From health care debates to fatalities caused by “safe” drugs, the news is full of the goings-on in the world of giant pharmaceutical companies these days. On Message takes us inside that world with Jillian Hillcrest, a public relations executive for a company which is developing a drug for Lupus. The wheels-within-wheels world of On Message involves not only the difficulties of proving a drug’s effectiveness, but the draw of greed for parasites who want to cash in on the profits. Jillian becomes inadvertently involved in the machinations of various unscrupulous players, and without her–no justice. More than the plots and intrigue, though, On Message is about the Jillian and her people–family, friends, neighbors–and their relationships. Although there are more red herrings in On Message than on your average Monterey fishing boat, this is not a book about gunfights and car chases, but about love and betrayal and redemption. Oh, and the short course in the history of PR. That and big pharma could use some image-polishing, and Strand wraps itin a very attractive package. And, finally good food and wine. We are in San Francisco, after all.