Guest Blogger: Sophy Smythe – Corruption in the Medical World

Guest blogger: Sophy Smythe – Corruption in the Medical World

Sophy Smythe is my pen name. I am a Dutch doctor living in Antwerp, Belgium. After more than thirty years of medical practice, I reinvented myself and pursued my long-lived dream: writing fact-based mystery-thrillers about what I know best, the medical and pharmaceutical world. The Medical Code is the first of the Charlie Martens, MD, series.

Why I wrote this book?

I was triggered by a judicial settlement of a pharmaceutical company for hundreds of millions of dollars for the illegal promotion of Celexa for the use in treating children and adolescents suffering from depression. There were a lot of suicides among the children. And, mind you, Celexa is still on the market. At the same time I read a non-fiction book called ‘Deadly Medicines and Organized Crime’ by Peter Gøtzsche. This combination gave birth to my debut book, The Medical Code.

I was sucked into a world of conspiracy, fraud, hacking, and drugs I knew nothing about. The journey was exhilarating. During long hikes with my dog Pepper, I mixed the ingredients to a suspenseful story. Actually, writing is a lot like cooking (or baking as Debra prefers). I never cook with a recipe, I just mix and match different recipes and make it my own.

Like in real life, nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a story and… a secret which glues to him / her like an elongated shadow.

Let me tell you a bit about THE MEDICAL CODE.

In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic in Antwerp, Belgium, Doctor Charlotte Martens receives an urgent late-night call from her friend who is a member of the European Medicines Agency. The next day Charlotte learns that her friend was violently murdered and that she herself is now the prime suspect. Because the police find a baffling code beside the murder victim, Charlotte enlists the help of an investigative journalist. She and the journalist discover that her murdered friend was about to expose a conspiracy of fraud and corruption within the pharma industry involving the government, certain reputable doctors and even the European Medicines Agency.

With both the police and the murderer closing in on them, Charlotte and the journalist must stay alive long to find the hard evidence necessary to bring down a faceless pharma company that will clearly stop at nothing to protect their secret network.

In an exhilarating blend of adventure, cutting wit and actual facts, doctor Charlotte Martens is a controversial figure to appear in the first book of intriguing fact-thrillers, where facts and fiction blur.

You can read the first chapters of The Medical Code  for free on
or buy it on Amazon:

Readers who like The Da Vinci Code with all its riddles, will love The Medical Code.

About the author:

Sophy Smythe is like her protagonist, an actual Dutch medical doctor, living in Antwerp. They both love yoga, writing and independent research to keep patients safe. In her previous life, Sophy co-wrote under the name Phia Vermeij a non-fiction book with her mother Sophie van Baarsen  about the secret of how to age and keep fit (with recipes) and a book about how to avoid burnout for managers (both in Dutch). When she is not writing, Sophy is doing yoga, surf peddling with her dog Pepper or playing golf.

What is next?  There is no such thing as coincidence. When I finished this first book in the Charlie Martens, MD, series, two non-fiction stories surfaced, which gave me the ugly facts for the second book in the series.

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