Title: The Cured
Author:David Wind & Terese Ramin
When over 4000 people world-wide died after taking a cure for cancer, the drug was recalled. But the questions kept coming. Was it contamination? Was it sabotage? Or,was it outright murder by an insane research scientist in retaliation against the pharmaceutical giant he worked for and to avenge the death of his wife?
And everyone wanted Doctor Donald Brockman! The lawyers wanted answers; the FDA wanted answers and, Homeland Security wanted the doctor!
When the 911 code flashed across her beeper, Doctor Kira Brockman went cold. The one thing she had been dreading had happened and her life as she knew it had been changed, and the change was for the worst!
The wrong people had found her father!
She knew she had very little time to get out of the hospital, to find her brother and to run before Homeland Security and the FBI found them, and they were not the only ones: the lawyers who were in the midst of a huge class action suit against the international pharmaceutical manufacturing giant who had sold the cancer cure wanted her and the evidence she had as well as the lethal security team from the drug company who was trying to stop Kira Brockman from disclosing the evidence only she could get—evidence that would save her father—and they would use any means necessary to stop her.
And so begins a heart stopping cross country race to save her father’s life and prove he was not responsible for the deaths of 4000 people—The Cured—who had survived cancer because of his medication and then inexplicitly died from the very cure he’d created.
1st Chapter Reveal
*Warning* ~ the following excerpt contains strong language
The Third Week of August
Eleven A.M., Princeton, New Jersey
Donald R. Brockman MD, PhD, finished the half Windsor knot and centered the burgundy tie neatly between the peaks of his shirt collar. Nervousness radiated from every pore. Today was critical for the chief research scientist of Luxow Pharmaceutical oncology division. He’d never been a whistle blower before, but in ten minutes he would drive to Philadelphia where two opposing teams of lawyers waited to take his deposition for what might prove the most horrific international product liability case the world had ever seen.
The original plan for his testimony had changed at the last minute; the only thing of which he was certain was that today would either see him a free man or a marked man. The attorneys suing Luxow had assured him once his testimony was on record he would be safe. They guaranteed there was nothing the huge international conglomerate could do to him, other than try to discredit him.
Even from the world-insulated confines of his laboratory, Dr. Brockman had seen too much of human nature to believe them.
Turning from the mirror, he went to the dresser and looked at the arrangement of photographs. His late wife smiled at him from the frame on the left. God, how I miss you. Has it really been five years?
The center picture brought to memory the shower clean scent of strawberry hair; it framed a face that was a mirror of his wife’s, only younger. Twenty-three-year-old Kira Brockman had her mother’s gentle beauty and inquisitive blue eyes. She also had the iron core that had brought him to choose to testify today.
To the right of Kira, his son, Michael, smiled happily. The picture had been taken six years ago when Michael was a seven-year-old bundle of kinetic energy. A surprise baby ten years younger than Kira, he’d been happy then. Diagnosed at two with Asperger’s Syndrome, Michael had depended on his mother to be his link to the world. Irene had worked with him daily, teaching him not only how to communicate, but how to be in a world in which he was markedly different. At four, when his IQ had been off the charts, she’d helped him learn how to focus his energies, make use of his intelligence. When she’d died, he’d stopped talking and retreated into a private world that nothing could induce him to leave. The doctors Donald had consulted said Michael suffered from post-traumatic stress. But how could a seven year old suffer from PTSD? It was a question Donald had asked himself hundreds of times. He only hoped the day would come when Michael could be happy again.
Brockman pushed off the overwhelming sadness thinking of his son brought on, and retrieved his jacket from the bed. He put it on, readjusted the cell phone on his belt, went down the carpeted stairs to the living room, and glanced at the clock. Ten-fifty-nine—time to leave if he was to make his two o’clock appointment.
The dull metal sound of a car door closing drew his attention to the living room window. He crossed to look between the drawn drapes. Two vehicles were at the curb. The sight shook him hard. Apprehension turned into fear when Bill Thorndyke, head of security for Luxow, got out of the first car.
He’d been found out.
On the heels of realization, fear became a thought-clearing, strangely calming anger. With all the clandestine planning devoted to setting up his testimony, Donald Brockman had known discovery was inevitable. Luxow would have moved heaven and earth to learn his identity. They could not allow him to testify. Exposure was an unacceptable risk for a drug company on the verge of the biggest breakthrough in cancer treatment the world had ever seen.
The doorbell rang. Brockman backed away from the window into the foyer, and looked around. There were only two ways in or out of the house and this one was compromised. He started to turn toward the kitchen, only to pause when a noise came from that door, too. Trapped. He took a quick breath. With no way out there was only one thing left to do.
“Be ready,” he whispered and took out his cell phone. Pressing speed dial, he raised the phone to his ear. He waited for the prompt, then pressed the pound key, entered three digits, and closed the phone as the front door burst open. Turning, he faced Bill Thorndyke and a second man. The head of security stepped in close, took the phone, and slipped it into his pocket.
“Don’t make us use force, Doctor.” He nodded at the two men who came through the kitchen. They flanked Brockman on either side. “Let’s go,” Thorndyke ordered.
“You won’t get away with this. They’re expecting me at the deposition.”
Thorndyke’s smile exposed tobacco yellowed teeth. “You won’t make the deposition.” Turning to the man next to him he said, “Check the house. Get the computer,” making Brockman thankful once again he’d decided to hide the files in the manner he had.
Maneuvered outside by the men on either side of him, he took a last, desperate look around, hoping someone, anyone would be there. But, it was almost mid-day in the commuter suburb. The street was deserted.
Behind him, Thorndyke stepped out of the house and closed the door. Brockman swiveled his head to look at the other man. Something in Thorndyke’s flat-eyed gaze made his blood run cold. It was now or never.
Facing forward, he took a half step and stumbled, pulled free of the men holding his arms, then shot forward into a run. He made it six steps before one of the security men took his legs out from under him in a rolling football tackle. His head slammed the cement walkway with a loud crack. Onrushing darkness claimed him.
“God damn it!” Thorndyke snapped. He looked around to make sure there were no witnesses. “Get him into the car, fast!” he ordered, staring at the small pool of blackish blood left on the concrete sidewalk. “Shit!”
About the Authors ~ David Wind & Terese Ramin
David Wind is the author of 34 Novels. He began writing in 1979 and has published novels of suspense, adventure, science fiction, historical fiction and romance.
David’s novel, Angels In Mourning, won the reader’s choice Book Award from thebookawards.com. It is available as an Ebook and Trade Paper.
David’s thrillers are The Hyte Maneuver, (a Literary guild alternate selection), As Peace Lay Dying, and Conspiracy of Mirrors which were originally written under the pen name David Milton. For the mystery/suspense novels, And Down will Come Baby, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and Shadows, David worked with his wife Bonnie Faber
Co-Op, is a mainstream novel about the lives of people inhabiting a New York City cooperative apartment building.
Queen of Knights, a medieval fantasy, and The Others were stories of fantasy and science fiction.
In 1988, David was honored by science fiction writer and Hugo Award Grand Master Andre Norton, who, after reading Queen of Knights, asked David to write a short story for inclusion in her Andre Norton’s Tales From The Witch World 2 Anthology Series.
David also wrote the novelization of the 7 day ABC miniseries, The Last Days Of Pompeii.
Terese Ramin is the award winning author of 10 novels of romance, romantic suspense, adventure, paranormal romance, and thrillers available in the U.S. and worldwide.
Her shorter works have been published in anthologies, including the charitable collaborations Bewitched, Bothered, & BeVampyred (to benefit the International Red Cross) and The Sound and the Furry (to benefit the International Fund for Animal Welfare – IFAW). Her work has been translated and published in Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, and Portuguese.
Among her many writing achievements Terese has been awarded RWA Golden Heart Award and the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award.
She lives in Michigan with her husband.
For more information about Terese, please visit tereseramin.com