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Short Bio:  Joel Shulkin, MD, is the author of the novels Adverse Effects and Toxic Effects, the first two books in the Memory Thieves series. He has also penned award-winning short stories and poetry. A developmental-behavioral pediatrician and United States Air Force veteran with a masters in public health, Joel lives in Florida with his wife and two daughters.

Contact and Rights

For rights and publicity inquiries, please contact Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency at


For all other inquiries please use the contact form.

Social Media

Instagram, Twitter, Threads, Facebook, TikTok: @drjoelshulkin


LinkedIn: /joel-shulkin-989a122a1


Mystery Writers of America

Sisters in Crime

International Thriller Writers

Author's Guild

Independent Book Publishers Association

Florida Writer's Association

Selected speaking samples

Adverse Effects Book Launch Sept 16, 2020

A Pediatric Developmental Medicine Physician's Path Oct 6, 2020

Crafting a Medical Thriller Even When Your Specialty Isn't "Thrilling"

Interview with FOX13

Patients Come First: Jan 19, 2021


Current Book


Thriller: Forensic Technothriller

The medical examiner’s job is to speak for the dead, and protect the living.

 But what happens when the dead speak for themselves?

Stephen Englehart, an Armed Forces medical examiner. dedicates his life to bringing peace to the families of fallen soldiers. Tagged as one of the best, he’s able to spot forensic clues others miss. But when the body of a US Marine, supposedly burned beyond recognition, shows up with hardly a scratch, even Stephen is stumped. Were the bodies switched?

Then, in the middle of the autopsy, the impossible happens.

The soldier wakes up.


Something incredible—and dangerous—is happening to the military’s elite, and Stephen may be the only one who can figure it out. And when Stephen’s sister, a Green Beret, goes missing, the entire military machine seems designed to stop him from finding her. To find the truth and save his sister, one man must stand against an army.  Can he be the hero he never thought he could?


Publication date: Sept 17, 2024 by Zero Dark Publications

6X9" Hardcover: ISBN 979-8-9900188-0-8, 440 pages US$28.99

5.25x8" Paperback: ISBN 979-8-9900188-1-5, 470 pages US$18.99


Preorder links:

Promotional information:

"Heroic Measures is a rollercoaster ride filled with thrills and intrigue. It was fast-paced with no downtime. All the suspense, action, and plot twists kept me on the edge of my seat. I could not put it down and had to keep reading. The action starts on the first page and never stops. The events were descriptive and dramatic, and I easily became part of them. The characters were well-developed and strong throughout the narration. The chemistry between Stephen and Melinda made for an interesting subplot. The story is exceptionally well-written and magnificent. The ending had major twists that I did not see coming. This is an excellent read that will stay with you for quite a while."

-Alma Boucher, Reader's Favorite

"Heroic Measures is both a military thriller and a medical thriller, which rips and races through twists that will make you dizzy as a medical examiner discovers a plot going back decades and burrowed into the depths of his own history."

—Lisa Black, NYT bestselling author of the Locard Institute series

A powder-keg combination of military, medical, and techno thriller. Buckle in for a wild and suspenseful ride.” 

–Meg Gardiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

This story is a burning fuse from page one! It launches with heart racing speed from the starting block and sprints the whole way through. Forensically intricate. Plot twisty. I’m pretty sure Shulkin has created a new genre: forensic techno thriller and it left me wondering if we’re closer to this reality than I’m comfortable with. If you want a fast, heart-pounding thriller that you can’t put down, make Heroic Measures your next read.” 

-- Jennifer Graeser DornbushCrime Author.

With plotting that is elegant and compelling it’s a shrewd, expansive and propulsive story that encompasses all the requisites of the Military Thriller and Superhero genres. Shulkin instinctively understands the devices of both genres and what it takes to stand out. From the quality and depth of his writing to literary values, he respects established tropes whilst delivering a story which is wholly original. A superb novel from Shulkin that’s a delight to read from beginning to end Heroic Measures is an unreservedly recommended Golden Quill read!"

--Book Viral Reviews

"If you love a good thriller, Heroic Measures is a must-read...With plot twists around every corner, this novel will have you hooked from the very first page, making it a great choice for just about any reader."

-Book Nerdection


Book trailer

Book excerpt

Heroic Measures Excerpt
Prologue to Heroic Measures
Heroic Measures_Excerpt.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 109.7 KB

Press materials

Press Release Download
Press Release for HEROIC MEASURES, launching Sept 17. 2024
Heroic Measures_Shulkin_Press
Microsoft Word Document 185.9 KB
Sell Sheet
Heroic Measures sell sheet_advance.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.9 MB

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.

Publication date: Sept 15, 2020 by Blackstone Publishing

Hardcover ISBN 9781094192543, 400 pages, $26.99

Paperback ISBN: 9781094022871, 404 pages, $16.99

Audiobook ISBN 9781094024059, $29.95

Ebook ASIN B0C2G9ZBRL, $9.99

Toxic Effects

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.

Publication date: Sept 20, 2022 by Blackstone Publishing

Hardcover: ISBN 9781094022888, 400 pages, $28.99

Paperback: ISBN 979-8212175074, 374 pages, $17.99

Audiobook: ISBN 978-1094023076, $29.95

Ebook: ASIN B09WYX9P3B, $9.95

Book Awards & Accolades

Pencraft Awards, Second Place 2023 for Thrillers Adverse Effects

NYC Big Book Awards, Distinguished Favorite 2023 Adverse Effects & Toxic Effects

The BookFest Silver Award Spring 2023  Adverse Effects

Finalist, Best Thrillers Book Awards 2022 Toxic Effects

Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet
Q&A for Joel Shulkin
Tip Sheet_Joel Shulkin.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 146.9 KB