What would you do if you knew you had one week to live?

Fiction - Thriller - General
352 Pages
Reviewed on 04/17/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

“After 21 years with an airline, and 30 years in management consulting, I retired and found that my phone didn’t ring and the only emails I got were asking for money. So, since I was at my computer, I decided to write a novel.”

This is only half the story. (Van is notoriously modest.) The author was Director of International Marketing with TWA, and an International Management Consultant – taking him behind the closed doors of boardrooms and executive offices around the world. He knows how business works, which gives the slightly “sci-fi” premise of Final Notice a realistic feel. Moreover, his two careers led him to live abroad for much of his life. After growing up in New Jersey and Florida, where he never thought much further than the length of a football field, and going to college in New Mexico, he wound up living in England, Scotland and France, travelling frequently to the Middle East and Asia. He even spent a year living in India. And his first-hand experience with – and respect for – other cultures is apparent in this book.

“Final Notice is meant to highlight, my concerns with America’s handling of three important issues: gun control (not anti-gun), ageism and the importance of immigration. The book won’t fix this issue, but there are a number of great organizations with even greater people working on our behalf to right these wrongs. Proceeds from sales of Final Notice will help support those efforts.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

Final Notice by Van Fleisher is an intelligently imagined and expertly crafted novel with an original concept. Vijay Patel, a doctor and mathematician, has just created a revolutionary invention, a health watch that predicts within 10 – 30 days when someone will die. This could be great news for many people, allowing them to fix whatever they need to fix and prepare for death peacefully. But the certainty in regards to when people would die creates anxiety in some, a deep sense of purpose in others, and the desire for revenge in a few. Readers are introduced to very compelling cast of characters, including an eighty-nine-year-old man in a retirement home, a senator, a climate scientist, an FBI agent, and many others.

Combining dark and biting humor, satire, and suspense, Van Fleisher creates a story with characters that are sophisticated and that reveal a lot about human nature. There is a memorable cast of characters, each facing the Final Notice, aware that they will die soon, and it is interesting to see how they plan to spend their last days. The reader will be surprised by the quirkiness in character development and in aspects of the plot. There is an unpredictability in the plot that makes it intriguing and exciting, with surprises that readers won’t see coming. I enjoyed the concept — strong and original — behind the plot. The conflict is mostly existential and psychological and the author uses it to drive the plot. Van Fleisher is a master entertainer who knows how to feed the reader’s curiosity. You can’t stop reading this book once you start it.

Samantha Coville

When we think of the future, we imagine the many new and exciting technologies it is sure to hold. And in Van Fleisher's thrilling novel, Final Notice, we get to look at what happens when one technology is used for the wrong reasons. The invention is a smart watch/fitness tracker band that monitors your health all the way down to your blood chemistry. And when it senses your death is 30, 20, or even 10 days away, it gives you the dreaded final notice. It's understandable that many would use this notice to organize their affairs, say their goodbyes, and live life to the fullest. But what if someone with a final notice had access to a gun and questionable motives? When someone has nothing to lose, how far will they go?

Van Fleisher could join the ranks of James Patterson and Tom Clancy with the quality of writing that I found in Final Notice. More importantly, he took a simple idea and elevated it into a thrilling, fast paced read that never once slackened. Fleisher creates characters that are all at once relatable and scary as they are realistic people that we feel we know but who are driven to extreme extents. And while there is a political agenda woven throughout the story, it's enjoyable no matter how you interpret it. This book does a spectacular job of pushing a message while still being enjoyable as simply fiction.

Christian Sia

Van Fleisher has crafted a gripping story with a powerful premise: What would you do if you knew exactly when you would die and what if the time left for you is just 10, 20, or 30 days? Vijay Patel has succeeded in creating a unique piece of technology; a sports slash health watch that tells users exactly how many days they have left to live. Many people get caught off-guard when analyzing their blood chemistry - they receive the Final Notice. Now, follow them as they make their last, desperate choices. While some look towards the end with serenity, there are those who will do more than want to fix their accounts and settle their debts — some would kill for revenge.

The novel features very compelling characters, including an FBI agent, an octogenarian, a scientist, a senator and many others. The reader follows characters in moments of desperation, psychologically on edge to determine what to do in their final days. The writing is excellent, loaded with vivid descriptions and great dialogues. The story is punctuated with great moments of conflict, emotionally charged so that readers are keen to find out how it ends. The pacing is fast and Van Fleisher has the rare gift of grabbing the reader’s attention and sustaining it till the end. One meets a variety of characters and it is interesting to see how they react to the same reality. Thematic development is stellar and the seamless integration of themes like death, revenge, love, and fear will surprise readers. Final Notice is a fascinating, enjoyable read.

Kim Anisi

A popular writing prompt for creative writers or private journals is the question: "What would you do if you knew you only had a day/a week/a month to live?" Final Notice by Van Fleisher gives an interesting answer to this question. A new health watch and app can actually tell people when they are close to dying. Vijay Patel invented the watch and is now running the alpha test of it, backed by his supporters. Unfortunately, the final notice feature - the feature that alerts users to the date of their death - has an unforeseen side effect. Some of the people who receive the final notice do not use the time they have left to get their affairs in order or say their final goodbyes. They use the time to kill and take revenge. After all, who can do anything to them now that they are close to death? The FBI soon finds the connection between the killings and the new watch. The product still goes into the beta test phase as the pros outweigh the cons. But what will happen when a charming elderly couple with a lovely little dog is faced with the grim reality provided by the VT2 watch and app - after their dog and the owners had been attacked by a vicious bull dog - and the couple suddenly finds themselves interested in owning a gun?

I found the plot of Final Notice by Van Fleisher extremely interesting and well executed. After all, I have often come across the question of what I would do if I knew FOR SURE that I only had a week or a month left to live. Would I try to live my dreams, or would I try to make the world a better place by killing some people I think deserved to die? The questions that arise when you read the novel aren't always pleasant to think about, but are definitely worth spending some time with. It can give you an insight into your own life. I enjoyed the book because there wasn't a judgmental tone to it. Some sensitive topics like suicide, racism, and how the elderly are treated are talked about in a very appropriate manner, and you get insights into different layers of society. You also learn a lot about gun ownership laws in the different states of the USA. If you like thought provoking, exciting and well written novels, then give this one a go!

Romuald Dzemo

Final Notice by Van Fleisher is a thrilling novel that includes strong elements of sci-fi to provide readers with an awesome reading experience. Readers are introduced to a cast of memorable characters with solid backgrounds, each racing against time to fulfill what is at the top of their list of priorities. When the brilliant young doctor, Vijay Patel, invents the health watch, the piece of technology that allows people to know when they will die - within 10, 20, or 30 days - he believes it would help anyone prepare for their death by putting their affairs in order. He couldn’t be more wrong. Now, people know when they will die and the news doesn’t sit comfortably with most of them. Some will want to make peace with others, pay their debts, fix their homes, but there are some who will just kill.

In this thriller, the reader follows the lives of some select few who receive the Final Notice and their unpredictable reactions to it. The reader will be surprised as they follow characters like the senator, the FBI agent, the eighty-something-year-old man, and many more. The story is intelligently plotted, featuring a lot of suspense and grim humor, and forces readers to consider what they would do if they knew when they would die. I loved more than the plot and the interesting characters. Van Fleisher has a powerful sense of setting and readers will feel as though they are navigating the physical and spiritual landscapes of the novel alongside the characters. It is original, with biting humor, and well executed; Final Notice is a great read.