The Healers
by Thomas Heric
Reviewed by Susie Hawes

The Healers, book one of The Aesculapians, is a disturbing glimpse into the past and future of medicine. Written by Thomas Heric, it is a book well worth the price.

Imagine a world where all of mankind’s illnesses could be cured, for an excessive fee. Imagine a group of doctors who could rejuvenate old people and resurrect the dead. Only the rich need apply.

The Aesculapian Healers are such an organization. Their methods are secret; their price dear. Ruthless and highly organized, the Healers recruit the brightest of minds and run their society like a corporation, cutting out conventional medicine.

They are rooted in secrecy, greed, and lack of conscience, and have slowly driven many hospitals, clinics and doctors into bankruptcy. Theirs is a dark past and an insidious future. 

The hero of this book is Wesley Anderson, who is recruited as one of the brightest medical minds to graduate from conventional medical schools. He is promised a cure for his father’s illness and alleviation for his family’s impending financial ruin. Wesley finds the methods employed by the Aesculapians to be heartless and their leadership corrupt, but as the story unfolds, he realizes the corruption goes far deeper into the roots of the Healers’ organization than anyone would have suspected. Theirs is a dark, evil past and their plans for the future are cruel and inhuman. They plan no less than mass murder, and he sets out to stop them.

Joining with a group of acolytes and teachers, Wesley sets his group against the most vicious, organized and formidable enemies of mankind.

To my great pleasure I discovered this book reads a bit like a Crichton novel. The science is solidly grounded by the author, himself a physician for more than four decades. The writing is smooth. Although in the beginning the chapters were so brief and the plot so involved as to give the book a bit of a choppy feel, once the author hit his stride he created a tense, tightly plotted page turner. The characters feel real, the bad guys are evil without being campy and the hero is a smart, caring person.  I found myself rooting for him and the other “dissidents” to bring the Aesculapians down before they bring their plans for mass murder to fruition.  

The writing is peppered with journal entries, emails, reports and other media that not only strengthens and supports the plot but gives the reader insight into the minds of the leaders of the Aesculapians. We are also treated to glimpses of the past, during the time when this organization was founded. As this story unfolds the motives of all the characters, both Aesculapians and Dissidents, are portrayed with color, texture and intelligence. This is a good read. My only suggestion would be to tighten the beginning chapters.

The conclusion of this book was satisfactory, as Wesley and his friends begin to clean up the organization. The former leaders are not all gone, and he must find a way to work in spite of their interference.

For solid plotting, strong character development and good story telling, I give this book a four and a half out of five, and look forward to the next installment in the series.

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