Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Over the Edge by Brandilyn Collins

Jannie McNeil is maliciously infected with Lyme disease and three coinfections. Her husband is an academic in the medical realm and promotes a short-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme. But there are some who experience long-term chronic Lyme symptoms. One such person was the wife of the man who infected Jannie. He watched his wife suffer and finally die because of misdiagnosis and then refusal of needed treatment. He figures if Brock McNeil's wife experiences chronic Lyme symptoms he'll change his mind and promote long-term care.
But Jannie's husband has other ideas. He has been having an affair and when Jannie gets sick, he thinks she is faking it to win his sympathy and have him come back to her. The situation only gets worse as their daughter is threatened. Can Jannie convince anyone she is really ill before it is too late?

While this is a work of fiction, Collins writes from her own experience. She was hit with Lyme in 2003. Many of Jannie's experiences were ones Collins experienced. Brock McNeil is fiction but represents a combination of researchers who still deny the existence of chronic Lyme as an active infection. The Lyme wars go back decades, Lyme-literate-doctors believing long term antibiotic treatment is effective while powerful groups, like the CDC, deny the existence of chronic Lyme as an active infection. As Collins explains in her afterward note, the testing for the disease as described in the novel is based on actual methods. Collins' note at the end of the novel is revealing. Be sure to read it. You'll find out that a great deal of the medical background in the novel is real. A shameful affair, politically tainted, one doctor says.
Collins says she wrote this novel to tell a good suspense story. But more than entertain, she wanted to shed light on this whole difficult issue.

Collins has written a great suspense novel. I highly recommend it. It will keep you reading late into the night.

B & H Publishing Group, 352 pages.

I received an egalley from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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