachery and corporate spies, pushes others away, including her lover-turned-fiance, Dr. Jonas Eneroth. When a law demands schoolchildren be vaccinated with Life-Vaccine, Martina considers the life of her 6-year-old son, Joachim, to be in peril. Citaraph board people, however, feeling they can’t control Martina, may initiate Plan B, a much more immediate menace to Joachim. The thriller turns pharmaceuticals into sheer entertainment, with the protagonist hounded by individuals who apparently want her dead. It’s a sequel, picking up six days after the last novel, but knowledge of the preceding book isn’t a necessity. Justine skillfully recaps for new readers without excessively retreading for those familiar with the storyline. Laudable villains are unmistakably creepy: Dr. Fritz Grenzken tests an experimental drug on pseudo-girlfriend Birgit Halonen, and Rangor is Martina’s next-door neighbor by design. Justine does tend to overstate the baddies’ malevolence: more than one character likens Citaraph to the Gestapo, with the company’s nefarious research facility discernibly named Devilund Clinic. Though subplots continue from the prior book, Justine resolves at least some of them, like a killer identified for a murder. She provides material for the proposed next installment as well when Martina exposes a shocking (potential) traitor.

The author injects mystery and suspense into a tale of feuding drug companies.