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Revealing The Covenant: A Medical Thriller
by Rusty Van Reeves

Category: Fiction / Health
222 pages; ISBN: 1 59286 766 9

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Norman Goldman

Review

With his second novel, Revealing The Covenant: A Medical Thriller, Rusty Van Reeves, has crafted an artful narrative concerning the use of embryonic stem cells to cure spinal cord paralysis.

The focus of the story pertains to a group of doctors with one of the largest HMOs in the USA, who are determined to prevent a privately funded research team headed by, Dr. Hans Kilmer, a legend in the field of spinal research, from the clinical testing of a procedure that would reverse spinal cord paralysis.
This rogue group is made up of a secret inner circle, descendants of the original six founding members, who have entered into an agreement called The Covenant.
Anyone that gets in their way runs the risk of being destroyed as they are committed to the promises of their fathers, who have agreed to an “all-for-one and one-for-all pact.”
Their interests are purely economical, and if there is a threat to their profits, they will use whatever means necessary, including murder, to safeguard their monetary interests.

The opening chapters of the saga revolve around Dr. Michael Preston, who is being recruited by Dr. Kilmer to join the research team. Kilmer and his business associate Stergis Braxton believe that Preston would make an ideal candidate.

They have reached this conclusion due to Preston’s dedication to this type of research, as a result of his brother being paralyzed.
We learn that Preston and his brother were together in a car accident that caused his brother’s paralysis, while Preston had escaped with very minor injuries. Preston blames himself for the tragedy and is determined to find a cure for his brother’s paralysis.

Although, initially, Preston is not sold on the idea of becoming a member of Kilmer’s team, his fate seems to be sealed when he is introduced to Kilmer’s attractive daughter, Kayla, who is also a doctor following in the same specialization as her father. The two are mutually attracted to each other, and eventually are embroiled in some hair- raising incidents almost leading to their deaths.

Reeves writes with an easy fluidity, although some of his characters would have been more engaging if they had been more fully developed, particularly Kayla Kilmer and her relationship with Michael Preston. Still, plot counts and here is where Reeves’ strength lies- his ability to weave an interesting tale that leaves the reader wondering if such hideous behavior on the part of some health companies actually exists in the real world.
All in all, the novel is a thrill-a-minute ride, and the result is a book you have difficulty leaving once you begin its reading.

The above review first appeared on the reviewer's own site:
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