Monday, April 26, 2010

Julie's Review: Beyond Guilty

Summary: A wrongly convicted woman escapes from death row. Can she prove her innocence before it's too late? Teenager Eileen Robinson lives in an ideal, middle class African-American family in Houston, Texas. Through a careless act she causes the deaths of her two younger sisters. Tormented and alienated from her mother, she moves in with a drug dealer. At twenty-one she is a single mother of two falsely convicted of killing a state senator's son and sentenced to death. At thirty-two she is executed. Or is she?

Review: I have to say that Beyond Guilty is a book that grabs you from the first page and never lets you go. Eileen Robinson has acted irresponsibly; she is immediately and indefinitely punished for it. After the initial turn of events her life just continues in a downward spiral. She meets and lives with a big time drug dealer, has 2 kids and then gets thrown in prison for murder. This is where the book really gets going. You pretty much already know for the above summary that she isn't executed, if she was, Mr. Brawer wouldn't have a novel to write.

The book weaves in a high-tech medical innovation called nanomedicine or nanorobots. Now while this is extremely complex, Mr. Brawer makes is so you actually understand it. The thing is as well, this exists today. It wasn't something that Mr. Brawer plucked out of his imagination. In order to save his company, Sloan Wexler, CEO of Merlin-Akre Pharmaceuticals, has commissioned human trials which the FDA has not sanctioned. These are conducted on a remote island with 12 subjects, Eileen being one of them.

There are some good twists and turns in the book. I enjoyed how we did get to see Eileen grow as a character. I didn't always think she made the best choices but then again she was in a do or die situation. How would I know how I would react in that situation? Throughout the book we see Eileen in survival mode and how she thinks on her feet in order to survive. That being said there were times when I wanted her to shut up, which was hard because the novel is told from her point of view.

There were a lot of interesting and disturbing secondary characters in the novel. It makes you think about what people's motivations are and what they'll do to attain personal satisfaction.

Is everything tied to greed? How far are we willing to go to find cures for diseases? Is it worth risking lives, even if they aren't innocent? These are all interesting questions that I thought of while reading Beyond Guilty. It really does make you think about bigger issues than just the plot of the novel.

If you are looking for a fast-paced, medical thriller, go out and pick up a copy of Beyond Guilty by Richard Brawer.

Final Take: 3.75/5

Visit us tomorrow when we have an interview with Mr. Brawer and a giveaway!



dkchristi April 26, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

Not the usual plot; this review peaks my interest.

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