Virginia Hopper writes pornography for the tabloids in Montreal, Canada until she is sent to deliver a package to her boss’s brother, Gilles Roberts, a patent lawyer in Manhattan. Shortly after her arrival, Virginia is saddened by the violent murder of Gilles’ assistant, Felix. Drawn into the case when her boss assigns her to help out in the lawyer’s office, Virginia is in over her head, moving from naked bodies to patellars, trocanters and other body parts. A patent for a genetic radhesive, used in a hip operation with a potential to make a fortune, a feud between two researching doctors and a woman, who is not who she appears to be, make this New York mystery intriguing.
It was officially released on May 29, 2013 and is available for sale here on the website.
A review by Ruth Z. Deming, Guest Columnist for the Intelligencer, in Doylestown, PA
Sarah Yates has written a riveting murder-mystery Playing a Deadly Patent Game. The Canadian writer offers a cast of characters who are often impatient and even downright nasty to one another, giving the book an unusual verisimilitude. The reader will learn about the competitive world of patenting a product – in this case, worth billions of dollars – and the heated rivalry that ensues as two people are brutally murdered. The police are on the trail as is one Virginia Hopper, who isn’t exactly Miss Marple, with her bungling and sexual ways. Hopper, like the author, is Canadian, and comes to Manhattan to help her patent lawyer-brother review the case just before the murders take place. But within two days murder most foul has been committed.
“It wasn’t supposed to be like that,” writes Yates. “Coming to New York was meant to open up new freedoms for her; it wasn’t supposed to encircle her with violence. She had already endured too much. She wasn’t a violent person but somehow she felt steeped in blood….She wanted to lie down and make the world go away but the recycling of images through her uneasy mind erupted, exploded and re-emerged like the bubbling eruption of gas. She couldn’t lie down; she couldn’t put an end to the cycle.”
At stake is a patent for “radhesive,” a plastic used in surgery on the hip bone. A universally disliked Dr. Robin Richards claims he owns the patent, which may or may not be true. As the author writes, “It is common in modern science and technology that the growth of the general body of knowledge can lead to the same inventions in different places at the same time.”
Yates takes us on a suspenseful ride, one that really heats up toward the end, going from a dead man’s bedroom to the interior of a hospital to Manhattan’s delis to discover who the real killer is in this “Deadly Patent Game.”
• An interview by Gloria Hildebrandt