Walker, June 2002, 23.95, 264 pp.
When the Cathedral of St. John the Divine stopped funding senior services, Anita Servi was out of a job. With her husband, a carpenter, working only sporadically and a foster daughter to support she needs work immediately. Thanks to Susan, the wife of her husband's masseuse, Anita lands employment at Monument Estates, a upper middle class housing complex located on Manhattan's upper West Side.
Since half the residents who own their own apartments are senior citizens, Nan (Neighbors Assisting Neighbors) was formed. Anita is hired as a social worker but on her first day on the job, she find her boss Susan dead in her office, a suicide note on her desk and the book Final Exit near the body. She later finds out that three other residents committed suicide by using the recommendations found in Final Exit. As the death toll mounts, Anita begins to wonder if someone isn't giving the residents a little assistance to their voyage to the other side.
Irene Marcuse makes a case for legally assisted suicide without making any moral judgment. CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE is a solid amateur sleuth tale with a social message woven into the plot. The protagonist is a superb role model who readers will want to emulate because she adheres to her principles.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner