THE BONE CURSE by Carrie Rubin is a medical thriller intermixed with the paranormal. The protagonist, Benjamin Oris, a third-year medical student in Philadelphia gets the opportunity to go to Paris with his Haitian friend Laurette, a public health student after Laurette’s brother backs out of going with her at the last minute. While visiting the Paris catacombs, Ben is unknowingly the subject of an ancient curse of Haitian Vodou when a force he cannot resist begins to coax him to a specific bone in the catacombs.
Laurette pleads with Ben to slow down, to stop, to catch-up with the rest of the group, to leave the catacombs but Ben continues moving toward the bones, appearing to not hear Laurette, or unable to hear her in his entranced state. Laurette becomes panic-stricken and pleads with Ben, “Please, Ben, your voice. It is scaring me. I feel something evil wants you.” Ben continues toward the bones until he is standing in front of the pile of bones and he reaches up and grasps a bone in his hand. As he holds the bone in his hand something not visible on the bone cuts the palm of his hand. Laurette is terrified for Ben and knows that he has been cursed by an archaic evil Haitian priest known as a Bokor.
Upon returning home to Philadelphia and resuming his clinical rotation under Dr. Taka Smith, the attending for the medical students whom Ben had convinced himself that Dr. Smith, a Japanese-American married to a neurosurgeon, had it out for him. But there is always something that keeps Ben from being where he is scheduled to be, and Dr. Smith does not let this go unnoticed. To Ben, Dr. Smith would like to see him gone. The truth is Ben has been distracted since his return from Paris and the catacombs.
The lesion on Ben’s hand has not healed and will begin to bleed at the slightest touch. Several of Ben’s friends and family members become gravely ill when they unintentionally come in contact with the blood on Ben’s hand. While Laurette continues to tell Ben he has been cursed; Ben refuses to believe in the curse. Laurette is unwavering and continues to implore Ben to rid himself of the curse, and there’s only one way to do this.
When Ben realizes everyone who comes into contact with his blood becomes ill, he finally acquiesces to Laurette this is something beyond medical explanation. There is nothing in modern medicine to explain his wound that will not heal and continues to bleed. Ben realizes his blood is the only common denominator to those who have become so gravely ill and decides to do something outside of modern medicine.
We’ve all read and heard of books that pull you in from the first page, and Rubin’s book THE BONE CURSE is such a book. I ordered the book as soon as it was available to purchase and began reading the book as soon as the USPS delivered Rubin’s novel. I was immediately all in and did not put the book down until I had read the last page. I had to know what was on the next page and the page after that. I had to know how Ben was going to save his friends and loved ones from death – those that managed to hang on. I had to know how or if they could reverse the curse. I had to know how all that transpires throughout the book would affect Ben and Laurette’s friendship. And I had to know more. There is so much more to Ben’s story, and there were many times I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat. It was as if I was living this story that is written so well by Carrie Rubin.
I cannot fathom anyone reading this book and not wanting the story to go on, not wanting another page to turn, not wanting more. The good news is in an interview Rubin did; she said “THE BONE CURSE is the first in my planned series about a rational-minded scientist who faces otherworldly situations. In the second book, Ben is a resident. By the third or fourth one, he will be an attending physician.”
I have let Carrie know I am impatiently waiting for the next book in this series. I read a lot, and this book is a winner. Carrie Rubin delivered, and I look forward to what follows. But don’t take my word for it, get a copy of THE BONE CURSE and get drawn in as I did because you will, I’m this sure about this book.
Carrie Rubin has two other medical thrillers, The Seneca Scourge, and Eating Bull. Visit Rubin’s website www.carrierubin.com to learn more about Carrie who describes herself as “Physician turned author, public health advocate, mother, wife, fitness enthusiast, book lover…and introvert.” And follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carrierubinauthor/, and Twitter: https://twitter.com/carrie_rubin