Side Effects Are Minimal serves as an example of an all-too-real scenario involving the opioid crisis in the United States.


The Description

Publication Date: July 9, 2024

When ambitious attorney Claire Hewitt is asked to represent the Satoris, one of Philadelphia’s most prominent families, in a lawsuit over the death of their daughter, she is thrust into an opioid nightmare with deadly impact—and not for the first time. Claire’s guilt for not saving her sister, Molly, has not subsided in the twenty years since Molly’s almost certainly opioid-related death. Now, with this new assignment, her guilt comes full circle. Who was really at fault in Molly’s death? And who is at fault now?

What begins as a quest for truth becomes infinitely more complicated as Claire struggles to balance her desire for justice with the Satoris’ thirst for revenge. She knows she needs to expose the greed that transforms legal opioid production into illicit fabrications and the neglect that is the breaking point between physicians and their patients. But there are powerful people who will seemingly stop at nothing to prevent these truths from seeing the light of day, and she is sabotaged at every turn. Can she push past the obstacles in her way to build a winning case?

Based on true events, Side Effects Are Minimal is about a corrupt pharmaceutical industry, the guilt of physicians prescribing the opioids that kill, and the pain experienced by families who’ve lost loved ones to an epidemic that has brought the United States to its knees.

The Review

A determined attorney takes on a career-altering case regarding the opioid death of a young girl and fights a pharmaceutical company determined to protect its lucrative chronic pain medication.

Claire Hewitt knows this case will have a significant impact, especially in light of a personal tragedy due to opioids. Author Laura Essay takes a complex issue and distills it into a top-notch medical thriller in Side Effects Are Minimal.

With the help of her team, Claire sorts through piles of evidence, tracing the drug from its inception through the various testing phases and then the vibrant marketing campaign targeting key practitioners.

There’s an interesting contrast presented with the pharmaceutical company’s perspective, highlighting Phil Westcott’s years of research. He is not going to allow a lawyer to take away everything he has created.

The showdown may take place in the courtroom, but it’s the battle on the streets that claims the spotlight. Claire finds danger in the most unlikely places.

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About The Author

 Laura Essay is a lawyer whose dedication to justice and compassion shines through her debut novel, Side Effects Are Minimal.

Laura Essay attended the University of Nebraska and obtained a law degree with honors from Creighton University School of Law. A profound commitment to serving others shaped Laura’s professional journey. Her firsthand experience as an assistant attorney general equipped her with a deep understanding of pressing issues, particularly the opioid crisis gripping America.

Beyond her legal and writing careers, she has tirelessly devoted herself to humanitarian efforts by extending aid to vulnerable populations.

In her moments of respite, Laura finds solace in various pursuits, including cooking, music, running, and travel.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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Side Effects Are Minimal serves as an example of an all-too-real scenario involving the opioid crisis in the United States.4.5-STAR REVIEW: SIDE EFFECTS ARE MINIMAL by Laura Essay