About the Book:
What if we had the cure for a catastrophic illness, but it lay hidden inside the blood and bones of just one man?A mysterious new contagion is decimating the population. It starts in the lungs, like the flu, then moves to the bones, where it weakens and breaks them, eventually killing the host. The disease’s origin, methods of propagation and means of contraction are all unknown. There is no vaccine, and none is expected, as the virus is protean and elusive. If it remains unchecked and mutates into a more virulent form, it will become an extinction level event.
Jason Kramer has the disease, known by its nickname “Trips Lite” (the CDC doctor who discovered it is a fan of Stephen King’s “The Stand”), but his body produces a unique antibody that kills the viruses inside him. This component in Jason’s blood can be harvested and given to anyone who needs it—his blood can heal. But pharmaceutical magnate Phillip Porter needs to keep people believing that only his expensive drug cocktail will slow Trips Lite down, and so if there’s any chance someone with the disease will live, Phillip Porter must make sure that Jason Kramer does not.
Interweaving the styles of John Grisham and Michael Crichton, The Cure is a thriller that fuses genres while retaining its own unique voice to tell the story of Jason—burdened with the knowledge that he is mankind’s last hope—as he struggles against Porter’s avarice and greed in the face of an impending viral apocalypse.
I was intrigued to read The Cure: A Thriller mainly because the disease in the story is referred to as “Trips Lite” after the disease in Stephen King’s The Stand. I got sucked in to the story when I realized that Bradlee Frazer’s writing style is a mix of King and Michael Crichton ala Coma. The story was a fast-paced adventure, but it also touched on the inner demons of the characters.
The ethical dilemma posed in The Cure is one that will keep you thinking for days after you finish the story. The ending was a little disappointing, but only because it didn’t quite match what I had planned in my own head, while reading.
I give The Cure 4 1/2 hypodermic needles!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from Jitterbug PR and from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
About the Author:
Bradlee Frazer is an author, speaker, blogger and Boise, Idaho native who loves the blues, Ray Bradbury short stories and his wife, daughter and dogs. He is also the lawyer who successfully registered the color blue as a trademark for the iconic artificial turf in Boise State University’s football stadium.
Bradlee’s nonfiction has been published in national legal treatises on matters of Internet and intellectual property law, and he is a frequent speaker on those topics. His works of fiction include the short story Occam’s Razor, which was published in an online literary journal, and he has co-authored two screenplays, Dangerous Imagination and Spirit of the Lake. He has written scripts for sketch comedy, radio productions and short films, and in college Bradlee was a film critic who wrote and hosted a weekly half-hour television program called Premiere!. The Cure is his first novel.
Interview with the Author:
TM: What sparked the idea for The Cure?
BF: I was reading Stephen King’s novel The Stand, and there was a line in there in which one of the Army researchers told a plague survivor that he had “killed it. You just killed it.” I was fascinated by the idea that someone could be immune from a plague, and so in The Cure I chose to explore that concept, the idea of what it would be like for a person to have immunity from a plague, instead of focusing on the plague itself.
TM: Do you think a situation similar to that in The Cure could ever really happen?
BF: Yes. Every day we see stories in the news about new viral mutations against which we have no defenses. A recent example is a new mutation of the norovirus, which causes nausea and can kill those whose immune systems are compromised—there is no vaccine against that new strain of norovirus. So yes, if one of these mutations produced a virus that was fatal to everyone, not just the weak or infirm, a virus like Trips’ Lite as presented in The Cure, could arise. Now, as to whether someone like Jason Kramer who is immune to the virus would appear, that is a different story. Jason is a unique protagonist since he is the only person with immunity.
TM: You’ve done many different types of writing – which is your favorite?
BF: You are right—I’ve written short fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, television scripts and novels! I had not really thought about that until you asked the question. Of all those forms, I like the novel the best, as it gives you a chance to fully explore characters and concepts much more so than the other forms. It permits a certain kind of freedom to create and be expressive that is not as fully presented in the other types.
TM: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
BF: It sounds trite, but keep writing and rewriting until you get it just right. I am a firm believer in the old adage, “Great books are not written. They are rewritten.” I rewrote The Cure many times before it was accepted for publication by Diversion Books. Each time I rewrote all or a portion of the book, I tried to follow the advice given by a literary agent or an editor or another author who had read the manuscript, revising, deleting unnecessary adverbs and writing with strong nouns and verbs, watching for clichés and anachronisms, incorporating visual details so that I could “show, not tell” the reader what was happening. That process helped me become a better writer and eventually permitted me to find a publisher.
TM: Tell me about any upcoming projects.
BF: At the moment, I am working on a sequel to The Cure called The Cure: Immortal. It is gratifying that interest in a sequel has been expressed, so I am trying to complete that project. I am also working on a novel called The Number of Prayers. Here are the first two lines from that work in progres: “On Tuesday, God stopped answering prayers. On Wednesday, all hell broke loose.” Kind of a road/buddy piece with two protagonists on a mission. It’s been fun to write it so far!