March online ebook club wrap-up – Hypocrites’ Isle

This month we read a medical thriller for our online ebook club. Hypocrites’ Isle by Ken McClure is the very depressing story about the corporate side of medical research. The novel centres around intelligent but socially awkward PhD student Gavin Donnelly. Gavin has uncovered a potential cure for cancer but, along with his supervisor Dr Frank Simmons, becomes a target of rebukes and opposition from both the medical academia and the drug companies.

The book raises the major question of how much corporate interest plays a role in curing disease?

In this case, if the disease is cured the medical academia will no longer receive grant funding, and the pharmaceutical companies will only use it if they can make a profit out of it. This is a scary thought but one, according to the author, that is quite realistic.

I enjoyed the book, as distressing as it could be. It made me think about some key issues. As a thriller, however, it does take some time to get into. If you don’t mind hearing a lot about medical procedures then you should enjoy it. At times I also found it to be quite repetitive in its description of the lab and Gavin’s personality.

In saying this it was still a great book to keep you occupied (though I’d suggest having some light, funny reading material readily available after you’ve finished).

What did everyone else think of the book?
Do you think the depiction of the medical research industry was plausible?

Let me know in the comments below.