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Confessions of a Deathmaiden by Ruth…

Confessions of a Deathmaiden

by Ruth Francisco

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Frances Oliver, the "deathmaiden" of Francisco's captivating first novel, helps ease the passage of the corporeal body to the other world, but only when the spirit is ready to make the journey. When young Tomas, a terminally ill boy in Frances' care, is suddenly taken by paramedics to a hospital where his organs are harvested, Frances suspects foul play. Reacting with soul deep anger, this 40-something computer-and-TV-spurning woman transforms herself into a sleuth to unravel the mystery. Oliver's journey takes her from contemporary L.A. and the unsettling business of organ "recovery" to the shadowy world of smuggled antiquities and, eventually, deep into the rebel-controlled Mexican mountain village where Tomas was born.
The plot is subtle and it takes a long time to reach its conclusion,it offers twists and turns; but it's Frances' soul reflections and inner struggle that drive the book, as well as an exploration of the meaning of medicine and the value of death.
I purchased this book in a Greenwich Village NYC mystery bookstore that was not much larger than the average bedroom, tucked down under an antique shop. The clerk was a goth chick college student who knew her mystery books. I threw a few names that aren't real famous, but are very good at her and she led me right to the books. She had this one waiting on the counter for me when I strolled back up. She told me that Ruth Francisco is going to be really famous and that this book was absolutely wonderful. She was dead on about the latter, I hope she's right about the former. ( )
  siubhank | Oct 26, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446614394, Mass Market Paperback)

Francisco scales the heights of suspense with this enthralling first novel about a hospice worker determined to uncover why the young boy under her care died ominously. "Beautifully written . . . as original as it is absorbing."--Michael Connelly.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:57 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In the heart of modern-day L.A., Frances Oliver practices the arts and skills of the deathmaiden. Four years of intensive training at the Institute for Eternal Living and membership in the Society of Deathmaidens have well prepared her for the role. But the woman who knows so much about helping the dying cross over is about to discover just how little she knows about life ... when someone uses her - and all she stands for - to commit cold-blooded murder." "He is only a little boy, a Mexican child by the name of Tomas Gomez. Left in a persistent vegetative state by massive head trauma, he has been sent home from Abbot Kinney Medical Center to die. Yet from the moment she touches him, Frances senses that Tomas is not brain-dead at all, but only too frightened of something or someone to wake up." "Elated at the possibility of bringing him out of his coma, she briefly leaves his bedside. It is a lapse in judgement that will haunt her for the rest of her life. For when Frances returns, she bears witness to Tomas's final breath. And then, before she can even begin to get over the shock of losing him, a frantic doctor and his medics descend upon Tomas's small body and spirit it away." "As a deathmaiden, Frances saw into the boy's future. She knew that it wasn't his time to die. Who would kill an innocent child and why? Filled with rage and aching regret, Frances vows to uncover the truth. It will be a shattering journey fraught with danger and betrayal that will take her from the sterile corridors of a state-of-the-art biogenetics lab to the dense jungles of Mexico and back. There she will learn what they never taught her in school: Instincts can fail you, passions can blind you, and evil can wear the most noble face."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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