Book Title: FADE TO BLUE by Hank Scheer
Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 288 pages
Publisher: Top Reads Publishing
Release date: Mar 2023
Formats Available for Review: print-softback (USA), and ebook (MOBI FILE (FOR KINDLE), EPUB, PDF).
Tour dates: Mar 14 to Apr 3, 2023
Content Rating: PG-13 for some bad language
"Hank Scheer’s debut novel offers readers an engaging medical mystery, after which the plot becomes a swiftly paced thriller. Sarah is a capable and appealing protagonist, and a canny plot twist gives the narrative geopolitical heft and spurs interest in what might happen next." - Kirkus Reviews
"The secondary cast is vibrant and varied; their personalities are distinctive, and their conversations have a charming effect. Sarah’s combative exchanges with René, a French inspector whose penchant for sarcasm matches hers, add particular color. And the well-described settings further flesh out and ground the otherwise dizzying, swift-moving story. Working toward an open-ended but triumphant conclusion, Fade to Blue is an exciting thriller in which a scientist tries to stay alive after creating a brain-destroying drug that others want." - Foreword Clarion Reviews
"The strong characters, fast-paced action, and ethical dilemmas create thought-provoking reading suitable for book club discussion, contrasting nicely with other standout medical thriller genre reads." - Midwest Book Review
Will Dr. Brenalen's unauthorized experiment lead to a cure for Alzheimer's, or will it be used for bioterrorism?
Biotech researcher Sarah Brenalen is frustrated by her boss’s dismissal of her controversial theory, so she secretly injects lab mice with experimental Alzheimer’s drugs of her own design. Sarah is stunned when one of her experiments goes horribly wrong. But Marcel and his international cabal are intrigued. Sarah's brain-destroying T-3 formulation could be just what they need.
Fade to Blue is a high-tech, fast-paced, cat-and-mouse game played for keeps. What Marcel didn't count on is that two can play this game.
Hank Scheer's writing journey began during a work break when a coworker said, "Hey, let's write a short story." They were working for a steel mill in Pittsburg, California, so brainstorming ideas became a fun way to pass the time.
At one point the following week, after the manufacturing process caused a computer to crash, Hank had his idea: an evil scientist creates a drug that destroys a person's brain.
Now it was a simple matter of plotting the story and writing it. Fade to Blue is the result of three trips to Paris, France, and long weekends spent driving around the San Francisco Bay area.
It doesn't involve steelmaking, but the science is just as real and the potential for trouble exponentially more terrifying.
Hank is now retired and lives in Martinez, California. He enjoys writing and recording music, world travel, biking, downhill skiing, and supporting other working people fighting for a better world.
connect with the author: website ~ goodreads
Creating Sarah and Marcel
When I began writing Fade to Blue, my protagonist was an evil scientist named Edgar Brenalen, who concocts a brain-destroying drug to use against his enemies. I quickly decided there are enough evil people in the world and changed him to a well-meaning scientist who accidentally creates a horrific drug. That evening I told my wife I was going to write a book. To my surprise, she didn’t laugh.
“Really? What’s it about?” she asked.
“It’s about a scientist who’s working on a cure for Alzheimer’s. One day he accidentally creates a brain-destroying drug, and he . . .”
“Why does your scientist have to be a man? Why not a woman?”
Realizing she’d cut me off, she offered an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry. I interrupted you. Go ahead.”
“Thank you. Anyway, as I was saying, it’s about a scientist. One day she accidentally creates a brain-destroying drug.”
And just like that, Dr. Edgar Brenalen became Dr. Sarah Brenalen.
Sarah’s nemesis in Fade to Blue is a professional assassin named Marcel. While creating his character, I remembered the movie Three Days of the Condor, in which Max von Sydow plays a hitman named G. Joubert. Unlike the vile killers I’d seen in other movies, Joubert was a gentleman—well-dressed, articulate, and soft-spoken. He was an artist, listened to classical music, and just happened to kill people for a living.
I stole G. Joubert from Three Days of the Condor and made him Marcel Joubert in Fade to Blue.