Thursday, January 6, 2011

REVIEW - "Murder by Another Name"

Murder by Another NameMurder by Another Name by Jo Stone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This captivating murder mystery depicts the exposure of a breast implant manufacturer whose products have caused the development of cancer in patients. As she is leaving her lover/client/friend Dr. Dan MacNamara , Sherri Barker, a detail person for PolySurgical Specialties, a manufacturer of polyurethane coated breast implants, is killed by a car bomb. Dr. MacNamara happens to be the plastic surgeon who inserted PSS breast implants into Pamela Lawson, who is awaiting a liver transplant for liver cancer. Her attorney, Janet Stephenson, has filed a product's liability suit against PSS and Dr. MacNamara is a key witness for PSS. Ms Barker, however, had just delivered to him secret internal studies which showed that all animals tested by PSS developed liver cancer. PSS and its cohort, Conway Chemical, have set out to kill Dr. MacNamara, and Janet Stephenson's two expert witnesses, biomaterials scientists from Canada. Meanwhile, a television network reporter and an FDA investigator are preparing a special on the PSS implants, which airs just before the Lawson v. PSS trial. The investigation and intrigue related to the murder continue right up to the Lawson v. PSS trial, and coordinate with the criminal investigation and grand jury indictment of the principals at PSS and Conway and their murderous lackeys.  description from Goodreads

This is a fascinating book. It takes you through the process of getting ready for trial, jury selection and the trial itself.  It is obvious that Jo Stone knows her subject matter.    She is an attorney in Colorado who has been involved in the preparation for silicone gel breast implants.  She has created an entertaining as well as informative piece of fiction.

The book begins as Sherrie Baker is leaving the office of DR. MacNamara. Her car is rigged to set off a bomb when she gets inside, Dr. MacNamara is caught in the explosion and seriously injured. He is set to testify in a trial of PSS, the maker of breast implants.  Sherrie happens to be one of their employees.

This begins the intrigue.  The plots within plots, the evil masterminds trying to cover up their crimes.  The FBI, the local police department, the attorneys all working separately to come to conclusion.  There are   parallel story lines, sometimes it became a little hard to keep up with  the different characters and their functions, but Jo Stone is able to keep the story flowing and remind the reader what the function of the different members of the story is.  Part of my problem, was that I had to set the book aside for a bit.  It is a big book and in the middle of reading it, I had carpal tunnel release surgery and couldn't handle holding it.  After a couple of weeks, I was able to pick it back up and jump right back into the story.

The driving force in the book is Janet Stephenson. She is the attorney representing Pam Larsen, a victim of the deadly implants. Her compassion and drive to help Pam is inspirational. She is a low key attorney with a few assistants, battling the giant law firm representing PSS. I found humor that Jo Stone referred to them as the "cast of thousands."

The ending is bitter sweet. There is satisfaction with the outcome, but the book also ends in tragedy.

I give this book a very solid recommendation.  Like I said at the beginning, it is fascinating.  I love to be entertained and taught at the same time.

I received a copy of this book to review from the author, through  Bostic Communications.

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