The Price of Life
Review: Greg McCarthy's debut legal thriller, The Price of Life ponders the consequences of the question, "How much is the life of an 8-year-old girl worth?"
No amount of money would bring Jennifer Haller back to life. Had a CT-scan been administered when Jennifer first complained about headaches, her tumor would have been operable. Now almost a year later, after the misdiagnosis where she was given medicines that did not help, the tumor had grown. Another neurosurgeon was called in saying the only way to take the tumor out now was with a laser procedure. However, the procedure was still in the experimental stage, although surgeries performed using the laser had been successful. There were only two places in the world that had particular laser. The Hallers, Julie and Ed, would have taken her anywhere, but their insurance would not cover the cost of experimental surgery. Before any final decision could be made for paying the cost of the procedure, Jennifer died. Attorney Grant Mercer, in trying to justify his decision to pursue this case, and possibly lose money in doing it due to award limits for medical malpractice, said that the Hallers had put their trust in him to get justice for their little girl's death. If he didn't do it, who would? How far will someone go when he feels that justice is not succeeding? Would that someone get justice in the form of murder?
The Price of Life is an interesting legal thriller, but rather uneven in its content and pacing, mostly because it tries to accomplish too much. In addition to the debate over the merits of filing suit over the death of Jennifer Haller — the price of life, as it were — there are tangential subplots involving Jennifer's father's loss of a leg while serving in Iraq and the value of that loss to family and country, and three murders (two in Texas, one in New York), that may or may not be related to each other and that individually or collectively may or may not relate to Jennifer's case. With respect to the primary plot points, the author doesn't pull any punches — The Price of Life is frequently blunt and stark in its narrative, often at the expense of plot continuity … which may limit its appeal for those readers seeking a more suspense-driven novel.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Price of Life.
Acknowledgment: Kelley & Hall Book Publicity provided a copy of The Price of Life for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in The Price of Life: Fort Worth, Texas
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The Price of Life by Greg McCarthy
Publisher: Otherworld Publications
Publication Date: September 2010
List Price: $26.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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