Rxesistant – A review of a provocative novel
Geoffrey W. Sutton
I enjoy a good story and rarely write reviews of novels, but Rxesistant deserves to be an exception. It’s not just a thrilling adventure. It’s a story from 2013 that will challenge readers to think about America’s leaders, values, and politics in light of the pandemic that began its killing spree six years after the author died.
As I write this review, our deficit has spiraled out of control. Our government cut taxes even before SARS / COVID-19 waded ashore, which increased our public debt. COVID-19 began killing. Then the government panicked and flooded our economy. Greedy people sucked up huge amounts of government bailouts meant to help those who would struggle during the unprecedented business-destroying shut-down. Mixed medical messages confused people about whom to trust. And inflation rose like a rocket to Mars.
We mourn our losses. Many we know continue to struggle. Inflation eats away at our resources.
Now, back to the novel.
Our hero, Lou Welcome, is an intelligent and athletic ER physician, a recovering addict, and a caring father. His boss asks him to fill in for him and deliver his speech at a conference in Atlanta. Lou agrees and invites his close friend Cap Duncan to join him. That’s when a series of disasters begin.
Cap is seriously injured on a trail run before the conference. Cap and other Americans are infected with a deadly germ whilst in hospitals. Antibiotics aren’t working. A physician working on a cure is kidnapped by a group seeking to pass laws that will strip America of its bloated and expensive social programs before they release a cure.
Our hero struggles against incredible odds. We wonder who he can trust to treat his friend. Can he trust the FBI or the CDC to deal with the menace?
What is the agenda of the influential group, One Hundred Neighbors, who are seeking control of the lethal microbe known as the Doomsday Germ and its potential cure?
Here’s a quote that sounds like Palmer glimpsed the future. A member of the evil group is speaking to colleagues:
"Once social security, Medicare, and Medicaid are revoked along with all the other related programs, a sea change will take place among the population. My research, in conjunction with supporting evidence from several top economists, has confirmed this theory. There will, of course, be unrest, but the American people will see immediate tax relief, followed soon after by a massive reduction in the deficit. Our economy will be greatly unburdened, resulting in higher levels of employment and a fast-growing GNP. Our country can be made great again, and once the entitlements are gone, it will not take long for all to become convinced of that fact."
I won’t spoil the story. If you like fast-paced, well-written, thought-provoking American fiction, you’ll probably like this one.
Michael Palmer (1943 – 2013) attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University. He was a best-selling American author who published a series of medical thrillers between 1982 until his death in 2013. Resistant was actually published in 2014.
Geoffrey W. Sutton, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Psychology. He retired from a clinical practice and was credentialed in clinical neuropsychology and psychopharmacology. His website is www.suttong.com
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