Desperate Measures Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Desperate Measures

Matt Pittman is a journalist who is down on his luck. His son died of cancer, his wife left him, and he is too depressed to go on. He is on the verge of pulling the trigger to kill himself when his boss at the newspaper calls and asks him to do a favor. Since his boss was so helpful when his son was dying he decides he can do this one thing before he goes ahead and kills himself. His assignment is to write an obituary chronicling the life of Jonathan Wingate, a diplomat who is on death's door and expected to die at any minute. Pittman had tried to talk to him seven years ago when there were rumors of a government conspiracy to sell nuclear wapons overseas. Everywhere he turned was a roadblock. He goes to Wingate's house where he is on life support. He watches through the window and sees the man's fellow diplomats talking about him. Once they leave, he sees Wingate struggling to breathe. Without thinking he breaks in and resets the man's oxygen tubes back into place. Evidently the diplomats didn't want his life saved--but why?
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Immediately Pittman finds himself pursued by men with guns as he runs away from the mansion. He is immediately investigated by cops who accuse him of killing Wingate, because his fingerprints were conveniently on the oxygen tube. But he tried to help, not hurt. It's no use. No one is listening. Pittman must find out on his own what is really going on so he can find out who was trying to kill him and why. Once he finds that out he'll know who really killed Wingate. He has to be careful though because everyone who helps him seems to end up dead too. He also meets up with nurse Jill, who treated Wingate in the hospital and has important information that helps. She joins forces with him and he finds a reason to go on living, after he has done the favor for his boss.
The review of this Book prepared by BethG

Chapter Analysis of Desperate Measures

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   investigating murder of politician(s) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Who's the terrorist enemy here?    -   evil subgroup in own govt

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   Dirty, dangerous (like New York) Misc setting    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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David Morrell Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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