Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Toluidine Blue: A Novel

Toluidine Blue is a medical mystery which challenges us in our comfort zones about the nature of sexual assault and while shedding light on the people who tend the victims. For all the simulated violence in the movies, which make our young people jaded about the sufferings of others, few "civilians" really understand the physical and emotional impact of violent sexual assault. The novel is genuinely unnerving in parts, but then it is meant to be. We are plunged into the mystery of suffering in a way that is daunting and definitely not sugar-coated. I came away with more awe than ever for our first responders and medical professionals. The witness of the two young nurses in the story is uplifting for their heroism and mercy in the face of evil. We are shown evil but we are also shown good. I found the scene in the cathedral to be particularly moving, as the young trauma nurse lights a candle for all the victims she has cared for. I hope Toluidine Blue inspires young people to consider nursing as a vocation.

From the press release:
Hard Tack Editions announces the publication ofToluidine Blue: A Novel by Evelyne Keating andRoxanne Shoenfeld. To quote from the back cover:"Adeline Donovan thought she had her life planned out and was soon to marry. When her plans took an abrupt turn, she was devastated but also willing to accept the opportunity to follow a bigger dream, that of becoming a Forensic Nurse Examiner. Her dream becomes her reality, while living in historic Fell's Point in Baltimore, with her best friend, Rachel. TOLUIDINE (tol-u-deen) BLUE encompasses the collaborative efforts between law enforcement and Forensic Nurse Examiners. Forensic nurses bridge the gap between the criminal element to the criminal justice system by collecting valuable evidence that is easily lost when the victim is the crime scene."  
The events in Toluidine Blue are based on the authors’ combined 44 years of nursing experience in emergency, trauma, forensic nursing and death investigation. Even though names and crime scene locations are fictional, all of the forensic information is accurate. One of the authors also worked over 10 years as a death investigator. 
Praise for Toluidine Blue: 
“Imbedded within the fictional drama, an interesting and detailed perspective concerning medical forensic examinations relating to criminal acts and the importance to preserve and protect evidence for the judicial process."  —Milt Laughland - Retired, FBI Analyst 
"I would highly recommend it for those who enjoy medical mysteries, true crime stories and suspense novels.” —Ellen Gable, award-winning author novelist
(Read more.)
From Kirkus Reviews:
A debut novel follows two Baltimore forensic nurse examiners who search for evidence in cases of sexual assault and domestic violence. Trauma nurse Addie Donovan’s long hours evidently become too much for her fiance, who suddenly breaks off their engagement. She packs her things and moves in with her friend Rachel Tristin, a nurse and death investigator. Though she’s upset, Addie uses the opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a forensic nurse examiner. It’s a demanding job that requires, for instance, a rigorous examination of a gay man whom two attackers brutally assaulted and sexually tortured. But Addie has a passion for helping people, and Rachel, seemingly inspired by her friend, becomes an FNE as well (“She wanted to help living victims of horrific crimes get through the worst day of their life”). Both women find time for potential romance with men they’ve met in the course of their work. Addie frequently confers with ruggedly handsome Detective Frank Knight on cases, and Rachel is immediately smitten with firefighter David, though he doesn’t call her after their first date. Meanwhile, there’s a possibility that a serial rapist is stalking and attacking women in Baltimore, ultimately resulting in one of the two friends being in peril....The authors’ extensive medical backgrounds produce meticulous descriptions and an unflinching but enlightening look at what constitutes sexual assault forensic exams....An engrossing and educational look at forensic nurse examiners. (Read more.)


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