Over the Edge: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.  

Janessa McNeil’s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, a researcher and professor at Stanford University's Department of Medicine, specializes in tick-borne diseases—especially Lyme. For years he has insisted that Chronic Lyme Disease doesn't...

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Over the Edge: A Novel

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Overview

Torn from the front lines of medical debate and the author's own experience with Lyme Disease, Over the Edge is riveting fiction, full of twists and turns—and powerful truths about today's medical field.  

Janessa McNeil’s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil, a researcher and professor at Stanford University's Department of Medicine, specializes in tick-borne diseases—especially Lyme. For years he has insisted that Chronic Lyme Disease doesn't exist. Even as patients across the country are getting sicker, the committee Brock chairs is about to announce its latest findings—which will further seal the door shut for Lyme treatment.  

One embittered man sets out to prove Dr. McNeil wrong by giving him a close-up view of the very disease he denies. The man infects Janessa with Lyme, then states his demand: convince her husband to publicly reverse his stand on Lyme—or their young daughter will be next. 

But Janessa's marriage is already rocky. She's so sick she can hardly move or think. And her husband denies she has Lyme at all.   

Welcome to the Lyme wars, Janessa.

Endorsements/Reviews:

" . . . a taut, heartbreaking thriller . . . Collins is a fine writer who knows how to both horrify readers and keep them turning pages. She'll gain new readers with this one . . ."

Publishers Weekly

"Over the Edge provides validation to any person who suffers from the long-term effects of Lyme Disease. While the story is based on Ms. Collins' own life experience, she builds a tense and dramatic novel that illustrates how a person can fall into the web of misdiagnosis and ineffective treatment."

New York Journal of Books

"This book stayed with me long after I put it down. Not only was it a page-turner, but the storyline about Lyme Disease was fascinating and eye-opening. I think Over the Edge will raise awareness about this horrible disease, and validate those who suffer with it."

Terri Blackstock, author of Predator and Intervention

"A frightening and all-too-real scenario. Very timely and meaningful book." (4 stars)

RT Book Reviews

"Over the Edge is an excellent mystery. [It] actively portrays the patient with the myriad symptoms seen in acute or chronic Lyme."

Dr. Nick S. Harris, president/CEO, IGeneX, Inc.

"Brandilyn Collins continues to impress . . . From start to finish, Over the Edge is a fantastic, multi-faceted novel."

The Christian Manifesto

"Five stars! Highly recommended: A real life witch-hunt scarier than any vampire or zombie tale . . . the parts of the book laying out spiritual phenomena were excellent, indeed among the best I've read."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433673450
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/7/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 179,705
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. Awards for her novels include the ACFW  Book of the Year (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice. Also, The Writer magazine named her nonfiction release, Getting Into Character, one of the best books on writing published in 2002.
When she's not writing, Brandilyn can be found teaching the craft of fiction at writers' conferences. She and her family divide their time between homes in the California Bay Area and northern Idaho.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I have chronic Lyme disease - I see MY doctors in this novel, th

    I have chronic Lyme disease - I see MY doctors in this novel, they think
    you are crazy! Gosh if only mainstream medical would LISTEN!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2012

    Janessa is married to a highly respected research physician name

    Janessa is married to a highly respected research physician named Brock McNeil. He's a Lyme Disease researcher. He doesn't believe in chronic Lyme Disease. He believes that patients should be healed after four weeks of antibiotics.

    When Janessa is not feeling well for three weeks, she asks Brock if she could be infected with Lyme Disease. He thinks it's nonsense. They haven't been in the woods or anywhere else where ticks can be found.

    What Janessa and Brock don't know is that a couple of months earlier a man broke into their house and left three ticks in Janessa's hair. Janessa will soon learn what the man did when he calls her on her cell phone. He explains what he did and that now she is infected with Lyme Disease and coinfections too.

    In a couple of days Janessa must convince Brock to make a statement that chronic Lyme Disease does exist, or else the secret man will infect their 9-year old daughter too.

    A race against time! Brock does not believe Janessa. She's on her own. Her body is hurting terribly. She is immensly tired. She can not think clear. Can not find the right words. But she must convince Brock. Or is there another way to make a public statement?

    This book is full of valuable information about Lyme Disease. You get a good idea how Janessa must be feeling. Lyme Disease is the subject of this book, but this wouldn't be a Brandilyn Collins novel if there wasn't suspense and mystery. I literally sat on the edge of my seat a good couple of times.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what it's like to live with Lyme Disease, or to anyone who knows someone with this disease.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2012

    Great Book

    Great Book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Great book

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  • Posted December 28, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Lyme Wars Still Raging Today

    For a high-rev book of suspense, revenge, and debilitating suffering, Brandilyn has brought a new level of intrigue in her book, Over the Edge. It¿s a story about the ¿Lyme wars¿¿the majority of doctors not believing it¿s chronic, i.e., Janessa McNeil¿s husband, Dr. Brock McNeil; the doctors that are Lyme-literate; and ultimately, the Lyme patients still suffering and dying.

    To force Dr. Brock McNeil to recant his stand publicly on Lyme, a deeply crazed, resentful man deliberately infects Janessa with Lyme, using several ticks smaller than a period (.) at the end of sentence, to expose him to the debilitating disease process. What the man didn¿t count on was the McNeil¿s rocky marital status, leaving little leverage for Janessa to change her husband¿s viewpoint. Problem was, this man planned to infect their daughter, Lauren, if the good Dr. wouldn¿t change his mind.

    The story rests on the exhausting, crippling sickness of Janessa, the threatening phone calls, and her cold, callous, unbelieving husband. It¿s unbelievable that a disease can be so devastating. The everyday activities most take for granted, become excruciatingly difficult and sometimes impossible for her. Brandilyn poured her heart and soul into the descriptive ramifications of the disease. They take on a life of their very own. You¿re fighting to breathe right along with Janessa during her ¿air hunger.¿ The fear is palpable. The danger is real.

    Yet through it all, as a new Christian, Janessa has to make a choice to trust God to work out the whole situation as she is extremely physically disabled. She basks in the truths she finds in the Psalms that lift her spirit and keep her hoping. She can¿t control the stalker or her straying husband, but God can handle both. He wants to do the same in your life.

    If you have loved ones or friends (even possibly yourself) with Lyme, encourage them and invest your life in them as much as possible. Even be willing to advocate for them where possible. Don¿t be afraid to talk candidly with your doctor, possibly even taking the information provided by Brandilyn. The door to receiving treatment is still shut for many suffering from Lyme. This is a disease everyone must take seriously, as the repercussions are enormous.

    This book was provided by B&H Fiction in exchange for my honest review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Suspenseful plot and made me think!

    I enjoyed this book and read it in 2 days. It was very suspenseful and also taught me about Lyme disease.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 18, 2011

    A must read!!!!

    I read this book on the recommendation of my cousin who has Lyme and is trying to get his life back. Even if you have no knowledge of Lyme this book will engage you. Brandilyn Collins writing absorbs the reader into the story ,you really feel the desperation of the main character. I found that I couldn't put this book down. I needed to know what would happen next. A must read!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Quality suspense

    Brandilyn Collins' novels are touted as 'seatbelt suspense', and Over The Edge is no exception, with a unique twist.

    Jannie McNeil is the wife of a renowned Lyme disease specialist. Or at least, what he calls Lyme-according to the CDC's incredibly narrow definition. Brock McNeil is vocal in speaking out against those who say they suffer from chronic Lyme, something he doesn't believe exists.

    Enter a bipolar man whose wife died from chronic Lyme and you have a recipe for a dramatic story that puts the life of Brock McNeil's wife and daughter in danger.
    Soon Jannie McNeil falls incredibly ill with Lyme. But does Doctor Brock rush to her aid? No. He thinks she's faking.
    I'll let you discover the ins and outs for yourself.


    If you want to read a story about a man who realizes everything he believes is wrong, you need to prepare yourself.
    If you want a story with a nice, typical (cheesy, boring) ending, you need to prepare yourself also.
    Because this book will twist you up and spin you around.

    Dramatic, and eye-opening, Over The Edge could easily be a True Story. All the stuff about the CDC, the medical insurance companies, the doctors who advocate either for or against chronic Lyme-it's all true. And Brandilyn Collins knows it, because she lived it. Yes, I'm jumping on the band-wagon, (not because I met Ms. Collins at a Writers' Conference in February 2011, and she's a super nice lady). ?
    But because this book is just that compelling.

    You really feel for Jannie as you watch her whole life systematically fall apart at the worst possible time. It's like everything bad that could happen, all happens simultaneously. By the end of act 1 I was thoroughly hooked. I've read someone call that feeling a 'PB&J night', because there's no way I'm putting this book down to make dinner. I'll remorselessly let them suffer reheating their own leftovers because my stomach is clenched, and my fingers flipping pages to find out what happens next.

    The plot looks like a pretzel, and the characters will provoke in you at once both devotion and abject hatred because he's so stupid he doesn't realize what he's throwing away. But the one who steals your heart is the daughter, Lauren.

    "Lauren plumped out her lips. "I see strange people every day. I'm in fourth grade.""

    In portraying the way it feels to have chronic Lyme, Collins doesn't go overboard so you're left thinking, 'okay, I get it, it sucks to have Lyme'. It's a realistic presentation because of Collins' own experience. There's no research that can replace the intimate knowledge that comes from actually having had the disease.
    "Against the floor my cane made a hollow, indignant sound. The sound of my heart. My life."
    "My brain was nothing but a hole-riddled pan trying to hold water."

    Over The Edge uses a mix of first person (for the protagonist), and third person (for the police detective, and the antagonist), sounds weird, but it absolutely works. In fact, I found myself able to delve into Jannie's mind faster when I got to first person. Then when it switched with a scene or chapter break it made the bad guy's scene more eerie, because of the jolt.

    Bad language: None.

    Violence: a personal attack in the form of grabbing and shaking the person, and a gun-shot that kills. Neither explicit or overly gory.

    Sexual content: implied in relationships, but nothing 'on camera'.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Suspense: Alone Against the Unknown

    A man wearing night goggles breaks into the home of Jessica McNeil. But he isn't there to attack or rob her. He infects her with Lyme disease. From that moment on the reader's plunged into the world of a Lyme disease patient, experiencing Jessica's excruciating pain and helplessness. Jessica's left alone to deal with the seemingly insurmountable illness, because the medical profession refuses to help. That's the reason she was targeted. Brock McNeil, her husband and renowned researcher / professor, has convinced the medical world that chronic Lyme disease doesn't exist. The man who infected Jessica wants to make sure Brock knows it does. While fighting Lyme disease, Jessica also watches her family fall apart. Brock's leaving for another woman, and now that Jessica can no longer care for their daughter, because of a disease Brock claims is just in her head, he's taking the daughter too. Who will help Jessica when she gets threatening notes from the man who broke into her home and infected her? Who will believe her when her husband claims these events are a figment of her imagination? I highly recommend Over the Edge. Ms. Collins includes enough information to make the book authentic and enlightening, but not more than a sensitive reader can handle. She balances Jessica's illness, a mystery and family heartache to weave a suspenseful masterpiece. As a Lyme disease patient, I would like to have seen explored, or at least mentioned, the tremendous help for this disease available from alternative medicine. From Dr. David Lee I learned that a patient must eliminate the toxins created by Lyme bacteria to return to good health. He says, "In some countries what we consider alternative medicine is traditional." In the case of Lyme disease, I highly recommend this option.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Engrossing Tale

    If you like learning while reading a gripping suspense story, this book is for you! The characters are well-formed, the plot is a real page-turner, the mystery holds the reader in suspense throughout the novel until the stunning finish, and important lessons are taught.

    Through the reading, I learned about a disease I had only before heard about: Lyme. Brandilyn Collins has lived with Lyme disease and knows it first hand. She proves herself an excellent teacher as well as top-notch author. She includes her extensive research, by incorporating it into this engrossing tale. Fittingly, May is Lyme Disease Month.

    Folks, be sure to read this one!

    Thank you to Bonnie at Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and B&H Books for my copy.

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  • Posted May 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    THE BEST SUSPENSE NOVEL COLLINS HAS WRITTEN!

    Brandilyn Collins combines her genius suspense with her desire to heighten awareness of Lyme Disease. Absolutely amazing! The story is rivoting, the ending is surprising and the education is comprehensive. I've never read a book like this. Out of a possible 5 stars, I rate this at 10! You MUST read this book!

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Suspense filled, skin crawling story

    Be prepared! This book will make your skin crawl! Literally! I started reading this book and I scratched my head all night long. The power of suggestion is a huge part of that. Reading about infected ticks and Lyme disease will cause you to itch.

    Dr. Brock McNeil is a leading research doctor in the field of Lyme disease. In fact his word often seems to be the last word, regardless if he is right or not. And in this case he is not right, but he will not back down from his stance. A crazed madman has decided it is time for Dr. Brock McNeil to watch someone he loves suffer with Lyme disease, what he does not realize however is that Dr. Brock McNeil is no longer in love with his wife.

    A gripping tale of suspense and terror. You will not want to stop reading. Page after page you will be drawn into this story, you will wonder if there truly are people crazy enough to do this kind of terrorism. I enjoyed this book, scratching and all, it was a book to keep and read over and over!! 352 pages US $14.99 4 stars.

    This book was provided for review purposes only by B & H Fiction, no payment was received for this review!!

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great mainstream cautionary tale

    Stanford University Dr. Brock McNeil is a recognized expert on tick diseases. However, he firmly believes that especially Lyme disease is not a chronic illness. Brock will soon need to revise his medical opinion.

    An unknown person for unknown reasons infects Brock's wife Janessa with infected ticks. This adversary calls with the warm welcome to the Lyme Disease message. As she becomes increasingly ill, Brock rejects the notion that she has Lyme disease. The adversary soon plans to attack Brock's nine year old daughter Lauren with the same strain. Brock continues to be obstinate about the illness devastating his wife. To add to his problems a predator stalks his family. He better revise his belief system before it is too late.

    This is a great mainstream cautionary tale by Brandilyn Collins, known for her Christian thrillers, that provides an insightful shocking look at the crippling impact of Lyme disease in which the medical community and the health insurance company for the most deny the chronic long term impact. Janessa makes the tale as the victim of a deranged stalker and of her cheating husband's rejection of the facts that his wife is extremely ill and his daughter is at risk. Readers will appreciate this taut medical thriller based in the author's battle with Lyme disease and seek out her blog and other sufferers' despondent stories
    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A thriller about Lyme disease

    As I started to read this book I found out a lot of thing about the Lyme disease, as I live in the south I have heard of this for a very long time. I just did not know how bad it can be. I thought it was just something that you could go to the hospital and they would treat you and then it was over, but, as Brandilyn Collins described in this book there can be a long time pain and suffering.


    As the book begins Janessa McNeil was asleep in her bedroom with her daughter just down the hall, her doctor husband was not home and it was 2:30 AM. Someone knew what he wanted to do and he wanted to get back at the doctor husband by hurting his family. He knew how to get into a house without any noise, as he slipped upstairs to inject Janessa with some doctored up deer ticks. He wanted her to suffer with the Lyme disease, so that her doctor husband "who was studying how to cure this disease" to see what it really was like. He felt that these doctors was just using the money and playing off on the disease that it was not as bad as he had seen.


    From the pages that was sent to me it states "Over The Edge, Collins creates a villain who is every doctor's nightmare: An embittered man who is so angry at the doctor's misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease that he strikes back at those closest to the doctor-his wife and child." To me this is very scary as we never know who might be out there to harm other people to just get even with someone else.



    Brandilyn Collins has written 25 Christian fiction novels and this thriller will be sure to please.


    This book was sent to me by Susan Schwartzman Public Relations of this review.

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    Posted July 25, 2011

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    Posted February 3, 2012

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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    Posted December 17, 2011

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