Five Star, Oct 2002, 24.95, 200 pp.
For five years Tom Loberg worked as a writer in the promotion department of pharmaceutical company Packer-Hill Laboratories until a key patent expired and nine hundred employees including Tom received a pink slip. Unemployed for three months, Tom accepts a position as an editorial writer at Mallory & Mallory medical publishing firm. Tom works for nasty Sam Glennie at the vanity-press division of the company.
The insecure and offensive Sam alienates subordinates, as he fears one of them will take his job. However, he loses his position in a more dramatic style as his corpse is found floating in the Pawtoni River. The police lean towards suicide, but Tom thinks otherwise after going through his boss' files and finding implications that murder might have occurred. Unable to resist, especially when his former employer shockingly offers him work, Tom makes inquiries that lead to more people dying to keep a deadly secret silent.
Though very typical of the medical conspiracy novels, A MATTER OF FEAR is an engaging amateur sleuth tale because readers will like the stubborn high morality of the hero. In spite of the plot not being any different than the usual pharmaceutical company hiding the results of the latest miracle drug that cures by killing, the story line engages the audience who root for Tom to uncover the truth. Because of Tom trying to do the right thing, conspiracy buffs will enjoy Seymour Shubin's tale of medical chicanery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner