From the award winning essayist and writer Lisa K Friedman comes a novel to challenge the morality and personal consciousness of every last one of us. What would you do? That premise has launched philosophical debates, psychological studies and dinner table discussions. Nothing to Lose takes that premise to the farthest reaches of the imagination in a wildly entertaining story of determination, unexpected behavior and social justice.
Dr. Anita Shining moves into a bucolic suburban neighborhood to make a new start and is quickly befriended by unsuspecting country club characters. Lauren, the chain-smoking freelance writer, forms an instant alliance with Anita, an alliance that inspires her to assume a leadership role in the conspiracy ahead. Bonnie has no purpose. She works out relentlessly and has a body that would make a younger woman jealous but it has no allure for her husband who is aroused primarily by Court TV and all things crime. Kate is in a bad marriage with a boring husband whom she refers to only as: Mister. She needs sex and she needs it now. Lust drives Kate to make poor decisions, decisions that affect not only her husband and family, but all the families who find themselves inexplicably connected to Anita.
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As head of renowned medical facility for people dying of terminal illnesses, Anita Shining is a much loved and revered leader in the field of thanatology – the study of death. Dr. Shining notes that her patients frequently express an impassioned lament: they will not have a chance to make their mark, to change the world before they die. Dr. Shining hears their plea and devises a brilliant - if sinister - plan. Scarred by the murder of her own daughter and frustrated with an ineffectual criminal justice system, she schemes to have some terminally ill patients murder the country’s most heinous criminals. The plot is complicated by an FBI agent torn between his own feelings of duty and the contempt he holds for the serial criminals he tracks; a group of strong woman friends who unwittingly select the targets for execution; and the narrator, a sensible, witty woman who discovers Dr. Shining’s macabre conspiracy to render justice.
Nothing to Lose is suspenseful and fast-paced, a carefully plotted page-turner, with a shocking final twist that lingers long after the story ends.