CONFESSIONS OF A DEATHMAIDEN by Ruth Francisco

CONFESSIONS OF A DEATHMAIDEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Debut thriller about a brave young deathmaiden’s valiant battle on behalf of anti-xenotransplantation.

Say again? Well, it has to do with cross-species transplantation—a medical procedure of which deathmaiden Frances Oliver is not an enthusiast. And what’s a deathmaiden? Think of a midwife assisting at a birth, then move 180 degrees. As Frances says: “I help people die.” A graduate of the Institute for Eternal Living, she’s serving in her professional capacity at the bedside of comatose Tómas Gomez, ten, when a frenzied medical team suddenly snatches him away. Turns out Tómas is an organ donor who’s come under the loving scrutiny of the Silvanus Corporation, an evil industrial giant with a vital interest in a potential billion-dollar business in recycled body parts. And young Frances, a Joan of Arc for the new millennium, has Silvanus shaking in its acquisitive boots. Frances detests the kind of entrepreneurial corruption that undermines the dignity of death. Threaten her, terrorize her, you only prepare her for martyrdom and provoke her telling one-liners. When, as prelude to some down-and-dirty torture with electrodes and stuff, the bad guys strip her down to her panties and then beyond, she reacts with the insouciance of 007: “I was particularly fond of that pair.”

A promising protagonist thwarted by a wooden cast and a draggy plot. Maybe next time.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2003
ISBN: 0-89296-773-0
Page count: 352pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2003