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The Human Trial

After clawing his way out of brutal circumstances and a bleak future, Randy Archer—soon to be Dr. Randall Archer, a Harvard educated pathologist—happens upon a brilliant physicist, also working in Harvard’s Medical Laboratory to perfect his breakthrough microscope. Archer quickly recognizes that by helping the physicist develop his much more powerful microscope, he would gain an exclusive opportunity to surpass his fellows at the Medical College via observing at previously impossible depths the mysteries of life on the microbial level.

Archer’s presence on Harvard’s Ivy League campus does not go unnoticed by Dr. Errol Dole, who will become the Dean of the Medical College. By carrying out clandestine assignments for Dole, Archer cements his position as the formidable man’s protégé throughout his long tenure at Harvard, from undergraduate to specialization in pathology or the study of disease, from the 1920s into the Depression-plagued 1930s.

At the same time, Archer’s laboratory collaborator on the microscope, Dr. Adam Wakefield, PhD in Physics, introduces Archer to social realms beyond his wildest imaginings. Thus Archer meets his future wife, Elizabeth Perrish, from the uppermost rung of Boston’s social ladder. Flaunting her family’s violent disapproval of Archer, especially in regard to her, its sole daughter, the two marry and Elizabeth is cast from her family, penniless. But the couple thrives in near-destitution in student housing while Archer completes his education. Elizabeth’s meager teaching wages help carry them through to her husband’s final graduation.

However, all does not go as planned. In helping to develop Wakefield’s microscope, the two scientists soon stray into unchartered territory. Initially their findings excite Archer. But soon its implications begin to unnerve him. Aware of how traditional western medicine is taught, practiced, and assiduously controlled throughout a practitioner’s career, Archer increasingly fears their discoveries threaten to undermine orthodox medicine. And this, during the Great Depression, when even the rich and powerful risk daily ruin.

Concluding that he may not merely be undoing his own hard-won career but perhaps the entire medical field, Archer faces an impossible choice. Will he uphold his sacred oath as a doctor and scientist and publish his findings regardless of where it takes the field and the long-suffering world? Or will he accept the loss of countless lives by protecting the field of medicine as it conventionally operates?

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Excerpt of The Sausage Maker's Daughters, previously published under A.G.S. Johnson, now Audrey Gale

The sausage maker’s youngest daughter is heading for the fight of her battle-scarred life

It’s the era of the counterculture and Vietnam. Women’s consciousness is being raised and they’re beginning to find their places outside of the home.

But twenty-four-year-old Kip Czermanski is nowhere near her home in California. She’s in a jail cell in her hometown in Wisconsin awaiting a court appearance in the mysterious death of her ex-lover, who happened to be her brother-in-law.

Since her father is the small town’s leading citizen, Kip isn’t overly worried—at first. But the personal grudge the DA holds for all the Czermanskis is about to find a foil. Kip.

What follows is a wild ride through Kip’s present predicament and her past. Family dynamics and sibling rivalries, magnified by her counterculture attitudes and feminist beliefs, will lay bare Kip’s life before the crowded courtroom, right along with the self-important Czermanskis’ darkest secrets.

Kip’s rebellious reputation is well known by the townsfolk. Plus, she cannot fully trust her own attorneys. Things both personal and legal spiral out-of-control.

The Sausage Maker’s Daughters is a superb character study and a riveting courtroom nail-biter, with an ending that evokes a gasp of, “Wow! I didn’t see that coming.”

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