Pharmaceutical Journal review of A Taste of His Own Medicine

Protagonist exacts revenge in this fascinating pharmacy fiction title

The Pharmaceutical Journal8 FEB 2017By Andrew Haynes

A surprisingly good read featuring a pharmacist with an axe to grind against fellow students from her undergraduate days.

A taste of his own medicine, by Linda Fawke. Pp 264 Price £7.99. Charleston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2016. ISBN 978 1 539695097

This is a debut novel by a retired industrial pharmacist. When asked to critique it, I was not expecting much, since I have, in the past, been generally underwhelmed by pharmacist fiction. But this time I was pleasantly surprised.

The novel’s central character, Kate, is a successful community pharmacist who has built up a small chain of pharmacies. Although now in her early 50s, she still harbours grievances from her time as an undergraduate. When invited to a 30-year reunion weekend, she decides to go along and wreak vengeance on those who had slighted her when they were students together.

The action cuts smoothly back and forth between events at the reunion and the incidents that bruised Kate as a student. Her complex personality gradually unfolds — and darkens — as the narrative progresses. Her vindictive schemes do not go entirely to plan, and the book has an unexpected ending that sets the scene for a planned sequel.

The blurb on the cover describes the novel as “darkly humorous”. It certainly has its dark moments, but I did not find much humour in it. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable read that held my attention to the end.

Unlike other pharmacist novels I have reviewed, this book has clearly gone through a proper proofreading process. Unless you are the sort of pedant who insists on “focused” rather than “focussed”, the novel is pretty much free from spelling and typographical errors, at least until the last few pages.

By the way, Fawke does not name Kate’s alma mater, but the description of the pharmacy department past and present reminded me of the University of Nottingham. An online check showed that the author is herself a Nottingham graduate, so presumably some of the plot — although I hope not the grimmer parts — is based on her own experience.


A taste of his own medicine, by Linda Fawke. Pp 264 Price £7.99. Charleston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2016. ISBN 978 1 539695097



A Taste of his own Medicine

A ‘taster’ for my novel…



She didn’t think about him anymore. She hadn’t thought about him for three decades. In truth, she believed she’d exhausted her thoughts where he was concerned; she protected herself from him.

There was a time when it was different. A time when she enjoyed mundane tasks because completing them got her minutes closer to their next meeting. A time when she would find herself skipping like an excited child as she walked along the street, smiling at strangers because she was inwardly smiling at him. A time when all her thoughts contained him.

It was years since she woke in the night imagining she felt the touch of his fingers brushing her spine. She stopped reacting with a start if a man wearing his fragrance happened to come near. And the phone could ring without causing a jolt to her stomach.

But joy turned to bitterness and vengeance. Desire for him became the desire to hurt him; to scar him as much as she could.

Then nothing.

He was in a locked compartment in her mind. He was her past; he was no longer her everyday.