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The Broken Parachute Man: A Novel of Medical Intrigue    by Robert B. Bolin order for
Broken Parachute Man
by Robert B. Bolin
Order:  USA  Can
iUniverse, 2009 (2009)
*   Reviewed by Deb Kincaid

The protagonist of The Broken Parachute Man: A Novel of Medical Intrigue is ineffectual, fifty-nine-year-old, portly pencil pusher Clyde Young, employed by the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. Clyde laments the lack of respect his superiors hold for him. In his Walter Mitty-esque dreams he will become 'a company star, a legend' following a presentation he is to give in Portland, Oregon at an FDA meeting on risk management. But Clyde never makes it to Portland.

His plane is hijacked. One of the hijackers puts a parachute on Clyde and shoves him out the door to land on a snow-covered mountaintop 1000 feet below, wearing only his business clothes. Who wants him dead? In fact, if they wanted him dead, then why the parachute? Clyde eventually uncovers a corporate conspiracy related to the cover-up and marketing of a new chemotherapy drug, and an herb-based supplement. The combination of the two products is deadly, but who is at fault?

Clyde uncovers the truth with the help of alcoholic, drug-addicted street people cum buddies, a retired professor who plunks down $10,000 for an expense account, and an IT miracle-worker. Clyde Young, who has never even camped outdoors, somehow becomes a mountain man worthy of Jeremiah Johnson's admiration, successfully intimidates ruthless terrorists with a small hammer, and outwits all sorts of law enforcement, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Broken Parachute Man suffers from a highly implausible plot, plodding pace, verbosity, and inane - even silly - dialogue. The characters aren't compelling; not even the protagonist is likable. This book is tedious. The reader's time and money are better spent elsewhere.

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