Sometimes the truth hurts …
When journalist Tess Johnson takes a job at Helix pharmaceuticals, she has a very specific motive. Tess has reason to believe the company are knowingly producing a potentially harmful drug and, if her suspicions are confirmed, she will stop at nothing to make sure the truth comes out.
Jim Knight is the president of research and development at Helix and is a force to be reckoned with. After a disastrous office affair he’s determined that nothing else will distract him from his vision for the company. Failure is simply not an option.
As Tess and Jim start working together, both have their reasons for wanting to ignore the sexual chemistry that fires between them. But chemistry, like most things in the world of science, isn’t always easy to control.
Read on for my thoughts on Search for the Truth. No true spoilers, promise.
I believe that many of us who depend on prescription drugs for ourselves or our loved ones have a love/hate relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. The seemingly excessive cost for medicine often leaves those most in need of the drug unable to afford something that may save their lives. On the other hand, the cost for research and development, plus the cost to hire the best scientists and doctors to find those cures and treatments is also high. So when it appears that a drug or the side effects of that medicine harms or takes the life of a loved one, the enemy is the drug company that manufactured that drug. An industry that not many outside of it’s walls understand becomes an easy scapegoat when medicine goes wrong.
While the above is my personal opinion – it also ties in to this story on so many levels. Tessa’s mother was fighting cancer, when shortly after receiving a new treatment drug she died from a heart attack, Tessa and her family were devastated. When a stranger approached her during her mother’s memorial service stating that her family member had also died of a heart attack shortly after taking the same drug, Tessa’s journalistic radar went off the charts.
It was decided between Tessa and her newspaper boss that she would go undercover at the company who manufactured the drug that Tessa believes killed her mother. Tessa wants the truth and to make the company that took her mother from her to pay for their disregard for human life in lieu of profits. She entered into the job convinced that the company was at fault, all she needed now was solid proof that she intended to uncover once she had access to people and files.
Jim has returned to Helix as it’s president of research and development. After being betrayed in the worst way by the woman he loved and who also worked for Helix, Jim had immediately left the company. Now, two years later he is back and in a position to make changes that not only help the company but will benefit the patients who need their product. Heads will roll, he will not be the most popular man in the company, but change will happen – on that front he is determined.
Tessa feels that the heavens are on her side as she is in a position to work closely with the man who had ties directly to the drug she is researching. What she didn’t count on was finding out that the changes he wanted would make the medicines developed by Helix much safer and better presented to the doctors who would ultimately prescribe them. She hadn’t considered the rules and regulations within the industry, the safeguards nor the long line of testing and research involved before drugs were made available to the public. She also hadn’t counted on becoming attracted to her co-worker, but her path was set no matter what her emotions were.
Search for the Truth is an intricate novel that exposes the industry to us, brings out information that the average person on the street doesn’t have access to. That thread of truth flows through the story, highlighting information and situations that outsiders would rarely know about. The fact that Ms Freeman has worked in this industry comes through loud and clear – and helps to make the faceless industry more approachable even more human.
I enjoyed Search for the Truth on many levels, it is a story that is exposed layer by layer as the characters become more involved and more attracted to each other. Tessa and Jim were complex people. Each had their reasons for fighting the attraction they felt, but eventually emotion wins over logic. Tessa’s internal battle with the need to know what happened to her mother against knowing what the discovery of her ultimate betrayal will mean to Jim is a painful joy to read. It is an intense story that I read in one sitting as the emotions and the tension became great enough that I simply had to know what the end would be without a break.
I would recommend this novel for any reader who enjoys a good love story, wants a richly detailed story that draws you in and won’t let you go until the final sentence.
*I received an e-ARC of Search for the Truth from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Available for the Kindle