Cover Image: Thirst for Justice

Thirst for Justice

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Member Reviews

Due to a sudden, unexpected passing in the family a few years ago and another more recently and my subsequent (mental) health issues stemming from that, I was unable to download this book in time to review it before it was archived as I did not visit this site for several years after the bereavements. This meant I didn't read or venture onto netgalley for years as not only did it remind me of that person as they shared my passion for reading, but I also struggled to maintain interest in anything due to overwhelming depression. I was therefore unable to download this title in time and so I couldn't give a review as it wasn't successfully acquired before it was archived. The second issue that has happened with some of my other books is that I had them downloaded to one particular device and said device is now defunct, so I have no access to those books anymore, sadly.

This means I can't leave an accurate reflection of my feelings towards the book as I am unable to read it now and so I am leaving a message of explanation instead. I am now back to reading and reviewing full time as once considerable time had passed I have found that books have been helping me significantly in terms of my mindset and mental health - this was after having no interest in anything for quite a number of years after the passings. Anything requested and approved will be read and a review written and posted to Amazon (where I am a Hall of Famer & Top Reviewer), Goodreads (where I have several thousand friends and the same amount who follow my reviews) and Waterstones (or Barnes & Noble if the publisher is American based). Thank you for the opportunity and apologies for the inconvenience.

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Should have read the description more closely, I could not get into the political aspects of the plot

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This is an unusual and thought provoking novel about a man who is changed and charged by violence during his Samaritan work overseas. Dr. Michael MacDougall's work in the Congo ends when his vehicle is attacked, his driver killed, and his colleague raped. He doesn't really accept or acknowledge what happened or the ensuing PTSd but his colleagues back in Seattle, as well as his wife, with whom he has had a difficult relationship, see it. The foundation he forms with his friend Dominic- promoting clean water in Africa- doesn't get as much attention or momentum as he hopes, leading him to commit an act of terrorism himself. Is his experience in Africa and his mental health a defense to what he's done? That's the question explored in the second half of this well plotted novel which features realistic courtroom scenes. It's easy to judge Michael but he's a well written and complex character who will stick in your mind. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. Not the easiest read but a worthy one.

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Boyd is an associate professor at UBC and is currently serving as the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment. He has written several non-fiction books including 'The Rights of Nature" and "The Optimistic Environmentalist". This new release is a fiction thriller, with the right to access to clean water at its core. The plot involves Michael who is a trauma surgeon who has been volunteering his expertise to save lives in the Congo. When he his forced to return home after a violent roadside confrontation with mercenaries he continues to try and help raise funds for Africa and clean water initiatives. Frustrated by lack of progress he contemplates desperate action, and we realize the psychological toll the humanitarian crisis has taken on Michael. This is in part a legal thriller where the characters and the reader must think about when does the ends justify the means. This is definitely a thriller with a message and a good recommendation for fans of the genre.

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Thirst for Justice first takes us to Africa, where a volunteer surgeon from Seattle faces horrific conditions in the Congo, ending in a horribly violent attack. He returns home immensely depressed. The conditions written about are indeed grave, but rather than soliciting us rationally as allies, author David Boyd, in my opinion, beat us over the head with the gravity and need. I never got to the legal drama. This is my second time trying to read this novel. There has to be a better way to reach people about these problems. It may take reducing the angst as the author's frustration impedes his goal. Today I was in a forum on homelessness in the US. We can't get people to care enough about that, so Africa is going to be harder.
Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC.

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<i>Thirst for Justice</i> is a realistic fiction slamming us in the face with how trauma can change and possibly destroy a person’s life. Michael MacDougall, a talented trauma surgeon, is totally unprepared for how a term in Doctor’s without Borders (MSF) will change his perspective of what is right and wrong. <i>Thirst for Justice</i> is a legal novel by lawyer, environmental activist, and author David R. Boyd

In the first chapter, a young girl dies in the arms of Michael MacDougall a surgeon on assignment with MSF. Michael barely manages to save his next patient but he keeps dreaming about the little boy. With only 2 weeks left in his assignment he is travelling to fields stations when a friend is killed and another is brutally assaulted. Protocol says that Michael must be sent home immediately. He returns to a wife who is shocked at how much he has changed. Michael best friend is a fund raiser is also worried about him and therefore helps him develop programs to help the poor in African countries. But no one understands just how damaged Michael has become and they are all shocked when he commits a horrendous act of terrorism. Michael is apprehended and his lawyer mounts a unique defence. But can he save him?

I like this book because David Boyd effectively brings it home just how terrible conditions are in Africa (the Congo in this case) and just how courageous the medical personnel of MSF are to be fighting against all odds to save one person at a time when millions are dying.

This is also a legal drama and suited to the John Grisham lovers out there. The legal arguments made in this story are interesting and unique. Although I admit not knowing about the subject the arguments of “Necessity” are new and I learned a lot.

This book is also about mental illness and how easily an ill person, like Michael, can convince himself that he is doing the right thing and then be shocked at the consequences of his actions. On this wild ride with Michael the reader almost becomes convinced that the right thing is done.

I recommend this book to people who are concerned legal issues, medicine in the poverty-stricken world, and mental illness. But mostly I believe it is just a great story and a well written book. I give it a 5 on 5. I want to thank NetGalley and ECW Press for providing me with a digital copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review

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