As mentioned previously, in seventh grade, I was reading an unusual combination of book genres. The Babysitter’s Club and the like because my handful of friends read them, and then I had at least something in common . . . and medical thrillers. Horror novels. And an assortment of other “adult” novels (not to be confused with Adult novels (*ahem*).
One of my favorite discoveries of that year continues to be one of my favorite books. It is high on my lists of books I cannot wait to have access to again, once all of my books are unpacked!
Steven Spruill‘s Painkiller.
I wrote a review for it on Amazon in 2007 (it’s still there) where I called it “intense and riveting!”. I stand by that description!
One thing I really enjoy about reading, is that I’ve come across very few books where I don’t find something new each time I read it. Oh, it was always there, but in my experience, each time I re-read a book, I do so with better understanding, more knowledge — this is especially true of books I read as a kid/teen, and then again as an adult with a better understanding of the world.
As a teen, I could appreciate the three-dimensional characters, written with much depth. You feel like you know them before you’re very far into the book. You can really empathize with the main character, Sharon. I could appreciate how the story kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what happened next. And the medical wonders of what one character is trying to achieve . . . despite the darkness of how he tries to achieve it.
And I can (and do) still appreciate all of those elements as an adult. But, as an adult, especially after I worked for two health insurance companies, and after dealing with hard to diagnosis (and hard to treat) problems of my own, it makes more of the actual medical parts of a medical thriller come to life for me. As a teen reading it, not having had a lot of experience in the medical world, it was interesting, but I lacked awareness and understanding I have as an adult. (Given, if you’ve had to grow up in hospitals, you may see things in the story that I missed the first few times around.)
I see more and more research articles from people trying to solve the unsolvable illnesses, and sometimes I wonder . . . who was inspired by medical thrillers but went about their research the ethical way?
In 2007, on Amazon, I said that this was a book not to be missed.
In 2019, here, I’ll tell you, this is a book not to be missed.
(And read Spruill’s other books too, if you can find copies – he’s a great author!)