Joel Shulkin, MD

Medical Thriller Author

Featured Book

Medical thriller novel Adverse Effects

Determined to help her amnesiac patients recover their lives, Boston psychiatrist Cristina Silva is achieving near-miraculous results by prescribing Recognate, a revolutionary new memory-recovery drug now in trials. She understands her patients’ suffering better than most, because she’s lost her memories, too. Desperate to become herself again, she pops the same experimental drug she prescribes to her patients. And, like them, she remembers a little more each day.

Until one of her patients, a successful accountant, jumps from an eight-story window to his death. And as Cristina’s memories return, with them come violent visions and an incessant voice in her head. Maybe the drug isn’t safe after all. But discontinuing it would mean forgetting everything she’s recalled and losing herself.

Then an enigmatic, possibly dangerous man appears at Cristina’s bus stop. He seems to know more about her life than she does and says she holds a secret that puts her life in danger. Perilously balanced between an unknown past and a terrifying future, if she wants to survive, Cristina must stay on the medication and unlock those memories before it’s too late—even if the adverse effects of the drug could destroy her.



ON SALE NOW in trade paperback, audiobook, and e-book!

Book 2 in the Memory Thieves series, TOXIC EFFECTS, launches Sept 20, 2022 by Blackstone Publishing. Preorder information to come!


If you know a veteran (or you are a veteran), nominate them to win a signed copy of the trade paperback of ADVERSE EFFECTS and be entered for the grand prize package including an ADVERSE EFFECTS audiobook, books and DVD's from other incredible veteran authors, a YETI cooler, and more!

Enter here!

Adverse Effects



Read the entire review at Best Thriller Books!


“Fast-paced and full of surprises. Authentic medicine and plenty of suspense makes Adverse Effects one heck of a debut thriller.”

-Daniel Palmer, USA Today bestselling author of Mercy and The First Family


“Joel Shulkin has crafted a superb novel that’s a tour de force of medical suspense. Electrifying and gripping, get ready for a spine-tingling story that will have you racing through the pages from the moment you begin.”

-Gary Birken, MD, author of Code 15


“Riveting from page one, Adverse Effects caught my attention from the very beginning. I couldn’t stop reading. You want this book.”

-Shiloh Walker, nationally bestselling author


“A thrilling biotech novel. This is a superb fast-paced book with excellent depth of characters and scientific background. Lots of easily understood biotech that provides the foundation for great suspense and lots surprises that are completely believable.”

-Alessandro Boccaletti, author of Veritas The Pharmacological Endgame


“When heroine Cristina Silva’s nightmares start to become your own, you know you are reading a good book. Adverse Effects is such a book, an excellent medical thriller.”

-Ken McClure, author of the Dr. Steven Dunbar series


Adverse Effects is a ‘step on the gas pedal and hold on tight’ read. An action-packed medical thriller that doesn’t let up until the very last page.”

-Mary Lawrence, author of The Alchemist’s Daughter


“Fast-paced with nail-biting twists and turns, Adverse Effects plunges you into the pharmacological world of memory manipulation and leaves you on the edge of your seat. Five enthusiastic stars for Joel Shulkin’s medical thriller, a fascinating and gripping debut.”

-Carrie Rubin, author of The Bone Curse


“A riveting adventure into the world of memory control where nightmarish consequences await. Memorable characters and a chilling plot are certain to keep the reader turning pages deep into the night.”

-Leonard Goldberg, author of the Daughter of Sherlock Holmes mysteries

"Although this is labeled a medical thriller, I would like to point out that there is a lot of espionage as well in case that helps you make your decision to pick it up or not. The premise is interesting and it is very action-packed. I’m not quite sure how it will be a series, as the author wrapped things up nicely at the end. However, I look forward to hearing more about Cristina and Wilson."

-San Francisco Book Review

You can order ADVERSE EFFECTS now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Hudson Booksellers, or!


You can also order the e-book at Kobo, Apple Books, or Google Play, or the audiobook through Audible!

Medical thriller list, CrimeReads, medical fiction

Read my article in CrimeReads on Seven Medical Thrillers That Go Beyond the Emergency Room!

Read this month's dose of medical suspense here

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Virtual ThrillerFest Video

#VirtualThrillerFest Panel: How to Write a Medical Thriller in the Age of Covid-19 by Joel Shulkin, M.D.

Posted by International Thriller Writers Organization on Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Comments: 3
  • #3

    Nikita1611 (Tuesday, 28 April 2020 09:18)

    Can't wait to read ❤

  • #2

    Angela McCann (Thursday, 02 January 2020 07:46)

    This sounds really interesting, medical thriller isn't a genre I see very often and this is a fascinating concept. Can't wait to learn more about it.

  • #1

    Mary Ann (Friday, 07 June 2019 19:46)

    Can’t wait to read this!!