Untangling the Black Web, by T.F. Jacobs

Nine stars

First and foremost, a large thank you to T.F. Jacobs for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

When the author approached me to read this ARC, I was highly energetic, having perused the dust jacket blurb and the topic at hand. Now that I have had a chance to devour it, I realise that I made the right choice in taking Jacobs up on his offer. David Higgins is the type of lawyer you love to hate. Employed by American True Care to write the clauses and loopholes that keeps the health insurance company free from paying for many of the medical procedures of its members, Higgins carries that burden around with him on a regular basis. After his wife, Lexi, is diagnosed with cancer, Higgins is able to see the other side of the coin and is not only saddled with paralysing debt, but her eventual death. Higgins pledges to bring American True Care down and works with a secret group of like-minded individuals to infiltrate the upper echelons on American True Care to weed out exactly where things are going and how to become the more powerful whistle-blower in the country. Finagling a job as a lobbyist, Higgins is forced to liaise with some of America’s high ranking congressional movers and shakers, all to ensure the passage of key pieces of legislation. These bills will not only benefit American True Care, but allows key members of Congress to line their pockets or receive favours in kind. As Higgins begins his work, he sees all too well the evils that Congress and Big Healthcare are pushing down the throats of Americans, all of whom are helpless to do anything. Higgins comes to see that things are even more powerful than he thought, particularly when some of those working alongside him are discovered and killed. Armed with much blackmail, Higgins returns to those congressional leaders with whom he met in the hopes of turning their support away from America True Care. However, it might be too little too late, as the monstrosity that is the American Healthcare Insurance industry runs things with a titanium hammer. Poignant and truly eye-opening, Jacobs lays out a well-crafted story that seeks not only to convince readers of his cause, but also to shine lights on areas many would prefer kept veiled in darkness. Perfect for those who enjoy a political thriller with topics pulled from current headlines. Sure to make ripples upon its public release!

I’d never read anything by Jacobs before he approached me, but I am very glad that he was able to find me and provide this book. As I sit on my perch in Canada, I can only shake my head at the mess US health insurance has become, exacerbated by a president who has lost touch with the grassroots Americans who elected him. David Higgins is a wonderful character, whose goodness is balanced out with the need to work. Everyone sells a little bit of their soul at times, but Higgins seems to have had his epiphany with the death of his wife. His ire comes more from the conniving way that procedures are declined and unnecessary appointments encouraged by members of the healthcare industry, crippling the ‘little guy’ for being sick (which is the whole purpose of health insurance, no?). Adding a wonderful collection of supporting characters, from doctors to health insurance executives through to medical professionals, Jacobs fleshes out just how much of a problem this has become and how spread out the deception is being perpetrated. From there, it is the laying out of the meticulous groundwork to show the reader how corrupt things have become and a race to reveal it all. I think many readers are away that things are broken or at least skewed away from the everyday citizen, who rolls the proverbial dice on a daily basis. With all that is going on in the United States, headed by a president who wants his legacy to be dismantling anything good in America, 140 characters at a time, this book hits home and goes to show that there is no one watching the big whigs in insurance or the politicians who benefit from key votes. Sadly, Jacobs shows that money talks and those who can yell will always have more power than the simple ‘X on the ballot’, which bastardises democracy at its core. It is also a clear argument that Americans are being held hostage, kidnapped if you will, by their own government and those who collect healthcare premiums on a regular basis. That is, perhaps, the saddest fact of all!

Kudos, Mr. Jacobs for this wonderful novel. While I know it is full of opinions and anything can be turned to favour one side, I have read and seen much of this already. Your book only goes to support the problems I knew were there. This might be yet another reason for an influx of people coming to Canada, or other countries where universal healthcare proves useful to the general public.

This book fulfills Equinox I (A Book for All Seasons) Book Challenge for Topic #4: A Book with Kidnapping

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons