Love Potion: A Medical Thriller

Love Potion: A Medical Thriller

by Allan Zelinger

ISBN: 9781500150365

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Mystery & Thrillers/Thrillers & Suspense, Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

Are you an AUTHOR? Click here to include your books on

Book Description

Doctors call it Intermittent Explosive Disorder. People with IED have uncontrollable fits of rage. Gabe Schaeffer is using OX312, which triggers feelings of love and compassion, suppressing violence. To the pharmaceutical industry, the drug is a real-life “love potion.” They are willing to overlook the ethical issue of using it to manipulating one's most personal and powerful emotions. To the CIA, the drug has use in pacifying terrorists. A beautiful agent is sent to get OX312, even if that requires taking Schaeffer's life.

Sample Chapter

The accused sat with his attorney in a small conference room at the courthouse. An armed guard was stationed just outside the door. Aaron Sharpton slowly picked at the cold lunch he was served while wearing handcuffs. Meanwhile, the lawyer thumbed through a newspaper, grunting when he read something of interest. Both expected to spend their afternoon together while the jury deliberated.

Once court adjourned, Sharpton, who had been denied bail, would be remanded back to his prison cell while the sequestered jury headed off to its secret hotel accommodations. The process could drag on for days. When it was over, Sharpton and his attorney hoped it would end with a hung jury or by some miracle, a not-guilty judgment.

Suddenly the guard stuck his head in and told them, “Court reconvenes in fifteen minutes.”

The two looked at each other, dumbfounded by the speed at which a decision had been reached. “Ah, shit!” Sharpton exclaimed. “That ain’t no good.” A verdict reached after only three hours, could only mean one thing…guilt.

The empty courtroom filled quickly with those eager to hear the result after ten days of emotionally grueling testimony. Everyone stood as Judge Hazelton, black robes flowing, entered and took his seat. He was glad the arduous trial would soon be over.

“Have the members of the jury reached their decision?” The judge asked.

“Yes, we have, Your Honor,” the foreman answered. He handed a folded piece of paper to the bailiff, who passed it to the judge. Hazelton put on bifocals, and looked at what was written.

“Will the defendant rise and face the jury,” Hazelton ordered. Next he instructed the foreman, “Please announce the verdict to the court?”

“On count one, the death of Marshall Dixon, we find the defendant guilty of murder in the second degree.” The foreman continued. “On count two, the death of Shakira Williams, we find the defendant guilty of murder in the second degree. On count three, the death of an unborn child, we find the defendant guilty of murder in the second degree.”

No sooner did he finish his last pronouncement than a woman sitting in the courtroom jumped up from her seat and began screaming at Sharpton, “I hope you burn in hell, you goddamn animal!” Restrained by family members and friends, Shakira’s despondent mother was helped back down into her seat.

At the verdict’s reading, Sharpton showed no emotion. The handsome African-American man with piercing blue eyes stood before the court wearing a fine tailored suit and tie. Except for his handcuffs and leg shackles, he looked more like a model from an issue of GQ than a man just convicted of multiple murders.

Judge Hazelton spoke. “Before we leave, let me take a moment to make a personal statement.” He paused, took off his bifocals and glared down at Sharpton. “In all my years serving on the bench, I have never seen such a wanton act of savage violence as the one, which you, Mr. Sharpton, have been found guilty of committing. This Commonwealth will be a safer place with you put away behind bars. Exactly how long civil society will be spared your presence shall be determined tomorrow.”

Hazelton slammed his gavel down hard then pronounced, “We stand adjourned until ten a.m. for sentencing.”

Sharpton knew there was no death penalty in Massachusetts, so he wasn’t going to burn in hell anytime soon, as Shakira’s mother had implored. He would just be sent away for the next thirty-five to fifty years, depending on tomorrow’s hearing. As far as what the judge said to him, the man was correct. He had committed a despicable crime, and deserved to be punished. Sharpton only wished to God he could somehow have averted the fit of blind rage that had possessed him which led to the deaths of Dixon and Shakira. Even more regretful, his violence had unwittingly taken the life of his own unborn son.

Sharpton’s five-hundred-dollar-an-hour lawyer, one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Boston, patted his client on the back in consolation. “Don’t worry. I’ll have your appeal filed before the sentencing hearing gets started.”

Guards led the prisoner out of the courtroom, shuffling in leg-irons. Aaron realized he was not going to be a free man for a very long time, but in prison, might actually end up living longer. His life up until now had not been conducive to longevity.

Heading down the court hallway to a van that would transport him to jail, Aaron recalled being shot in a rival gang’s assassination attempt and lay on the street pavement. He was bleeding from bullet holes in his chest and abdomen. Looking up, he saw the face of a paramedic and heard him say, “This gangbanger is a goner,” just before losing consciousness.

Days later he awoke in a hospital bed, tubes coming out of every orifice. When the one in his throat was finally removed and Aaron could speak, he asked his nurse in a raspy voice, “What the hell happened to me?”

“You lost so much blood by the time you hit our emergency room your heart stopped. They gave you CPR all the way to the operating room,” she answered.

“Do you mean I was dead?”

“Well, it took thirty minutes of pumping on your chest until they brought you back.”

“Damn, I don’t remember seeing no white light or nothin’. I guess all that afterlife shit is just a big scam like everything else.” Aaron laughed, then winced with pain. “Shit, my chest hurts like hell.”

“Hang on. I’ll get you some pain medicine.”

The nurse left the room, then quickly returned with a syringe containing morphine. She injected the medication intravenously, and his pain subsided.

“That’s pretty good stuff,” he said, slurring his words as the narcotic took immediate affect. “I’ll take another hit if you don’t mind.”

“Not for the next four hours, you won’t. It’s the doctor’s order.”

“He isn’t the one who’s hurting.”

A few weeks later, Aaron was discharged from the hospital, lucky to be alive but ready to resume his leadership of Boston’s most notorious gang, the Vice Lords.

Chapter 2

Dr. Gabriel Schaeffer was standing in front of the elevator bank on the fifth floor at Boston General. He had just finished making rounds on the psych ward and was going over to the ambulatory care building for his afternoon clinic. Gabe turned his head toward the television in the visitors waiting area when he heard the newsman say something that caught his attention.

Verdict was reached today in a trial that has captivated our city’s interest over the last two weeks. The reputed head of Boston’s most notorious street gang, Aaron Sharpton, was found guilty in the brutal slayings of his girlfriend, Shakira Williams, and Marshall Dixon, a fellow gang member. Because Ms. Williams was pregnant at the time of the murder, Sharpton was also convicted in the death of her unborn child.

The jury deliberation ended swiftly, and sentencing is expected tomorrow. Sharpton faces a minimum of thirty-five years behind bars. Leaving the courthouse, Mr. Sharpton’s well-known criminal attorney, Randy Specter, promised to immediately file for appeal.

The elevator door suddenly opened, and Gabe stepped in trying not to spill the cup of coffee in his hand. He had a special interest in Sharpton’s case. As court-appointed expert, Gabe performed an extensive psychiatric evaluation on the accused. He had spent hours with the defendant, locked inside a dingy room at the prison, taking Sharpton’s life history, then administering the psychometric testing necessary to reach a conclusion regarding his ability to stand trial.

Inside the elevatorGabe shook his head in dismay, realizing Sharpton would now end up spending most of his life behind bars. True, Sharpton was found guilty of committing heinous crimes, but Gabe was convinced that with proper treatment, he could have prevented them from happening in the first place.

Schaeffer was a recognized authority on violent behavior. His expert testimony was often sought in cases where the sheer brutality of a crime raised questions about the sanity of its perpetrator.

He learned a lot about Sharpton during their pretrial sessions. When they first met, the prisoner was brought into the interview room in handcuffs and leg shackles.

“Could you please take those off?” Gabe asked the guard.

“But Doc, this guy has been accused of three murders.”

“I can’t do my evaluation on a man in chains. Please undo them.”

“Well…okay if you insist,” the guard reluctantly agreed. “I’ll be right outside just in case.”

Once they were alone, Gabe pulled out a file and pen from inside his briefcase, then began the conversation.

“Aaron, I’m Gabriel Schaeffer, the court-appointed doctor assigned to your case.”

“Oh, you’re the one who’s supposed to find out whether I’m a psycho.”

“Well, I might not say it that way, but I do have to determine your mental fitness to stand trial. Hope you don’t mind if I ask you some personal questions?”

“Sure, fire away. I’ve got nothing better on my schedule today than looking at the walls of my cell. Go right ahead and ask whatever you want.”

“Why don’t we start by you telling me a little about your childhood?”

“What’s to tell? I’m just another poor black kid from Roxbury with a crackhead for a mother, and no father around. I was on the streets fending for myself from day one.”

“You went to church, didn’t you?”

“How’d you know about that?”

“I reviewed the investigator’s file.”

“Yeah, I went there, but not to pray. Reverend Sykes, our neighborhood preacher, took a liking to me and used to lend me books. I spent time in church because it was the only quiet place around to read.”

“Did you like going to school?”

“Well, at least I got a real meal there now and then.” Aaron paused briefly before continuing. “I imagine if you saw my records, you probably know I messed up one of my teachers pretty bad.”

“Tell me about that.”

“One day I was talking to a friend at the back of his class. He walked up to me and says, ‘Sharpton, you’re nothing but ghetto scum.’ The next thing I know, I whacked him pretty hard on the side of his head with my textbook. He ended up in the hospital for a few days, and I was suspended for a month.”

“How did you feel about that?”

“Well, I didn’t really mean to hurt him. I just saw red and reacted.”

“Would you say that you have a short fuse?”

“I can get hot pretty quick, if that’s what you mean.” Aaron paused. “Say, if you’re heading toward asking about what happened with Shakira and Dixon, my lawyer told me not to talk about it.”

“No, you’re absolutely correct, that’s between you, your lawyer, and the authorities. I’m just looking for some background information. What about drugs? Do you think they have anything to do with your temper?”

“Doc, in my world everybody gets high once in a while, but you can’t run an operation like I do all fucked-up on drugs or alcohol. The newspapers call it a gang, but it’s really just a corporate enterprise with its own set of inner city rules. In my business I don’t worry about IRS audits, I worry that the people who work for me could get shot and killed or end up getting arrested if I make a wrong move. Sure, I buy and distribute drugs, but don’t use them myself.”


The report Gabe submitted to the court concluded Aaron was perfectly sane and intellectually able to stand trial. However, one aspect of his assessment still gnawed at him. During his evaluation he found Aaron to have an exceptionally high IQ of 146. Aaron Sharpton, the accused murderer, also happened to be a genius. In Gabriel Schaeffer’s mind, Aaron had more than enough smarts to have become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, instead of ending up heading Boston’s most notorious criminal gang. It was unfortunate circumstances of the blighted neighborhood he grew up in, coupled with a disturbed brain metabolism and lack of proper intervention that had determined Aaron’s fate.

Gabe wouldn’t soon forget his day spent in the courtroom waiting to testify at Sharpton’s trial. Dr. Phillip Rhodes, a court-appointed forensic pathologist, was called to the stand first.

Before his testimony began, the judge requested that the courtroom be cleared of visitors, then cautioned the jury, “You are about to see photos taken at the crime scene. Some of you may be disturbed by the images.”

Lights were dimmed, and the first photo came up on the screen. It showed a man lying in a pool of blood, his head turned at an impossible angle, his neck severed to the spine. Next, the photo of a female lying on her back came on. She had her throat slit as well and her eyes were still open staring blankly upward.

“The cause of death was a single slicing knife wound to the neck,” Rhodes said. “Her left carotid artery and internal jugular vein were severed, and she bled to death within minutes. At the time she expired my autopsy disclosed that Ms. Williams was four months pregnant.”

Viewing the gruesome pictures of the murder scene, one juror vomited at her seat. Another fainted and had to be revived by smelling salts. The judge temporarily halted the proceedings.

On reconvening, Rhodes continued with his testimony. The prosecuting state’s attorney, Blair Fiore, asked the pathologist, “Can you tell the court what the DNA analysis on the deceased disclosed?”

“We found no traces of Mr. Dixon’s DNA on or in her person.”

“By in, do you mean vaginal samples?”

“Yes, that is correct. Our methodology looks for sperm and Y chromosome traces in vaginal samples.”

“Did you find any identifiable male DNA?”

“We found sperm remnants and Y chromosome DNA belonging only to one individual.”

“And who might that person be?”

“Mr. Sharpton.”

“What about the DNA analysis on the fetus?” Fiore asked.

“The profile on the fetus unequivocally indicates that the genetic father was Mr. Aaron Sharpton.”

The defendant suddenly jumped to his feet, pointed at Rhodes, and yelled, “You’re a motherfucking liar! That kid was Dixon’s, and Shakira cheated on me!”

Suddenly Sharpton climbed onto the table in front of him, then jumped down and ran up to the witness box. He grabbed the startled pathologist by the throat. The man’s eyes bulged as Aaron’s strong hands tightened around his neck. Guards rushed up and tried to pull Sharpton away, but couldn’t get him off. One of them pulled out a Taser and fired. Aaron fell onto the floor, contorting in spasms while Rhodes fought to catch his breath. Once Sharpton’s arms and legs were secured, the guards dragged him out.


Excerpted from "Love Potion: A Medical Thriller" by Allan Zelinger. Copyright © 2014 by Allan Zelinger. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Thanks for reading!

Join BookDaily now and receive featured titles to sample for free by email.
Reading a book excerpt is the best way to evaluate it before you spend your time or money.

Just enter your email address and password below to get started:


Your email address is safe with us. Privacy policy
By clicking ”Get Started“ you agree to the Terms of Use. All fields are required

Instant Bonus: Get immediate access to a daily updated listing of free ebooks from Amazon when you confirm your account!

Author Profile

Allan Zelinger

Allan Zelinger

Dr. Allan Zelinger has known medicine from the inside, up close and personal. As a practicing cardiologist he cares for those with the most critical illnesses and uses advanced medical technologies for diagnosis and treatment. He received his medical training at Boston Medical Center and Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes in Chicago, where he now resides. The series of fictional thrillers he writes focus on exploits of doctors from Boston General Hospital who lead the readers on roller-coaster worldwide adventures filled with mystery and suspense.

View full Profile of Allan Zelinger

Amazon Reviews