Saturday, October 27, 2012

Not A Fire Exit-Christopher Finlan

Not A Fire Exit

Christopher Finlan

Milverstead Publishing, Nov 30 2009, $4.95

ISBN: 9780984284702

Five months ago, widow Beth Groves gave birth to Michele. However, instead of a happy occasion, her baby was dying from Type One Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). At Philadelphia Hospital, Dr. Thomas Schad claims he can cure Michele. Though Beth and her dad believe he is a con artist, she is desperate so she accepts his terms, but becomes horrified when he explains the procedure. To save her daughter, he needs a little girl as the host; that other child will die. He demonstrates on Michele with a temporary fix that gives the infant a short-term lift and leaves a cell phone message to “Go ahead.”

Three months after Dr. Schad offered Beth a deal, Michele who was hours from death is on the news with her miraculous recovery. Jim Knox tells his wife Sarah, he knew Beth’s older sister in high school. At Tyler Elementary, Sarah is part of a cupcake sale. She prevents affluent Cal Nolan of Nolan Knockouts fame from stealing a cupcake for his son; but he makes her look like the villain. Soon after her run-in with Nolan, Sarah’s life unravels leading to her receiving a cell phone message of two words: “Go ahead.”

The tone for this strong at times dark medical thriller is set by Hillary Dunlap Schmid in the Forward when she lovingly talks about her late baby Zane who died from SMA. Character driven by the strong cast yet deeply thought-provoking, readers will wonder how far a parent goes to save the life of their child. Christopher Finlan provides an uplifting tale filled with love and angst yet avoiding over-sentimental emoting.

Harriet Klausner

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