Forbidden Birth: Unspeakable medical procedures. A crazed serial killer. Who will protect the innocent and at what cost? Doctor Christopher Ravello is driven by an unquenchable desire to avenge his mother’s senseless murder. He forsakes a lucrative career in medicine, and plunges headlong into the brutal, unforgiving world of a New York City homicide detective. Head of the new Division of Medical Crimes, Ravello’s first case pits him against a brilliant, sadistic serial killer. Known only as The Giver, he is hell-bent on subjecting young women and their unborn babies to his illicit experiments.
As the body count rises, New York City is engulfed in fear. Fighting an illness that threatens his job, immersed in turmoil at home due to his radical career change, Ravello struggles to understand who The Giver is and where he will strike next. Just as he discovers the killer’s identity the unspeakable happens, and Ravello is confronted with an agonizing choice: Will he play it safe or make the ultimate sacrifice to save his loved ones and the city he is sworn to protect and serve? – Goodreads
Forbidden Birth Review
To be frank, I liked the premise of Forbidden Birth but I did not care for the writing. William Rubin definitely has a pleasantly twisted mind, but you can tell this is his first work. The writing is rough, with details repeated far too frequently. It feels like if some of the unnecessary descriptions and overly repetitive detailing removed, the book’s length would decrease by about 30 pages. Frequently the writing level seems very unsuited for the subject matter. This type of book depends upon subtlety and tenseness to adequately draw the reader in. Forbidden Birth sometimes had a middle-grade feel to it.
The characters in general are barely developed, and The Giver is a villain that is so over the top it’s ridiculous. Yes, the killer was evil. Undoubtedly. But it’s hard to feel even vaguely creeped out when the character has you rolling your eyes every time he appears. He even talks about his evil plans out loud to himself. Forbidden Birth had a few moments where I groaned in despair/ disgust. The switching back and forth between point of views didn’t serve the story well. There were also a few things that I found completely unbelievable. Namely, the continued insistence that a 14 week old fetus is viable outside the womb. No. Just, no. A 14 week old fetus has a 0% chance survival rate. It could definitely do with another round of editing in general. (Nothing in what I read indicated this took place far enough in the future to believe that we had increased the viability age to 14 weeks.)
However, Forbidden Birth also had its good points. Even though the plot was mostly predictable and the dialogue completely hokey, I still enjoyed the action. The pacing was decent. There were a few twists that I applaud the author for. I liked that the author made Chris the atypical protagonist in more than one way. I could appreciate the decisions the character made, also. With time and practice, William Rubin could get his writing skill up to the level of his imagination. Then we might have a solid story-teller on our hands.
I can’t truthfully recommend Forbidden Birth, but I will say this is an author to keep your eyes on in future.