Friday, August 15, 2014

That Elusive Cure / Lisa C. Hinsley

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Approximate word count: 55-60,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Lisa C Hinsley's career has been varied, working as an architectural technician, a pet sitter, a pharmacy supervisor and most recently a carer/companion for elderly ladies, all the while writing when she can. Born in Portsmouth in 1971, Lisa grew up in England, Scotland, and America. She now lives on the Wirral, in northwest England, with her husband, three children, four cats and a dog.

Lisa's novels Plague and The Ultimate Choice have featured regularly on the UK Amazon bestsellers charts and are published in the USA by Simon & Schuster.

For more, visit her website, like her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.


While she’s waiting for her chemotherapy session, a woman approaches Kathy, offering a revolutionary treatment for cancer. Kathy has nothing to lose. The doctors now measure her life in months, not years. 

The woman leads Kathy to an abandoned church and convinces her to climb inside a futuristic-looking silver pod. She gets in, turns the machine on, and the results are miraculous. 

A few days later, when the wonderful sense of well-being she experienced begins to ebb, all she can think about is having another session. In spite of the apparent improvement, Kathy’s renewed energy is soured by doubt. What exactly is this machine? What if none of this is real and the next MRI shows all the tumors are still there? Time is so short


Despite the seriousness of the cancer invading Kathy’s body, this was a fast read, which rarely dropped into self-absorbed sadness. This was in large part due to Kathy’s refreshingly positive outlook on life.

A secondary story thread followed Kathy’s life-long friend who was struggling with her own medical demons. Through her, we see Kathy’s natural tendency to help and support those she loves, and how that support made her reassess her own problems.

I had a little difficulty accepting Kathy’s interfering husband—he and his actions didn’t ring true for me, and the ending was a little disappointing in that I’m not sure she would have done what she did (there’s a teaser for you J).

Overall, I enjoyed this story, which operated on multiple levels and explored many facets of the life changes someone with cancer has to accept, as well as how other people’s perceptions change toward, and affect, the cancer patient. The pod was used to good effect. It was mysterious, and also provided a ticking-clock that built tension.

Format/Typo Issues:

British spelling

Rating: **** Four stars

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