I’m currently writing a novel in which all my friends and family play key roles. It was supposed to be my “nanowrimo novel” back in November, but I didn’t complete it then and haven’t got much further now. That said, I really do want to finish it, just so I can say I did (and perhaps get on with the second novel, which wouldn’t be quite so contrived — you try inventing roles and lives for everyone you know!).
Anyway, I thought I’d write a short synopsis here now to try to prompt me to do something about it: The story follows Naomi James, a 28-year old “informaticienne” living and working for a financial e-services company in Edinburgh, Scotland. Naomi is in a wheelchair, and has been for 18 months. Whilst at a conference on accessibility, she meets the charmingly goofy Dr. Christopher Kendrick who seems more interested in her “condition” than he is in her. She finds out soon why this is, as he contacts her to join a study he is conducting … which may heal her spinal damage. Naomi, of course, accepts — quitting her dead-end job and flying to Paris to begin the treatments.
It’s not at all what she expects — rather than implanted nano-fibre nerve replacements and intensive muscular retraining, all the rage, sessions with Kendrick involve a controlled diet, an injection of a powerful mix of enzymes and vitamins … and a type of meditation. This, he explains, is the best way to heal — when the mind is in a particular state, and the body has all the resources it needs, her spinal cord will rebuild itself. Although open to the idea — the whole of society is using “mind management” techniques these days — Naomi struggles with the simplicity of the science and is plagued with doubt.
Soon enough the training begins to work, and she is filled with new hope, but then disaster strikes: a vicious and evil man, head of a biotech company, hires a newly-indoctrinated assassin to kill both Christopher and Naomi — and they begin the flight of their lives.
The assassin in turn is chased by the friend of a prior victim, and the friend by a detective — each following the other, trying to uncover the truth behind it all. Thus chased through Europe, Christopher and Naomi continue the treatments as best they can, and the results are staggering. Naomi is soon walking, then running. In the meantime they also try to discover who is trying to kill them, and get the results of the treatments out to the public (hoping this will remove the need to eliminate them!).
In the end they fake their own deaths. The assassin is satisfied, then killed by a professional; the victim’s friend in turn leads the police to the biotech company who were behind the whole thing. Naomi and Chris return to Paris to complete the treatment, and perhaps explore their relationship.