Book Review of “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

I’d read this about a year ago, and re-read now, as it was my choice for book club. I was just as engaged in the story as I was a year ago.

The story follows the tumultuous rise and fall of Theranos and its founder, Elizabeth Holmes. Theranos promised to upend the traditional way of testing blood, by developing a device that would test for hundreds of conditions with just a finger prick. The only problem: the devices never actually worked.

Carreyrou, an investigative reporter at the Wall Street Journal, was one of the first in the media to question the company’s claims. He then gained the trust of a handful of Theranos employees and business partners. His meticulous reporting brings to life the paranoid focus on secrecy at the firm and the risk employees took just for speaking out or questioning a process. He describes a company founder so convinced she would change the world, endangering others (not to mention defrauding investors) wasn’t a concern.

Holmes already is entangled in a fraud suit. Her criminal case is scheduled to start later in 2020.