IN HARM'S WAY by Paul A. Breeze


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 Realistic first novel by a British chemist and bio-researcher now turned to suspense fiction, specifically a medical detective thriller. One night Tony Marchbank, a medical researcher, gets a call from his boss, Steven Hamble, who suddenly needs to see him. But as Tony drives to Hamble's house on the outskirts of London, Hamble is presumably committing suicide by driving a car filled with gasoline into the brick wall of an old barn. But was it really murder, Tony wonders? Two weeks later, the late Hamble is replaced by a new director, the nonentity Oliver Earnshaw, who tells Tony to wrap up Hamble's leftover Roughburn project quickly. The more he looks into Roughburn, however, the more Tony sees that a terrible devastation of the town's children by an epidemic of cancer in the early '50s is being covered upwith newspapers disappearing and a virus introduced into his computer wiping out three years' worth of data after Tony has gone public in the newspapers. And not only is his data lost, but an attempt on his life nearly burns him alive and he's the victim of character assassination by an old colleague. Meanwhile, Tony hopes to retain the affection of his ever-chillier wife, Margaret, a rising force in her male-dominated insurance firm. As Tony at last finds out when she abruptly leaves him, Margaret has fallen into a lesbian passion for his own research assistant, Christine Lambeth. But he and Chris push on, and they are joined by reporter Lois Love, who finds Tony's original story falling to pieces for lack of evidence. Then they discover that it was government scientists who caused the cancer epidemic and are now attacking Tony.... The lesbian subplot is as gripping as the tale's medical spine. Breeze's clichÇ-free style promises even richer harvests ahead.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-312-13094-5
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1995