Reviewer: Mary Lignor
Title: A Fierce Radiance
Author: Lauren Belfer
Release Date: June 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Fiction
Year/Setting: New York City, 1941-1944
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate/Extreme
Lauren's Website/Blog: www.laurenbelfer.com
A tale of intrigue set mostly in New York City starting in 1941, just as the Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor and the American president and congress have declared war on Japan and Germany.
The main character, Claire Shipley, is a photo-journalist working for LIFE magazine and is sent on an assignment to cover the doctors and researchers who are running all out to find a cure for blood poisoning infections that will probably be the cause of many deaths of the soldiers who are about to embark into Europe and Asia to fight this war. This assignment sends Claire to the Rockefeller Institute, where the doctors are working on a new drug that they call Penicillin. Claire sees a patient using this new drug become nearly cured but, sadly, there isn't enough of the drug to keep him healthy and he passes away. She remembers her own daughter dying of a scratch that developed into blood poisoning and she has high hopes for this drug to work. Claire is also drawn to the doctor, James Stanton, who is coordinating this research for the military and is trying to keep his experiments secret. But, Claire isn't the only person interested in this new medicine. Her estranged father, Edward Rutherford, who is a businessman, is also interested in making a huge profit by researching this drug and others that may also be infection fighters. When a researcher dies at the institute, who also happens to be the sister of Dr. Stanton, the stakes go up. A murder has been committed to get the formulas for these wonder drugs. Claire puts herself in danger to find the killer of Dr. Stanton's sister no matter what may happen to her.
This book was a wonderful read but, you have to be patient. The book starts out slow but when things get moving it goes right along. The characters are very believable and the scenes of New York City are fabulous. Many people today don't remember that before World War II, many times people would die because of a bruise or a scratch and blood poisoning would kill them. After Penicillin was discovered many people were saved. It also states in this book that every soldier going to war had a vial of penicillin in their belongings. Give this book a chance and don't stop reading because you think it drags a little. You will love it as I did. Enjoy and I'll talk to you soon,
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