Dr. Eric Najarian. He’s young, talented, and ambitious. He has all the qualities they’re looking for at White Memorial Hospital. He doesn’t know he’s being watched. Judged. An elite clique of medical professionals thinks he has what it takes to join their secret club. All the young doctor has to do is agree to play by their rules.
But Eric has already seen too much. A missing corpse. An unspeakable mutilation. A brutal abduction. It’s only the beginning of a plot of terrifying evil. A sinister plan the group will stop at nothing to hide. And if Eric refuses to become their colleague–he will be their next victim.
This project started when my friend, Eric Radack gave me the book, The Serpent and The Rainbow by Harvard ethnobotanist, Dr. Wade Davis. The book (subsequently made into a pretty good movie by Wes Craven) was about voodoo and Davis’s search in Haiti for the “Zombi Poison,” a drug that could slow metabolism so much that a person could appear dead even to a trained eye when they weren’t. At Wesleyan University in Connecticut where I went to college, I took a seminar on Edgar Allan Poe. Poe wrote so effectively about people being buried alive that for years wills demanded that a bell-and-chain set-up be rigged in the deceased’s casket just in case they awoke underground.
So, my “What if?” (see writing tips) was born. What if there was a drug that could make a person look dead when they weren’t? At last, even though my productivity hadn’t increased all that much, Bantam felt my first three books had built up enough of a following to take the risk of coming out in hardcover. The hardcover book did great as did the paperback that followed, and that was that.
Many of my books have been optioned for films, but so far only this one has been made. An option is where the producers pay a sum for rights to a book for a stated length of time. Extreme Measures was optioned by Castlerock Pictures for almost four years before it was finally made. The 1996 movie starred Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, and Sarah Jessica Parker, and was produced by Elizabeth Hurley. I was on the set for a time as a “script consultant” but really had nothing to do with the making of the film. Much was changed from the book to the screenplay, but some of the critical story points were not. The credits read “Based on the Book By . . . ” and based on the book it was. I enjoyed the film, and wasn’t the least put out with the choices they made although, of course, I think it would have been a much better movie if they had stayed closer to the novel I wrote.