Joel Shulkin, MD

Medical Thriller Author

Featured Book


Don’t forget to be afraid.

Neuropsychiatrist Cristina Silva cannot escape her past. The voice in her head of her former identity won’t let her. Cristina also can’t quite manage to force herself to forget the ex-boyfriend she dumped: handsome police detective Gary Wilson.

Soon after beginning her new job at the Longwood Memory Center, Cristina receives a startling phone call from her contact at the FBI: an assassin is crisscrossing the country, killing anyone connected to the now-defunct pharmaceutical company ReMind—people like Cristina. The shadowy criminal enterprise Zero Dark is back.

Indeed, an assassin is tracking Cristina, a literal femme fatale known as Dama Branca. Like Cristina, DB’s memory was robbed by Zero Dark. Transfixed by the brilliant doctor, DB’s unsure what’s preventing her from killing Cristina. DB has memory glitches and longs to interpret them. Whether or not these have to do with Cristina, she doesn’t know, but she senses their fates are entwined—with any luck, not fatally.

Danger lurks in the shadows. Cristina’s spurned lover, Wilson, is investigating the suspicious deaths of local teens, convinced they’re not accidents. Before their bewildering ends, all the victims exhibit bizarre behavior, and there are now terrified whispers among their friends of a hooded boogeyman called Sack Man. One exceptional young man, Reggie Horne, is clearly in the middle of this bedlam. Wilson vows to prevent Sack Man from claiming Reggie as his next casualty.

And when Cristina’s in danger, Wilson is never far away. Just as it becomes apparent their two stories are entangled, the peril shoots sky-high. With at least one killer in their wake, they must quickly determine what’s real and what’s not. Unlocking Cristina’s memories could save many lives—her own included.


"Toxic Effects by Joel Shulkin has a highly complex plot. The story was fast-paced with so many twists and turns I never knew what to expect next. It was jam-packed with action and never had a dull moment. I did not have to wait to find out what was going to happen. The chapters flowed naturally into each other. Several stories were woven together to form this awesome thriller. The characters’ descriptions made them realistic, and I could relate to them. They were strong throughout the story and my favorite character was Christina. She lived with two identities and had to hide who she was. I was curious to know whether she and Detective Gary Wilson would rekindle their relationship. The story is exceptionally well written, and it was a pleasure reading it. There was much more to it than I expected."







"Toxic Effects is one of the year's top medical thrillers"

-Finalist in the book awards!

Read the complete list here

Additional reviews:

"The multiple twists and turns and ultimate surprises in the reveal  make this a difficult book to set aside.  Added bonuses in the painful romantic evolution of Christina and Detective Wilson, and a feel good ending on multiple levels makes this a very pleasurable read." --A Book Junkie Reviews


"This is not my usual genre, but I enjoyed this very much and found the characters well-layered and relatable." - Mystery and Suspense Magazine




“Shulkin’s smart, page-turner Toxic Effects redefines crossed, crisscrossed, and double-crossed. A really great read.”

                -Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of Sleepless City

"A wicked smart medical thriller." 

                -Dea Poirier, bestselling author of Next Girl to Die and Find Me in the Dark

"This was my first medical thriller and I couldn't put it down. Joel seamlessly integrates more twists and turns than a Formula One Race. Highly recommend"

               - Brian Cuban, Bestselling author of The Addicted Lawyer and The Ambulance Chaser


And don't forget to read Book 1 of The Memory Thieves, Adverse Effects



Read the entire review at Best Thriller Books!

Praise for ADVERSE EFFECTS  (Book 1 of The Memory Thieves)

“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

ADVERSE EFFECTS won 2nd place in the BookFest Awards for medical thrillers! 


See more here.

Signed books make great gifts!

Complete this form to order a signed hardcover of Adverse Effects or Toxic Effects or a signed paperback of Adverse Effects! Order soon to get them in time for the holidays!

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Comments: 7
  • #7

    CONNIE ROSENBAUM (Sunday, 24 September 2023 01:35)


  • #6

    jennifer shirah (Sunday, 04 December 2022 00:17)

    Thank you, Joel!

  • #5

    Trisha (Wednesday, 14 September 2022 14:45)

    Thanks Joel!!

  • #4

    Diana Fahrenbruck (Monday, 13 December 2021 12:48)

    Thank you!

  • #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!!