Book Review: Working Stiff

After her hitch in the army ended, Bryn Davis returned stateside from Baghdad determined to build a decent life for herself. As being around bodies no longer bothered her, working at the upscale Fairview Mortuary in La Jolla, California seemed an ideal job. Bryn’s first full day at work results in discovering the mortuary director is involved in selling an unpatented, wildly expensive illegal drug known as Returne` which is capable of putting death on hold. Stumbling upon this activity results in Bryn’s murder but thanks to the intervention of Joe an agent with Pharmadene, the company responsible for developing the drug, she is brought back to an altered life. Now Bryn’s continued existence depends upon regular injections of the drug and to get it, she must agree to help find out how it is getting out of the facility and onto the street. As Bryn begins working with double agent Patrick McCallister, she uncovers a tangled plot to kill and then reprogram the minds of top-level government employees and realizes there really is a fate worse then death.

Caine’s imaginative new series starts with a bang as she puts a frightening new twist to corporate greed and zombies. Fast paced and full of surprises, this is one exciting thrill ride packed with both the best and worst of human behavior. While Bryn does indulge in a fair amount of angst and soul searching about her changed circumstances, it doesn’t take away from the overall story and makes her acceptance of a chance at love all the sweeter. At a time when pharmaceutical companies spend more money pushing drugs for ED then researching new antibiotics, this tale of greed presents a chilling peek at how a powerful drug could potentially be misused.


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