... provides detailed insight into how America’s opioid problem can be pinned not to a single moment or person but to the negligence of systems intended to improve vulnerable people’s lives, and to the indifference of people in positions of power within that system. Rather than placing the blame on a definitive cause, this knowledgeable account emphasizes overarching systemic failures, rooted in the greed of those who are meant to 'do no harm.' ... Told in nonchronological order, Bad Medicine isn’t a stuffy, detached reenactment of the trial. Bismuth provides the necessary background to contextualize the opioid crisis, the evolution of related laws and the requirements of legal procedures, but she also shares the personal chaos that influenced her courtroom battle, including the breakdown of her marriage and contentious divorce, the demands of parenting and the crushing dread of depression and anxiety ... Some readers may wonder why the narrative switches focus from chapter to chapter, hopping from the nitty-gritty aspects of building a case to reflections on the author’s inability to live up to her own expectations in her personal life, but the overall result shows Bismuth’s commitment to a higher calling ... The greatest strength of the book is the author’s ability to break down the legal jargon of the court system and the prosecution’s evidentiary path to conviction. The text links each piece of evidence in a clear path to confirm Li’s self-serving motivations, despite the jumps in the timeline. Bismuth humanizes Li’s patients and does not pass judgment on their substance abuse problems.
The author reveals opioid giant Purdue Pharma’s 'relentless, misleading, and highly effective' marketing campaign and provides chilling details of the raging epidemic their efforts helped fuel ... The narrative jumps backward and forward too often between the investigation and the trial, which can be confusing in certain sections, and the tossed-off title of the book does no service to this vivid first-person narrative. But the author, an attorney, is skilled in her depictions of the courtroom scenes—notably the complex jousting of the expert witnesses. A gripping read tailor-made for the silver screen.
In this dramatic true crime debut, attorney Bismuth recounts her role as a member of New York City’s Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor in helping to convict doctor Stan Li of manslaughter in 2014 ... Bismuth illustrates the unique difficulties in holding unscrupulous doctors to account for fostering the nationwide opioid epidemic ... Bismuth builds tension expertly, and offers hope that the tools of law enforcement can be used to reign in the worst abuses of the medical industry. This gritty page-turner offers a unique perspective on America’s opioid crisis.