“No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money-changer.”
Meet “The Hand of Covexa.” Rising pharma powerhouse Eric Kowal is a lothario, and a master at juggling his secret lives. He’s also the newly-promoted, short-tempered executive of Covexa Pharmaceuticals, who’s devised a scheme to “befriend” witty newcomer, Adam Wright, and persuade him to help with an inside trade. He’s been out of touch with the realities of his illegal marketing schemes, but conflict arises when the C.E.O. starts pressuring him to market fentanyl off-label.
Eric’s been pretty good at keeping his lives separate from one another, until a neurological condition renews his dormant seizures, then takes a dangerous turn into sporadic and uncontrollable flashbacks. Unwilling to draw his wife’s attention, he has no choice but to rely on Adam – the co-conspirator he’d only befriended for his aid as an accomplice, thereby forcing a closer bond between them and leaving his damaging secrets open to exposure. One final, terrible event will send Eric’s entire world crashing down around him. Can their camaraderie overcome the violation of trust? Can love overcome years of betrayal?
Original, poignant and compelling; the introspective grit of Wally Lamb meets the controversial themes of Jodi Picoult and the raw emotion of Khaled Hosseini.
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. . . “They just use these places as an excuse, really. They’ve been expired since long before the casino got to them. The dead thrive off of temptation but winning itself has limits. People don’t come here to win – winning means nothing. On the other hand, there’s no limit to the idea of winning, and that’s what keeps these vegetables from pulling their own plugs.”
Smiling coolly, he turned, his clinking glass saluting the same engrossed patrons pressing buttons with their good-luck charms, which looked a lot like plastic cigarette lighters.
“Well, just look at them. They’ll stay right where they are while this whole place burns to the ground, and don’t think for one second that they don’t realize how high the odds are stacked against them.”
His words, and yet . . . he kept coming back. Over Adam’s shoulder, the sullen, weakly-lit dome suddenly transformed a gaming establishment into a hospice. A windowless dimension that displayed no wall clocks. However likely that was to aid profitability, it effectively shut out time and shut in their grim fate. Observant slot attendants strolled patiently, bearing empathetic, priestly expressions, aiming to keep everyone as comfortable as possible while drink replaced drink replaced drink replaced drink . . .
Mother and wife from Rhode Island. Writer of contemporary fiction.