“ Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: L.J. Sellers / Kindle Edition / 302 Pages / Book is published 2010-07-31 by Spellbinder Press „
If you've read some of my recent book reviews you'll know that I regularly download books from the Amazon top free 100 list. Not only is this great because I can read a book for free but also because it allows me to try out new authors and genres that perhaps I wouldn't already go for. One of my recent downloads was 'The Suicide Effect' by L.J Sellers.
The Suicide Effect is a crime thriller set in the USA. Sula is a young woman who works in a marketing role for a pharmaceutical company called Prolabs. Whilst waiting for a meeting with the chief scientist, Dr Warner, she overhears her arguing with Karl Rudker, the company CEO. The company is currently trialling a new antidepressent called Nexapra, however there are some inconsistencies in the clinical trials and a couple of patients have committed suicide whilst on the trial. There appears to be a genetic marker indicating that certain groups or people are more likely to be affected. There are potentially hundreds of lives at stake yet the CEO is desperate. Riddled with debt he needs to bring Nexapra to market or he'll lose everything.
Sula is unsure of what to do - she's in the middle of a custody battle for her young son and needs to keep her head down and work hard if she's to win her son back. However things take a more serious turn when Dr Warner disappears and is later found dead. Sula's curiousity is aroused and she is determined to expose Nexapra's flaws before more lives are lost. It soon becomes a race against time for Sula to get the proof she needs to show Nexapra's flaws whilst an increasingly desperate CEO is in hot pursuit and will stop at nothing in order to silence her.
This is the first novel I have read by L.J. Sellers. Reading the blurb before downloading it, I was fairly confident this would be a book that I would enjoy as I do like crime/mystery novels. As soon as I started reading the first chapter, my interest was raised and I was hooked. There is no easing the reader into the story -the book starts off with a bang and maintains that pace throughout. The book was a real page turner and I found myself reading late into the night - not great when you need to get up early for work the next morning!
The characters were well written. I warmed to Sula immediately - she has a lot of family issues, which aren't spelled out straight away but her story is revealed later in the book. I empathised with her and admired her gutsy attitude in turning her life around in order to win back her young son and build a life with him. It is for this reason I felt quite scared for her when she got involved with the Nexapra story - there seemed to be so much at stake. It's only when the CEO got involved though that I realised that not only was Sula at risk of losing her custody battle, there was a very real danger of her losing her life! At the same time I couldn't help but admire her determination to 'do the right thing'.
The CEO Karl Rudker was someone who I was wary of right from the start. It was a few chapters in before he became a prominent character, although we were introduced to him in the first chapter. Rudker is a cold, menacing character, who I actually found quite frightening. He has mental health issues and is often balancing on the edge of losing it completely and this is what made him all the more scary - knowing that he didn't always think rationally and could be capable of anything.
The book is split into chapters, many of which are quite short, which provide useful points to stop - if you can! I read this book in a couple of days and for the most part really enjoyed it. The ending for me though was quite disappointing and felt quite abrupt. Considering how well the rest of the book was written I felt that the author simply ran out of steam at the end and just ended the story without any real explanation as to why things turned out as they did.
Overall I enjoyed reading 'The Suicide Effect'. It was a good thriller and had me biting my nails in anticipation and concern. However I felt the ending was a bit weak which let the story down slightly. For this reason I feel a rating of 4 stars is fair. The book is no longer available for free download and is now priced at £2.14. This in my view is still a reasonable price to pay and it is worth giving this a go if you like thrillers.