… to end the suffering associated with an incurable disease? In The Euthanist, Alex Dolan’s debut novel, this is exactly what his protagonist is doing. Kali, paramedic by day and euthanist by night (and on her days off), is part of an underground group who will put you out of your misery if you meet certain criteria, your family is on board, and your physician agrees.
As you can imagine, Kali is tempting fate since her brand of euthanasia is illegal, and by the end of the first chapter trouble arrives in the form of an undercover cop. The cop, who is actually an FBI agent with a file detailing all of her “cases,” offers her a chance to avoid prison if she will euthanize his sister. Under great duress, Kali agrees, except the sister is not who she is supposed to be. Kali figures this out, reneges on the deal, and thus begins a twisting, turning game of cat and mouse.
The FBI agent, Leland Moon, eventually flushes Kali out of hiding and forces her to join him in a plot to exact revenge against two of the most heinous fictional characters I’ve come across in quite some time. Helena Mumm and Walter Gretsch are brother and sister who once lived together as man and wife. They are responsible for the abduction, torture, and murder of twenty or more children, and Leland Moon wants to close what has become a very cold case, but he needs Kali’s help, and ultimately he get’s it.
If you’ve perused my website and read the Four D’s series of posts, you know that I look for depth of character, story, insight, and language whenever I read fiction. Mr. Dolan has infused The Euthanist with all of these, giving Kali great insight, adding deep layers to the story and principal characters, and putting it on the page with a prose style that shines. If you are a reader that can handle dark subject matter, you will enjoy The Euthanist. If you are an aspiring writer, you should read this story with an eye toward a writing style that should be emulated.
If you have read or end up reading The Euthanist, leave a comment, and let us know what you think.