Excerpt from

The Suicide Switch

Novel by Dana Ravyn   


“Astrid walked from the station to Jules’s building, her anxiety brimming. She had started to put the pieces together, and it was looking like a maelstrom that she and Jules needed to get away from, fast. She ran the details through her mind’s eye like a movie, over and over. It was obvious now that this was way bigger than either of them had imagined. If mercenaries are involved, who knows who else is, or how far this goes? Why would an executive of a multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical company care about some doctor’s research in Providence? The patient suicides could only mean one thing—and it was too terrifying to even imagine. The dead speak from the grave, she thought. Everything going on in Thailand must be a part of this—it may even be the front line.”


What would happen if there was a biological switch in the brain that could turn suicidal behavior on and off?

 When psychiatrist Jules Solaris accuses his mentor of cooking the data in their adolescent suicide research, he opens the floodgates of an international conspiracy that takes him from the halls of Ivy League medicine to five countries in pursuit of the truth. With his mentor mysteriously exonerated, Jules is sent to work on a clinical trial in Thailand where he quickly finds that things are not what they seem. Patients are dying from a drug that is supposed to help them and it’s connected to the research back home. In Bangkok, he meets and falls in love with Astrid Kallström, an investigative reporter from Stockholm. But explosive revelations from Jules’ earlier years in Thailand working for a nongovernmental organization challenge their bond. A dark web of espionage unfolds as Jules and Astrid learn the reason global adversaries will stop at nothing to acquire the secrets of the ‘suicide switch.’  Through it all, they risk everything as they peel back layers of deceit and betrayal to expose the pernicious forces operating in the shadows.

 In The Suicide Switch, the protagonist’s mentor is a physician researcher in adolescent psychiatry whose obsession with preventing suicide in kids is driven by the loss of his son Luc. Luc was a nonbinary queer teen who succumbed to physical and online harassment and took his own life. LGBTQ kids have never been as vulnerable as today. More than half of trans kids have attempted suicide, yet these are the same young people being deprived of lifesaving evidence-based medical care. Many have inadequate mental health care. I was once a suicide prevention counselor and know that LGBTQ kids need a safe place to reach out.

Dana Ravyn

Dana Ravyn is a transfem poet, novelist, and educator. She received her PhD in microbiology and MPH in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, where she was an educator and researcher until 2000. Since then Dana has been a medical writer, authoring accredited content used for continuing education by physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. Dana is the author of two novels, Fearless Heart (KDP, 2014) and The Suicide Switch (Wynkyn Worde, 2023). Her poetry appears in numerous anthologies and literary journals. In 2023, she was selected to take part as a poet in the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dana works at a public library as a Consumer Health Information Specialist, empowering health literacy in her community. She lives in the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware area with her beloved feline companion, Anja.

I’m donating 100% of royalties in 2023 to The Trevor Project, whose mission is to end suicide among LGBTQ youth. The Trevor Project provides free, accessible, 24/7 crisis counseling services via phone (TrevorLifeline - 1-866-488-7386), instant messenger (TrevorChat), and text (TrevorText -  START to 678678) to LGBTQ young people.



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