Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Poison Plum

Author: Les Roberts

The Poison Plum is presented as fiction but yet the underlying basic message of the book is very true to life. This is a book that everyone needs to read. You don't have to be a Lyme disease patient to appreciate this gripping tale of political intrigue. It is most definitely a page turner and it was very difficult to put down.

The book begins in Alabama, back in the 1940s, where the famous Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment took place. This subject later ties into the plot. Next we visit New London, Connecticut where a retired respected colonel with lyme disease, takes revenge on a boatload of microbiologists returning home for the day from Plum Island. Plum Island is an animal disease research facility off the tip of Long Island, New York. One of Plum Island's employees, Susan Collins, was not on the boat that particular day because she was taking her son, Toby, to the doctor. Toby had contracted a mysterious illness and she was hoping her son would finally be diagnosed with something tangible so he could be treated.

Homeland Security and Plum Island officials discovered that the Colonel had been dying of Lyme disease and they realized that he had traced the origins of this disease to the research labs on this island. The officials did not want this connection to be discovered by the public, so to divert attention away from the Colonel and to put the blame somewhere else, the government officials then conducted raids on the offices of all the Lyme doctors in the area. A particularly famous lyme doctor, Dr. Glen Klinner, was arrested and taken to some unknown location. The Colonel had been a patient of Dr. Klinner and the official government lie stated that Dr. Klinner had given the Colonel specific drugs which caused the colonel to commit this desperate act of what the government called "terrorism", against the United States.

Congressman McDonald then became involved in this developing saga, as Dr. Klinner and his wife Fran, were very close friends of the Congressman.

In the meantime Susan Collins was still having problems trying to get her child, Toby, diagnosed. Susan returned to work at Plum Island where her bosses complained of all the time she had taken off to be with her sick son. They were suspicious and wondered why she hadn't been on the ferry that fateful afternoon.

Finally, Toby was diagnosed with Lyme disease and Babesiosis. Susan had difficulty finding a local doctor to continue Lyme treatment because all the Lyme doctors in the area had been arrested. While Susan is struggling to save her son's life, Congressman McDonald is trying to find where his friend, Dr. Klinner, had been taken to. The Congressman held press conferences to inform his constituents as to what was happening. McDonald received information which led him to realize that Lyme disease may have actually originated at and spread from Plum Island.

As the story evolves, many of the characters are connected, share information and together they fight for the Truth to be revealed. Sometimes the reader may be able to discern where the plot is headed and other times he may not.......especially near the end.

I feel that there is an important lesson to be learned from this book. The main idea I came away with was that we have to come together, we have to do what's right and we need to ask God for guidance, before it's too late.

This book encompasses many aspects of what is really taking place in our world and I think we need to heed the author's warnings. The Poison Plum is very well written and includes all the essential elements of a spellbinding thriller.

Review by Marjorie Tietjen

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