“Do Two wrongs make it right?” “Does the end justify the means?”
In this auspicious debut, Alex Dolan announces himself as a virtuoso of psychological suspense and a rightful heir to masters of the genre like Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott. A young woman helps to end the lives of people with terminal diseases, her reasons her own. When she helps the wrong person, she will be roped into a plot to gain vengeance on behalf of dozens. Her journey will make her question everything she ever thought she knew about herself. And the last life she ends may be her own.
They know her as Kali. She is there to see them off into the afterlife with kindness, with efficiency, and with two needles. She’s been a part of the right-to-die movement for years, an integral member, complicit in the deaths of twenty-seven men and women, all suffering from terminal illnesses.
And she just helped the wrong patient.
Leland Moon has been with the Bureau for his entire career, but even as a respected agent, he was unable to keep his own son from being kidnapped on his way to school. When his boy finally came home, he told terrifying stories of his captors, and his nightmares haven’t stopped since.
Moon draws Kali into his mission, a mesmerizing cat-and-mouse game with two ruthless predators—one behind bars, one free—who hold the secrets that could bring comfort to the families of their victims. This powerful journey towards grace and towards peace will force both Leland and Kali to question everything they believe to be true and just.
I thought the opening to this book was stunning – I am sympathetic to the voluntary euthanasia movement and felt great empathy for the Euthanist and her client and thought this story line would be the feature of the novel. Just as I was feeling comfortable with the direction of the narrative, being introduced to Kali’s work, attending the job with her, my perspective was turned on its head when Kali decides to “assist” the wrong client – that change in circumstances (no spoiler here) was stunningly affective – tense and dramatic.
However after that I had a little difficulty suspending my disbelief at some of the major story arcs- maybe my expectations of the behaviours/standards of two FBI agents was unrealistic, but I had trouble accepting their manipulations and actions. The narrative then seemed to get a little complicated – from a scenario of “entrapment” we are then plunged into a story revenge and “justice”, maybe there were too many tangents happening for me.
Despite my reservations this is a great debut novel – the writing is fast paced and there are many surprises. The big questions this novel asks is “What would you do in this situation?” “Do two wrongs make it right?” “Does the end justify the means?” A thought – maybe this is really about the morality of certain government’s actions? Hmmmmm …Interesting…. Clever….