Sunday, November 24, 2013

Up in Smoke: A Dr. Zol Szabo Medical Mystery by Ross Pennie



I must be on a roll here, dear readers. This is second book in a row, that I just don't like.
Do, I hate it? No.
Do, I love it? Obviously not but ... I can see why some might find it read worthy and entertaining.

I pushed myself to finish this book because the investigation is complex and the characters are well developed.  The idea of tobacco causing panic and deaths due to liver disease is a very intriguing and Pennie either really knows biological processes or did extensive research.

As, far as not liking this novel --- I just wasn't pulled into it and at times, it was wordy and lengthy. However, keep in mind that this is the first novel of, Pennie's that I've read. There are two other novels before this one, that had I read. might have changed my entire perspective on this novel. Because I would know the characters better and have more experience with Pennie's particular writing style.

I don't think this is a novel someone who loves medical mysteries should pass up but I strongly encourage them to read the two previous ones, so that they can have a more positive experience than, I did.

Grade: C


Overview [B&N]

Epidemic investigator Dr. Zol Szabo and his team are called to a high school in the heart of Ontario’s tobacco country, where unexplained deaths from liver failure are creating panic. The team begins to suspect a link with contaminated, cut-price cigarettes manufactured on nearby Grand Basin Indian Reserve led by the Badger, the multimillionaire kingpin of the illicit Native tobacco trade. First-responders from the local fire department become the epidemic’s next victims, and when Zol confronts the Badger, he is rebuffed by the leader’s lust for blood, money, and ancient artifacts. High-level government authorities, cowed by the weight of Native influence, order Zol to shut down his investigation. As the Badger’s contaminated tobacco spreads across the country, he stalks Zol’s family and executes witness after witness. Can Zol dig deep enough to find a creative solution before it’s too late?

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