By: Lin Wilder
Publisher: Wilder Books
Publication Date: October 24, 2023
Review Date: October 23, 2023
Award-winning author Lin Wilder brings the fifth novel in her Dr. Lindsey McCall medical mystery series to light in Plausible Liars. The fascinating and compelling subject matter coupled with the sparks that fly from Wilder’s pen make it impossible to put this book down until the last page is read!
Investigative journalist Kate Townsend had no idea the number of feathers she was going to ruffle after writing and publishing her series, "Corrupting America’s Children: Creating Chemical Eunuchs." Danny Sugarman, a three-year-old in the same preschool as her son was not only the victim, but her inspiration to write the series. When Kate happened to arrive early one day to pick up her son, ‘JH,’ she happens to see a group of children in a circle dancing around Danny. He was crying and looking at a cake as the children danced in a circle around him chanting: "...Susan come out..." (pg. 65) After watching the activity for a few minutes, Kate walked over to the group and was disturbed when she witnessed young Danny in a skirt and "...crying hysterically, screaming that he didn’t want to be Mia, over and over. The other kids, including JH, started to cry, too..." (pg. 66) When Kate approached the teacher, Addison, to help, little did she know that her act of listening to Danny and helping him remove the skirt Addison thought would be okay to dress him in and replace his trousers, would be an act that would come back to bite Kate tenfold.
Meanwhile, Kate’s friend Dr. Lindsey McCall is at the center of quite a storm that is brewing and the epicenter of the storm she is about to be thrown into is transgender politics. Joey Carmichael used to be Zoey until he met Dr. T, and the journey of her gender transition was born. Joey is an impressionable young teenager and his mother, Cassie, was never going to be mother of the year. She had her own set of problems with drugs and alcohol. Joey’s confidante was his journal and that was his safe place to share his turmoil: "...when I was little, I looked exactly like Mom did at age three, then four, then five: freckles, curly red hair, and dimples. She showed me pictures to prove it. I’ve heard that some kids get stories read to them before bed. Not me. Just about every night, she would bring out that photo album and touch it and then me. “You’re going to look just like me, Zoey, honey.” Oh no, Cassie Carmichael, I am not going to look just like you. In fact, by the time I’m done, we won’t look like we’re in the same genus. OK, diary that might be a slight exaggeration, but you’ll see..." (pg. 3) Time and circumstances will expose whether it is Dr. T (or Dr. McCall) who has Joey/Zoey’s real best interests at heart. What both Kate and Dr. McCall would soon be subjected to is the fight of their lives for their respective freedoms or life behind bars.
|Author Lin Wilder|
Lin Wilder has done an exceptional job of research (both medical and case study) and applied it to an equally fascinating read. The relatable believability and color applied to all characters in this riveting and very controversial read is fantastic. There are many opportunities throughout this read that have a sublime nuance toward all that humanity is faced with in our world today and all roads typically lead to: pick a side. I applaud an author with such enviable talents to incent awareness across many of the pages of this novel. There are triggering moments with outcomes that range from anger, sorrow, and the sense of innocence usurped to name a few. It’s difficult to site one particular scene toward either argument (for or against) gender transitioning or dysphoria when touching upon the storyline because Wilder has proficiently presented argument for both sides of the topic. Ergo, bravo! You have ‘shown’ your audience versus ‘tell’ and simply put, it is up to the reader to process and evaluate. Personally, I have great respect for Ms. Wilder for her unabashed willfulness to plant the seeds of faith throughout this read and it is because of this I personally maintain hope and faith for better times to come. Thank you for penning such a fascinating and educational read!
Quill says: Plausible Liars may be a work of fiction, but it is hauntingly real in the societal climate of today.