Review of The Death Tax by James Massaro

May 23, 2017

the death tax james massaro coverWhat happened while I was reading this book is really incredible. My nephew would play with my e-reader and I decided to talk him about this story, selecting only the parts that were suitable for children. The Snowman, white woods and falling snow on a solitary hill leading to a likewise solitary mansion. Since I and my nephew are Italian, I verbally told him the story by translating it into Italian! Apart this enjoyable moment, I considered this novel fully interesting, because focused on an important topic: organ transplant and euthanasia. The main character is a teenager in a coma after a car accident. The teenager is Teresa, a seventeen year old girl who would have been become rich at eighteen years.

To overcome the consequences of the car accident, the girl needs a heart transplant, but her grandmother Eileen, the only keeper of this young patient, prefers keeping her alive thanks to an artificial support. A day, while Eileen is away for the weekend, Teresa passes away and from this stage the mystery of the book begins. The girl has died mysteriously, maybe for a window who her nurse, a Jamaican who believe in reincarnation, forgot to close. An air flow caused that Teresa had a severe and deadly infection. Or, maybe, it was just the girl, who wanted to die in order to save other people thanks to her organs? Indeed, after her death, the doctors immediately order the transplant, even though, unfortunately, even the girl who received Teresa’s organs dies.

From this plot, James Massaro unravels several important modern topics, all together linked to death, life, life after death and to another delicate issue: can a seventeen year old girl decide about her own life and death? The unique person who knows the truth can be Claire, the best friend of Teresa, that girl who often visited her during the coma at the mansion of her grandmother Eileen. Due to the death of her granddaughter, Eileen is furious and raged with the doctors, who carried out the transplant of Teresa’s’ organs and with friends and relatives who can have an interest in the death of the girl! For this reason, the woman hired two attorneys, William Parkland and Catherine Huntington, who skilled people who accepted the heavy task to discover the truth about the real will of Teresa and her death.

Around them, the entire life and the belief of several characters will be surveyed, including the one of Eileen, who was interested in keeping the granddaughter alive until her eighteenth birthday, namely until Eileen could gain a benefit by a new law about the death tax. After a year, the grandmother, in fact, would have paid a lower death tax! This detail gave the title of the book, which is a good mystery, especially thanks to the skill of the two lawyers William and Catherine, in charge of leading the case and the process against the alleged killers of Teresa. The couple questions all people who knew her, also a friend of Eileen, interested in the money of the girl, who is a young heiress of Long Island. When William and Catherine think and discuss about this case, it seems to hear a story of Sherlock Holmes.

The book has only some typing mistakes, relating to punctuation, but that is a good mystery, overall. The work is also a good opportunity to deepen some important issues, such as: life after death and during a coma, and the eternal life. Readers can also see this underlying topic when the two lawyers talk to a priest, an old theologian who helps them understand the true wishes of Teresa. And in a snowy landscape after Christmas, the story becomes more and more compelling, up to the upsetting and the ominous truth about the death of a seventeen year old girl. I recommend that readers read this book, which is available for free download. For more information see here. The writing style is easy to understand and appreciable at a literary level. The work is also suitable for translation into Italian. My rating is four stars. I would give five stars, but I disagree with books given for free. Furthermore, the file I read contained some typing mistakes.

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