Roulette by Thomas Locke and Jyoti Guptara

Roulette by Thomas Locke and Jyoti Guptara
Publisher: Down & Out Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Ginger

Don’t trip. It could cost your life…

They call it Roulette because there’s no way of knowing what kind of ecstasy awaits. A rollercoaster ride through any one of seven heavens—or straight to hell.

A new and dangerous substance has suddenly appeared at the rave scene of Gainesville, Florida. When former special agent Eric Bannon comes to investigate, the local sheriff doesn’t know whether to be relieved someone is finally taking the rave issue seriously, or disturbed about who has answered the call. The inquiry must be kept quiet. But why are senior government officials turning a blind eye to such a dangerous drug?

As the county hospital’s senior ER nurse, Carol Steen has seen her share of small-town trouble. Her greatest concern is the snobbish new doctor. Stacie Swann is everything Carol detests: fresh out of med school, too many years her junior, drop-dead gorgeous—and with a bad attitude. Why did Stacie, an upcoming surgical star, leave her prestigious residency at the University of Florida medical center and take up station in their remote clinic?

To Stacie, the nosey nurse is only a bitter reminder of what the medical establishment took from her, landing her in Middle of Nowhere, Florida. But when the night’s emergencies are rushed in, the two ladies begin to bond over a common challenge.

What appears to be a simple case of overdose turns into an ER nightmare. Patients seem to be suffering symptoms from multiple drugs. None are detectable.

Eric arrives at the clinic in time to witness the victims’ transformation from near-coma to bestial strength and ferocity. Eric and the ladies track the drug’s origin to clandestine operations based within the university student body. These young people both finance the production and facilitate the human trials of the world’s most exciting new high.

Roulette makes you feel like your best self, times ten. Because it’s no longer the old you.

Carol and Stacie’s patients belong to the 1% of consumers exposed to Roulette’s true purpose, a purpose so heinous it will rewrite not just history, but the human genome.

As opposition mounts from within his own government, Eric must face off with experimental science and the question: In the battle to control the future of humanity, do they really want to fight fire with fire?

What are the chances of winning when the payout is a negative expected return? Playing roulette is a game of chance; when you compare the outcome to playing with an experimental drug what can possibly happen?

The book started off during a normal shift at the Alachua County Medical Center. Readers are introduced to senior ER nurse Carol Steen, who knows and does her job very well. But as the shift progresses Carol and medical resident doctor Stacie Swann find that their patients have been introduced to something more than the normal prescription drug party.

Carol’s husband, local sheriff Dewey Steen, is aware of the effects of this new drug, as are other law enforcement officers, such as former special agent Eric Bannon who is assigned to Gainesville, Florida to investigate this new and dangerous drug.

This book is an easy read, has a very interesting storyline and I enjoyed the characters, however I wanted more to happen or more detail to what happened to the wolf-like people. Is the book paranormal, romance or a thriller? I felt that it touched on a lot of genres, but it is missing some of the substance that would make this an edge of your seat, cannot put the book down thriller. The book seemed to be more character driven since a higher percentage of the novel focused on the main characters and their lives versus the details surrounding the fallout from the drug. While there are brief mentions on how and why the drug was created, I am thinking some of the “slowness” could have something to do with the narration or point of view being told that leaves the gaps and missing details. There are heightened moments of suspense and excitement, but it felt like this story has been told before. I don’t want to give spoilers, but the reason the drug was invented was something that we’ve seen many times before.

I was able to put the book down for a few days with no rush to see how it ended. Not saying that as a bad thing it just did not draw me in as much as I’d hoped. There was action that heightened the reading experience and I did have some anticipation on how the story would play out. The book kept my attention well enough, and I was able to finish reading it. The writing style is easy to read and follow, it has very short chapters which I prefer and the plot flows with a good pace. Car chases, kidnapping, being on the verge of realistic and supernatural, this is a thought provoking read that made me think what if there was such a drug introduced to society.

This 280-page book has a wide cast of characters with an abrupt ending that leads me to believe there will be a sequel.