Die Again Tomorrow by Kira Peikoff
Pros: decent premise and story
Cons: missed an opportunity for some real discussion
Die Again Tomorrow by Kira Peikoff explores a couple different, yet related, death-inspired themes.
The first revolves around so-called Viatical Settlements – where someone (presumably with a terminal illness) sells their life insurance policy at a discount for upfront cash. The buyer continues to make the premiums, and collects the full amount of the policy upon the seller’s death.
The seller gets to use his cash right away, and the buyer has a giant payday at some point in the future. Of course, this system only works out for the buyer if and when the seller dies. In other words, the death of the seller directly ties into the buyer’s profit margin. A scary proposition, indeed.
The second theme revolves around a top-secret, experimental drug – one that can greatly slow the brain’s decay, after death. Coupled with a complex protocol, a secret team of doctors has managed to reverse death.
Now put those two concepts together and what do you have? A thriller, of course.
In this case, Isabel is the policy-holder. And, after a drowning incident, she becomes the next recipient of this secret experimental drug. Happily for her, she’s alive and well. Unhappily, she’s the target of a less-than-honorable assassin – after all, she was supposed to be the conduit to a big payoff. But only once she’s dead
What follows is a fairly complex story that goes beyond cat-and-mouse-chase. With crisp writing, covering several view-points, and a twist here and there to keep you guessing, Die Again Tomorrow held my interest throughout.
If I have any criticism at all, it’s that Peikoff did not go into any discussion of the morality and ethics of death-reversal. She presents this possibility as if it will solve the world’s problems and nothing could be further from truth. Just imagine what a world would look like, if such a drug existed. First of all, astronomical mayhem would ensue if it were only available to some and not to all. Talk about ‘worth killing for’. But even in a world where the drug is as available as an aspirin, imagine the potential problems. No one ever dies, the population just continues to grow and get older…
I just think Peikoff could have delved into this issue a little bit. At least present it as a gray area, one worthy of deeper consideration. Sure, thrillers are there to thrill, not necessarily to educate or lecture, but I think the readers can handle a bit of intelligent discussion mixed in with the thrills.