By: David Herstle Jones
Publisher: Think in the Morning
Publication Date: December 2019
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: March 24, 2020
This is one of those rare books that covers many genres and interests. A literary drama that involves a young lawyer diagnosed with terminal cancer; a book that delves into the unconventional medical approaches to healing; and, also a tale that is filled with intrigue, suspense, politics, as well as “hard-boiled” criminal characters and activities.
To begin, readers are taken back to the 1970s to meet up with Eric Martin, the young man who has been afflicted with this horrendous disease. It does not take long for him to figure out that the hospitals and more “accepted” avenues of fighting the disease, such as chemotherapy, are simply not enough. Not only are they ineffective in his situation, but those providing the care also don’t seem to have the passion or will to fight something that has no prescribed cure.
But Eric still has the fight within and his path to treatment is altered when he opens the door to a clinic in Mexico that offers Laetrile (i.e., a compound used as a treatment for cancer, there’s an argument about its validity and the fact that, because it makes hydrogen cyanide which changes into cyanide when taken into the body, can be deadly). No choice is showing any support or promise, so he opts for this one. At the clinic in Mexico, he meets a Catholic priest who has his own “other paths” to healing as well. This man of the cloth is a believer in the mysterious, for lack of a better term, and opens Eric to the world of shamanic healing which involves the shaman working with ‘helper spirits’ in order to heal a soul.
While on this journey, not only does Eric find a way to love and embrace life, the reader does as well. Many question, while others believe, that dreams and reality can be a “team” in some ways and that the extraordinary things no one can understand should be explored and learned in order to give a life a greater sense of fulfillment.
This is not entirely a work of fiction. The book is made all the more substantial when knowing that the author is recounting the disease that afflicted his own brother, but goes one step further. Almost as an homage, the author shows both the good and the bad that life has to offer each one of us. He also does a heart-wrenching job of proving that living defined as ‘breathing in and out each day’ is not fine; if you’re just breathing and not living each day to its absolute fullest, then...basically, you become a robot amongst many.
The characters invited into this story are fun, interesting, and memorable. Reality also comes in the form of a crime drama with political overtones that keep thriller readers involved—with everyone from gangsters to drug dealers, corrupt politicians to a man of science—while enchanted at the same time. You will find yourself rooting for Eric, standing behind him, and never getting overrun or depressed. Why? Because even at the worst of times, the lead has a determination and will that is powerful, to say the least. And even more intrigue comes in the final ‘Act’ of this outstanding tale because it’s an ending you did not see coming and is something you will not expect!
Quill says: Not only is this a good read, but it’s one all of us should take the time to read, understand, and realize how to live life like there’s no tomorrow.
For more information on Behind the Locked Door, please visit the website: www.thinkinthemorning.com