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A novel by Paul John Scott
A closely-observed, panoramic thriller about medical science gone wrong, and the people who make dangerous pills seem safe.
It’s Manhattan in the winter of 2010, and Shivani Patel is carrying the secrets of a trade that no one understands: medical ghostwriting. A Cambridge-trained scientist and wordsmith for the world’s largest drugmaker, she makes her soaring pay by delivering the sleight-of-hand needed to move new drugs into journals and onto market. Then she watches as a parade of aging males take credit for her work.
Halfway across the country, Griffin Wagner is slumming it in Minneapolis as a freelance reporter for In the Zone, a downmarket men’s magazine and his lifeline in the collapse of print.
When fate leads both Shivani and Griffin to a problem with the world’s favorite pill and the celebrity psychiatrist who promoted it, Shivani’s powerful employers go to war with the three of them.
A wild ride at the intersection of science, belief and mass media, Malcharist is a globe-traveling debut about lonely jobs, the seduction of brain chemistry narratives in an age of industrial polypharmacy, and the troubling rise of indiscriminate violence in our time.
Paul John Scott is an award-winning journalist who lives in Minnesota. This is his first novel.
Advance Praise for MALCHARIST:
“If it weren’t a cliché, I’d say Malcharist is impossible to put down. The prose is razor-sharp, and it has the narrative drive of a crime thriller. It is also extremely funny. If John Le Carré had the dark, lacerating wit of Hunter S. Thompson, he might have written a book like this.”
~ Carl Elliott, author, White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine
“An engaging, fast-moving read that has the corruption in the clinical trials business down cold. It takes real talent to turn this subject into a page-turner, and that is what Paul John Scott has accomplished with Malcharist.”
~ Robert Whitaker, author, Anatomy of an Epidemic, and Mad in America.
“If you’re like me, you won’t be able to put down this taut, racy thriller about the pharmaceutical industry. If, at the end, you breathe a sigh of relief—it is fiction after all—what you really need to know, the scariest thing of all, is that it’s all too true. All too accurate. And it almost certainly applies to whatever drug you happen to be taking now.”
~ David Healy, co-author, Children of the Cure, author, The Decapitation of Care, Pharmageddon, Let Them Eat Prozac, and The Antidepressant Era