Roberta Writes: Book review – Acts of Convenience by Alex Craigie

Acts Of Convenience Kindle Edition

What Amazon says

Imagine, if you will, a near future where governments adopt policies that suit them rather than the people they were elected to represent.

Imagine a near future where old age and chronic problems are swept away with expedient legislation.

I know; it’s an unlikely scenario.

However, it’s a scenario in which Cassie Lincoln finds herself.

It’s a scenario that compels her to take action.

It’s a scenario that leads to despair and danger. 

My review

As a qualified chartered accountant, I work a lot with statistics and have a good knowledge of economics. As a result of my background and the unfortunate lack of blinkers over my eyes, I could appreciate the horrible economic reasonableness of this unusual dystopian story.

The book starts in the present when a young baby dies on the way to the hospital. This is shocking to the reader because the child dies of an illness that is treatable by antibiotics provided proper healthcare is accessed timeously. It is revealed quite quickly that the seriousness of the baby’s illness and symptoms were underestimated by the NHS staff member who took the mother’s emergency call and an ambulance was not made available. Underfunding and understaffing of the NHS are strongly hinted at as being the root causes of the infant’s death.

The next few chapters continue to set the scene for the dire funding gap faced by the government with regards to healthcare. The baby’s mother, Cass, is revealed to be a nurse working in a NHS hospital and well aware of the strain under which the whole system is operating. The story alternates between insights into discussions between the health and finance ministers and the prime minister about the funding crisis and possible solutions thereto, and Cass’s insights into what is happening in the hospitals and medical world.

New legislation is passed to reduce the burden on the health system. Initially, the changes appear positive and include elective euthanasia for chronically ill and dying patients. The author does an excellent job of showing how acceptance of these small initial steps in acceptance of unnatural death, lead to a change in the general attitude and thoughts of the population about death. Before long, additional legislation is being passed which takes the choice of death out of the hands of elderly and chronically ill people and stage is set for the slow eradication of human rights.

Cass and her family are witnesses to the gradual erosion of the societal beliefs and values they’ve grown up with and instilled in the younger members. Her family members all react differently to what they see happening all about them and all are drawn into a fight against the mass manipulation of the public by the government and return to an autocratic leadership style.

This book has an exciting and tense storyline which will keep you on the edge of your seat, but it was the dystopian setting that really made this book a fantastic read for me. The possibility of solving future economic crisis caused by overpopulation and an aging population that lives much longer than in the past, in this inhumane and legislated way is mind boggling. The fact we know this crisis is imminent, if not already here, makes it all the more frightening.

Congratulations to the author on an excellent and thought provoking book.

Purchase Acts of Convenience

Amazon US

Alex Craigie Amazon Author Page

About Alex Craigie

An image posted by the author.

Alex Craigie is the pen name of Trish Power.

Trish was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.

Trish has had two books published under the pen name of Alex Craigie. Both books cross genre boundaries and feature elements of romance, thriller and suspense against a backdrop of social issues. Someone Close to Home highlights the problems affecting care homes while Acts of Convenience has issues concerning the NHS at its heart.

Someone Close to Home has won a Chill with a Book award and a Chill with the Book of the Month award. In 2019 it was one of the top ten bestsellers in its category on Amazon.

Book lovers are welcome to contact her on

115 thoughts on “Roberta Writes: Book review – Acts of Convenience by Alex Craigie

      1. Robbie – this is a wonderful post — such an important topic, Alex – I’d love it you’d guest blog post for my site. if you’re interested, please email me at ContactdaAL at gmail dot com

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Carla, it is frightening especially as there is a lot of resentment by young people towards a generation they feel has had the best of everything, leaving them with all the problems to resolve. The recent attitudes towards lockdowns and the behaviour of many of the youth is indicative of this, in my opinion.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Excellent review, as always, Robbie. Seems like a great, chilling book by Alex Craigie, with a plot containing plenty of plausibility.

    “…where governments adopt policies that suit them rather than the people they were elected to represent” — sounds VERY familiar. 😦

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks, Dave. Robbie’s review is brilliant and I’m glad the book comes across as chilling! I don’t know where you are, but here in the UK things aren’t looking too statesmanlike at the moment…

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Hi Dave, that quote does seem to represent the mantra of our age. It brings to mind the debacle of climate change and reducing carbon emissions. It is a great thing that writers find ways to convey their thoughts and ideas on the potential future outcomes of compacity about adverse changes. The power of the pen.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. The story of theirs this book is not far from the truth, Robbie. California tried to increase the nurse-patient ratial to reduce the cost. Good thing that it didn’t pass. When I was in the hospital for chemo treatment, one nurse said she had to take additional tests to become chemo nurse. She liked it because it has lower nurse-patient ratio and she could spend more time with each patient.

    It also reminds me of what Size Vincent went through to get the government paid for her care for her son’s traumatic injury. 😒

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks, Miriam. I started this book a long time ago but my mother developed dementia and I had to shelve it for a few years. Since I’ve published this one, several of the unpalatable ideas have been considered! I believe that good health care should be available to everyone but it needs investment and some governments are putting other things first. I’m sorry to hear about your need for chemo – I hope things are good with you now.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You’re welcome, Alex. My husband and many members on his side of the family are in the health care business. They talk about it all the time. He had a strategic planning business and told me there are many loopholes for health care providers to overcharge that jacks up the cost. When service charges and administrative costs are, high, only certain percentage goes to some services down the line.

        The chemo was 12 years ago. I’m doing well with long term side effects. When I was in the hospital, a specialist came to give me a two-minutes breathing exercise a day so my lungs would collapse. The bill for each exercise was $2,000. My four treatments and two surgeries came to almost half a million dollars. I know my life worth more than that, but still…

        Liked by 3 people

          1. It’s hard to crack down the the corruption, Robbie. I once had a private doctor double billed using two addresses but the codes of items charged were the same! I called the insurance to report it.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. Hi Miriam, nursing is very important for a successful recovery for patients. In SA, the nursing is poor in government hospitals. There is not attitude of caring or benevolence towards the sick. People go into nursing because they get government perks like sick leave and pensions and not because they care about people. It is the same with teaching.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s shocking the way things like nursing and education, that have always been seen as vocations rather than mere jobs, are crumbling under the pressures. Also, charging $2,000 for each of Miriam’s two minute breathing exercise is shocking and very difficult to justify.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You’re right, Robbie. Some young people go into those fields with no passions in them. When I was a teacher, I was also a mentor. I had substitute teachers for my class even I went to the new teacher’s class to observe, demonstrate, and coach. There was one teacher had no teaching skills, couldn’t learn, barely made it for 25 years and then retired. The teachers next year “inherit” his students knew they would have to “fix” the problems. There were two other teachers with the same problems.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Priscilla, thank you. It is a bleak idea but the ending is splendid and hopeful. A bit like the ending of Fahrenheit 451. I like books that showcase the worse but end with an action plan showing that the good does ultimately come out on top.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bless you for that, Robbie! I didn’t want to write something that made readers miserable and I do believe that the vast majority of people are kind and generous but are lost under the bad stuff that makes it into the press.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Darlene. I started this in 2016 but had to shelve it when my mother’s dementia became worse. Sadly, some of the things I predicted have already been considered. Scary indeed!

      Liked by 3 people

  3. There are discussions about this sort of decision-making–end of life, choosing younger over older for procedures. Where is that attitude that life is precious? I’m guessing this is a scarily-close-to-reality sort of book.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Jacqui, I’m with you on the all life should be precious front. Pre-vaccine, when Covid was killing people in unimagineable numbers, it was said that hospitals here were reaching a point where they’d have to choose which patients to try to save. The recommendation was to choose the younger ones. I know that us oldies have had good lives but money that’s frittered away on what I’d consider trivia should have been invested in health care so that medical professionals weren’t put in the situation where they had to make that choice. Other countries do invest in good health care for everyone. Many thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hi Jacqui, it is a book that shows how quickly changes and acceptances lead to changes in mindsets and a spiral downwards into completely unexpected, and initially unintended, consequences. I liked it very much. There is also a jolly good story.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’ve said, in a nutshell, the main premise of the book. I’m also hugely grateful that you think it’s a jolly good story. I didn’t want it to come across as a book of rant!

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Robbie, what a superb review! It’s such a great summing-up of the points that matter to me and you’ve completely understood what I was trying to put across. A rating is worth a great deal. A one-line review is as good as fairy dust and one like this, that must have taken a good deal of your precious time, is what a writer dreams of but rarely gets. Thanks from the heart. ♥♥

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I know a bit about your life and all the responsibilities you have to juggle on a day to day basis and that makes the time you spend on a review even more precious to me.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. It IS a fantastic review, isn’t it? Thank you so much, Sally, for this comment, too. You can imagine how delighted I am now- it makes the experience worthwhile for these moments alone. ♥♥

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I started this in 2016 but had to shelve it for a couple of years when my mother’s dementia became a serious problem. Suffice it to say that I don’t think that the situation regarding health and social care has improved in that time, neither has the behaviour of some government leaders…

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Very nice review and it sounds like Alex writes about issues dear to her heart and then using that life seasoning to enrich the content
    and just kidding with this – but when I saw here email I asked myself “Is aol still around?” I guess so

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Great opening comment, ‘Prior’. That is exactly what I do! As for aol, you’re dealing with a dinosaur here who still uses a ‘phone with a tail’. 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Hahah! The phone with the tail is great – and glad aol is still there – whew – I remember in 2001 when folks from our church insisted we get aol to be online with them and the tech web – and Alex / it makes me wonder what things will look like 20 years from now! Will dinosaur tails
        Phones be back in style? Perhaps

        Hope you and Robbie both have a great weekend

        Liked by 4 people

  6. Priorhouse – I’d love to take the credit for the phone with a tail but I came across it a few weeks ago on Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord and thought it was brilliant! It’s how I’ll think of them forever now!

    Liked by 3 people

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