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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another Mystery / Thriller, this one by A. K. Alexander

A human infant sleeps in his incubator at a ne...A human infant sleeps in his incubator at a neonatal intensive care unit. Photo by Chris Horry at Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida, November 2002. (The infant is now a healthy two year old.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Covert Reich, by A.K.Alexander is a political/sociological thriller that is a fast paced, character driven novel. It begins in a hospital emergency room, where a young mother codes after needing life-saving efforts: her two month premature infant daughter is taken to the neo-natal intensive care unit by Doctor Kelly Morales. Kelly hears, while hooking the infant up to monitors and checking her vital signs, that two young mothers and their babies died the day before in this same hospital. Kelly is determined to save this baby, and find out what may have been similar in the three mothers' deaths.

Her questions lead  her to the morgue, where she asks the doctor, her friend  Jake, for the autopsies, but rather than having a collegial chat about results, she encounters hesitation, evasion, and fear in Jake. They agree to meet for dinner to talk outside of the hospital. Jake never arrives at the restaurant, and she goes back to the hospital to find out why.

She is met there by a police homicide detective, and is told that her friend has been murdered there in the morgue. Kelly is put off by the detective's blunt questions and by her attraction to him. He, in turn, is struggling with his own reluctant attraction to her.

The story reveals, slowly, character by character, a whole host of bad guys, racists who are involved in a conspiracy to make the world a better place by removing the "undesirables." Their program toward having a "pure" white society is funding a politician who is on track to be the next president of our country.

The settings change quickly: from the hospital's NICU (newborn intensive care unit) to the morgue, to the streets and a parking garage, from San Francisco to the Cayman Islands, from Germany to New Jersey, and from ordinary condo units to a mansion. The characters are varied: East European bullies, neophyte assassins, well intentioned physicians, hypocritical doctors taking the money offered, pharmaceutical chemists with the strength to say no, and others who play along for the money, the wife and twin daughters of a chemist on the run from the killers, a reporter/journalist with an excellent memory, and  police officers who may or may not be involved with the conspiracy.

The reader is kept guessing, and kept judging or not judging, siding with or not siding with the characters in this story.  The author touches on issues of poverty, teen pregnancy, gay rights, medical responsibility, racism, and ethnic removal plans. The story is thought provoking, heart rending, and well constructed.  Five Stars!
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  1. Wow! Terry, Thank You for the glowing review. I just saw this and had to let you know that I am so happy you enjoyed the book. Readers like you are why I love what I do--just knowing that one of my books not only entertained you but had you thinking is exactly what I strive to do as a writer.

    Thank You again!

    1. HI Michele, and you're welcome! I'm glad you stopped by to read the review!

  2. Now I am definitely looking forward to reading Covert Reich, Terry! Your reviews always go beyond a book description retelling and that is greatly appreciated. I'm also glad you liked the book since I recommended it on good faith knowing Michele is known for being a bit more than a pretty good writer :-) She keeps good company, too. Looking forward to her book co-written with Andrew E. Kaufman -- and to your review of the book!

    1. Thanks, Linda. I'm looking forward to their collaborative effort, also. I'll review it here!


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