THE PRICE is a fast-paced thriller in which Sokoloff executes her plot with razor-sharp timing and skill. Will’s sense of disorientation in the early scenes at the hospital will be familiar to anyone who has ever visited one, and the atmosphere in the building is permeated with the unquestionably real horror of illness, surgery and death. Healing here is presented as being as violent as sickness. Sokoloff uses the stark contrast between the two to deal with the much grayer areas of psychological suffering and sacrifice. The human body, in Sokoloff’s vision, becomes the site of redemption through torture, but her handling of her theme is so skillful that you’re rarely sure whether the surreal events are occurring, or are the result of Will’s lack of sleep and resulting paranoia. In addition, she doesn’t fall into the trap of depicting a hallucinatory world so fantastic and confusing that the reader ends up lost. She does, however, manage to sustain the tension between Will’s reality and a terrifying unknown throughout the entire novel – no mean feat at all.
Essentially, THE PRICE is a gripping read full of questions about good, evil and human nature. Despite its Faustian theme, the battle between ultimate good and ultimate evil is sidelined here; what is terrifying about the novel is its depiction of the human capacity for self-centeredness even when we are at our most generous. The devastating conclusion effectively leaves the reader with an uncomfortable question to consider: “If everyone has a price, what’s yours?”
Causes Alexandra Sokoloff Supports
Amnesty International, NOW