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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Spotlight on The Human Trial by Audrey Gale

Award-winning novelist  Audrey Gale pushes the envelope, abandons tropes in new Depression-era medical thriller

 The Human Trial" (Books Fluent, Sept. 26, 2023), author Audrey Gale merges three genres: historical fiction, medical thriller and coming-of-age story, cast with imperfect, relatable characters.

 After an agonizing climb to earn his pathology specialty from Harvard Medical, early discoveries in the microscopic realms threaten not only Dr. Randall Archer’s hard-won place in the field of medicine, but his very life.

Dr. Randall Archer has always been a misfit…

 …in the brutal blue-collar home where he grew up

 …as a 16-year-old escaping to college, then medical school, on a full scholarship to Harvard.

…in the highest echelons of Boston society, where the woman he marries and the blueblood research partner with whom he shares his laboratory belong

 Even Archer’s brilliance as a pathologist catapults him into direct and dangerous conflict with the medical establishment he fought so hard to join. As the Great Depression presses down around him, Archer teeters at the edge of a precipice. He must choose between his hard-won career and the sacred oaths he took as a doctor and scientist—before all his choices are lost forever.

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The Human Trial”

Audrey Gale | Sept. 26. 2023 | Books Fluent

Historical Medical Thriller / Suspense / Murder Mystery

Paperback | ISBN: 978-1-953865-70-0 | $16.99

Ebook | ISBN: 978-1-953865-71-7 | $7.99

Audiobook | ISBN: 978-1-953865-72-4 | Price TBD

 

About the Author

 Audrey Gale long dreamed of being a writer, but never anticipated the circuitous road she’d take to get there. After twenty-plus years in the banking industry, she grew tired of corporate gamesmanship and pursued her master’s in fiction writing at the University of Southern California. Her first novel, a legal thriller entitled The Sausage Maker's Daughters, was published under the name A.G.S. Johnson. The novel explores one woman’s struggle to find her place amidst the upheaval of the radical 1960s. Her second, The Human Trial, is the first book in a medical-thriller trilogy inspired by Gale’s own experiences with the gap between traditional medicine and approaches based on the findings of the great physicists of the 20th Century, like Einstein and Bohr. Both The Sausage Maker’s Daughters and The Human Trial incorporate Gale’s fascination with historical and scientific research, and always with women finding their places. Gale lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dogs where she is found hiking the Santa Monica Mountains every chance she gets. For more, visit http://audreygaleauthor.com/.

Follow Audrey Gale on social media:Facebook: @audreygaleauthor | Instagram: @audreygaleauthor

 

An Interview with Audrey Gale

Before we dive into everything else, tell us about the main characters we meet in “The Human Trial.”

First is the pathologist, Dr. Randall Archer, with whom the story opens. He’s from a brutal blue collar home, which he escapes at the age of 16 by winning a scholarship to Harvard, which carries him through medical school to a pathology specialty. Archer, standing out for all the wrong reasons at Harvard, nevertheless collaborates with a blueblood physicist developing a breakthrough microscope. It offers, Archer anticipates, many advantages over others at the medical school. It also leads to Archer meeting another blueblood whom, despite its unlikeliness, he marries.

 His collaborator is Dr. Adam Wakefield, PhD Physics, whose breakout microscope changes everything for the two men, not just in what they are able to observe, but in the increasing risk they face as, inadvertently, their findings challenge the very basis of western medical theory and practice.

Finally, Elizabeth Perrish, the sole daughter to the Brahmin Perrishes who traced their history in Boston back to its founding, is a woman ahead of her times, determined to do more than her high social ranking expects of her. Her budding relationship with Archer is the final straw which causes her to be cast from her family, penniless but undaunted, during the worsening Depression.

Are Dr. Randall Archer and Dr. Adam Wakefield based on real people?

While the two characters are inspired by real life scientists, they are a figment of my imagination. I focused more on their discoveries, which likely cost them both their lives, than on portraying the men and their actual existences with accuracy.

How did you come up with the concept of this novel?

Soon after I arrived in Los Angeles, my Golden Retriever became quite ill. I was advised multiple times to “put her down,” as 13 was a very respectable age for a big dog. But I couldn’t without turning over every stone first. I found a holistic vet who at our first meeting appeared to be practicing magic, for lack of understanding. Luckily he was very forthcoming about his medical treatments and the men upon whom they had been based.

But it was subsequently, when my dad, diagnosed with leukemia and refusing a second chemo treatment, agreed to visit my vet with me that I became hooked. The vet created a tape of sound vibrations that related through stepped-down octaves to the rate of vibration of the microbes of leukemia. It sounds like mumbo-jumbo, I know, but upon a routine follow-up with his medical doctors, they declared his case to be the “damnedest case of spontaneous remission they had ever witnessed!” My father did not die of leukemia, but years later, of pneumonia.

Without giving too much away, can you give us a sneak peek at what you have planned for the rest of the series?

I’ve extensively fleshed out the second installment in the trilogy that commences with “The Human Trial.” In it, the suppression of the science and fate of the scientists carries into the 1970s, another troubled time in our history. Student activism had carried over from black power to anti-war to feminism. Everyone had a cause which often gave participants license to demonstrate, sit-in, walk-out, protest, and in a few cases, riot. The Vietnam War was coming to a humiliating ending, and Nixon was about to leave the White House, unceremoniously.

 Against that backdrop, the next generation of Archers and Wakefields find themselves caught up in dangerous circumstances which first, they struggle to comprehend and then, struggle to survive.

Finally, as we ourselves struggled to cope with Covid-19, its unprecedented deaths and shutdowns, it hit me: since the science of these stories deals directly with viral disease, a current day story makes more than perfect sense. It makes it necessary. All of these multigenerational continuations also emphasize the long and successful suppression of life-saving discoveries and their enormous costs in human life, both globally and down to the very personal lives of the next generation to be caught up in it.

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