He sought to create the son of his dreams — and invented a nightmare. Robin Cook’s new techno-medical thriller probes every father’s greatest fear.
Drawing on a horror theme as old as Frankenstein, as fresh as tomorrow’s headlines, is a chilling cautionary tale of the perils of genetic engineering.
When ob/gyn and biomolecular researcher Dr. Victor Frank learns of his wife’s infertility, he initiates a bold — and dangerous — experiment. Unbeknownst to everyone, including her, Dr. Frank has adapted the methods of animal husbandry and molecular genetics to human reproduction. Fusing his wife’s egg and his own sperm, he sets in motion the production of a superior being, his child.
The result of this experiment, a son, VJ, is born to a surrogate mother and legally adopted by the Franks. To their delight, their son is physically perfect, and, by the age of three, displays the complex problem-solving abilities of a prodigy. Victor Frank is a happy man. He has produced a flawless human being, and that success — plus the subsequently healthy births he has covertly engineered through his obstetrics practice — bodes well for a dazzling professional future.
Then, without warning, VJ’s intelligence level plunges to a point appropriate to his age, but stabilizes. For the moment, Frank can breathe a sigh of relief: Even if VJ is no longer the genius he was, at least he will be normal.
But that relief is tragically short-lived, for all too soon VJ begins to change again. And this time, there is no cause for comfort — only terror.
With her young son’s potentially fatal neuroblastoma in complete remission, New York City medical examiner Laurie Montgomery returns to work at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, where she’s been employed for more than two decades. Worried about whether she still has what it takes after so much time away, Laurie finds her first case back to be a dangerous puzzler of the highest order, involving organized crime and two start-up biotech companies caught in a zero-sum game. Against the advice of her colleagues and her husband, fellow medical examiner Jack Stapleton, Laurie is determined to solve the mystery the case comes to represent.
Satoshi Machita, a former Kyoto University researcher, is set to own a valuable patent controlling pluripotent stem cells destined to spark a trillion-dollar industry of regenerative medicine. When he dies on a crowded New York subway platform, Laurie must decide whether his death was natural — or something fiendish.
Behind the scenes, there are people who would like to see Laurie as far away from the investigation as possible. Despite threats against her, Laurie presses on, until they extend to the person she loves most in the world: her son, JJ. Suddenly Laurie must face solving the crime — and saving her son’s life.
A series of unexplained deaths in foreign hospitals sends an idealistic UCLA medical student on a desperate search for answers in this chilling tale from the master of the medical thriller.
Jennifer Hernandez is a fourth-year medical student at UCLA, just beginning an elective in general surgery, whose world is shattered during a break in an otherwise ordinary day. While relaxing in the surgical lounge of L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, she half listens to a TV segment on medical tourism: first-world citizens traveling to third-world countries for surgery. But when she hears her beloved grandmother’s name mentioned, Jennifer’s heart nearly stops: the CNN reporter says that Maria Hernandez has died, a day after undergoing a hip replacement in New Delhi’s Queen Victoria Hospital.
Maria had raised Jennifer and her brothers from infancy, and the bond between grandmother and granddaughter was unbreakable. Still, the news that Maria traveled to India is a shock to Jennifer, until she realizes that it was the only viable option for the hardworking yet uninsured woman.
Devastated, and desperate for answers, Jennifer takes emergency leave from school and heads to India, where relations with local officials go from sympathetic to sour as she pushes for more information. With revelations of other unexplained deaths compounded by pressure from Indian hospital officials for hasty cremations, Jennifer reaches out to her mentor, New York City medical examiner Dr. Laurie Montgomery, who has her own deep connection to Maria.
Laurie, along with her husband, Dr. Jack Stapleton, rushes to the younger woman’s side, and discovers a sophisticated medical facility with little margin for error. As the death count grows, so do the questions, leading Laurie and Jennifer to unveil a sinister, multilayered conspiracy of global proportions.
The unthinkable becomes stark reality in this frightening novel by the bestselling master of medical suspense.
New York City cab driver Yuri Davydov is an angry, disillusioned Russian émigré bent on returning to his motherland after an unhappy seven-year sojourn in the United States. Before his departure, he wants to lash out at the adoptive nation that lured him with what he believes was the hoax of the American Dream, only to deny him contentment, opportunity, and personal prosperity.
As a former technician for the vast Soviet biological weapons industry Biopreparat, Yuri possesses the technical knowledge to carry out his vengeance on a horrific scale, especially after teaming up with a pair of far-right survivalists who share his abhorrence of the United States government. The survivalists and their neofascist skinhead militia have no trouble stealing the raw materials Yuri needs. Working together they launch Operation Wolverine.
Dr. Jack Stapleton and Dr. Laurie Montgomery (both last seen in Chromosome 6) are confronted with two seemingly disparate cases in their work as forensic pathologists in the city's medical examiner's office. Jack successfully diagnoses a rare case of anthrax, while Laurie examines the remains of a tortured skinhead. They hardly suspect that the cases could be related, but soon they begin to connect the dots, and the question then becomes whether or not they will solve the puzzle before Yuri and his comrades unleash the ultimate terror: a modern bioweapon.
With his signature skill, Robin Cook has crafted a page-turning thriller rooted in up-to-the-minute biotechnology. is all-too-plausible fiction at its eye-opening, terrifying best.
When a mother and her newborn infant die from the anesthetic he has administered, Boston anesthesiologist Dr. Jeffrey Rhodes's life turns into a shambles. Within months he has been financially destroyed in a malpractice suit and convicted of second-degree murder, with a prison term likely. Panicked, he flees and, in desperation, turns to Kelly Everson, the widow of an old friend who committed suicide following a similar tragedy. They discover that both incidents--and others as well--may not have been cases of physician error but rather deliberate murders. The villain, known to the reader early on, is finally uncovered by the duo, whose efforts are complicated by the unrelenting pursuit of Rhodes by a bounty hunter who has been hired by the bail bondsman who stands to lose a small fortune if the convict is not returned to custody. Through two-thirds of its length, this is a fast-paced, albeit improbable, story of the havoc that can be wreaked by a lone madman. Then a sudden twist brings in a new set of villains and reveals an evil conspiracy that snaps belief. Cook, whose medical thrillers invariably land on the bestseller lists, may be asking more credulity than many readers are willing, or able, to provide this time out.
Lynn Peirce, a fourth-year medical student at South Carolina’s Mason-Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, her neatly ordered life is thrown into total chaos. Carl fails to return to consciousness after the procedure, and an MRI confirms brain death.
Devastated by Carl’s condition, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason-Dixon — including her initially reluctant lab partner, Michael Pender — to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.
What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including the Mason-Dixon Medical Center, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine hospital admissions.
When Lynn and Michael begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals, can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.
Angela Dawson, M.D., appears to have it all: at the age of thirty-seven, she owns a fabulous New York City apartment, a stunning seaside house on Nantucket, and enjoys the perks of her prosperous lifestyle. But her climb to the top was rough, marked by a troubled childhood, a failed marriage, and the devastating blow of bankruptcy as a primary-care internist. Painfully aware of the role of economics in modern life, particularly in the health-care field, Angela returned to school to earn an MBA. Armed with a shiny new degree and blessed with determination, intelligence, and impeccable timing, Angela founded a start-up company, Angels Healthcare, then took it public. With her controlling interest in three busy specialty hospitals in New York City and plans for others in Miami and Los Angeles, Angela's future looked very bright.
Then a surge of drug-resistant staph infections in all three hospitals devastates Angela's carefully constructed world. Not only do the infections result in patient deaths, but the fatalities also cause stock prices to tumble, leaving market analysts wondering if Angela will be able to hold her empire together.
New York City medical examiners Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton are naturally intrigued by the uptick in staph-related post-procedure deaths. Aside from their own professional curiosity, there's a personal stake as well: Laurie and Jack are newly married, and Jack is facing surgery to repair a torn ligament at Angels Orthopedic Hospital. Despite Jack's protests, Laurie can't help investigating-opening a Pandora's box of corporate intrigue that threatens not just her livelihood, but her life with Jack as well.
Grand Rapids Press A mind-boggling page-turner…Robin Cook has another sure bestseller.
A storyteller of the most daring imagination…chillingly entertaining and thought-provoking. – Associated Press
A gigantic drug firm has offered an aspiring young doctor a lucrative job that will help support his pregnant wife. It could make their dreams come true-or their nightmares…
One missing organ. One genetic breakthrough. One medical conspiracy too terrifying to imagine. In his most prophetic thriller yet, Robin Cook challenges the medical ethics of genetic manipulations and cloning. In the jungles of equatorial Africa, a biotechnology giant has taken transplant surgery and animal research to a new level. Where one mistake could bridge the evolutionary gap between man and ape-and forever change the genetic map of our existence.
There have always been many ways to die. But now, in an ultra-modern hospital, there was a new one… the most horrifying one of all. "A tissue-tingling thriller… keeps you poised on the sleek points of steel pins and flashing hypodermic needles".-Detroit News.
Just when you thought it was safe to eat a hamburger again, Robin Cook – master of medical mysteries, deadly epidemics, and creepy comas-returns with an all too likely villain drawn right from current headlines: the American meat industry. If you've ever wondered where the E. coli bacteria comes from, and exactly how it can ravage the human body, destroying everything in its path, this is the book for you. As usual, Cook delivers solid information, well-researched medical arcana, and a scathing indictment of managed health care.
His protagonist, Kim Regis, is an all-too-typical ego-driven surgeon, whose arrogance and invulnerability set him up to be brought low by the deadly toxin that takes the life of his young daughter. Sparing no time and barely a paragraph to reflect on his loss, Regis goes right after the culprit, a meat-packing behemoth that brings dead and diseased animals to the slaughterhouse, breaking every health regulation in the book. The scenes set on the killing floor and in the boning rooms will make a vegetarian out of the most confirmed red-meat eater. Toxin is a heart-pounding thriller that hits very close to home.
With billions of dollars at stake, every scientist in America is fighting to discover the next Prozac, the latest "feel good" drug. Using bacterial mould first uncovered during the Salem witch trials, Edward Armstrong isolates a stunningly effective anti-depressant.
From Publishers Weekly
If Cook's skills as a writer were as finely tuned as his sense of timing, his 14th medical thriller (after Terminal) would be a lot more rewarding. Current political events guarantee that a suspense novel centering on health care management will be topical and at least potentially fascinating. Unfortunately, stock characters, stilted dialogue and improbable heroes and villains make for difficult reading here. Idealistic young doctors David and Angela Wilson take positions at a state-of-the-art medical center in a small Vermont town partly because they see it as an ideal spot for their daughter, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. But the town is not as idyllic as it seems, and the hospital is in a desperate financial bind due primarily to its contract with a local HMO, David's new employer. Worse still, patients are dying unexpectedly almost daily, and no one seems to care very much. The deaths are not normal, of course, and astute readers will quickly determine who is behind them, why and-most likely-how. Cook raises troubling questions about the conflicts between medical and financial priorities in managed care (albeit in a somewhat distorted fashion), but it's difficult to get emotionally involved in a scenario as improbable as this one. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection; Mystery Guild alternate; Reader's Digest Condensed Book.
From Library Journal
Recent medical school graduates David and Angela Wilson find the perfect setting for both their careers and family in rural Bartlet, Vermont. Not even the recent suicide and disappearance of two other physicians dampen their enthusiasm as they begin their jobs and buy their dream house. David's confidence is soon shaken, however, as his patients begin dying-not from their terminal diseases but from a mysterious illness. The deaths, coupled with attacks in the hospital parking lot, give the Wilsons the uneasy feeling that Bartlet is not what it seems. When a gruesome discovery prompts the Wilsons to hire a private investigator, the lives of several patients-and they themselves-are in danger. Physician and writer Cook once again terrifies and intrigues with this realistic and intense-to-the-end thriller, which is enhanced by actor Barry Bostwick's remarkable range of voices. For most popular collections.
The master of the medical thriller returns with his most heart-pounding tale yet.
Twenty-eight-year-old Sean McGillin is the picture of health, until he fractures his leg while in-line skating in New York City 's Central Park. Within twenty-four hours of his surgery, he dies.
A thirty-six-year-old mother, Darlene Morgan, has knee surgery to repair a torn ligament in her knee. And within twenty-four hours, she has died.
New York City medical examiners Dr. Laurie Montgomery and Dr. Jack Stapleton are back, in Robin Cook's electrifying twenty-fifth novel. Last seen in Vector, the doctors confront a series of puzzling hospital deaths of young, healthy people after successful routine surgery.
Despite institutional resistance from her superiors, as well as from those at Manhattan General, Laurie doggedly pursues the investigation. Though it seems impossible to determine why and how the patients are dying, she comes to suspect that not only are the deaths related-they're intentional, suggesting the work of a remarkably clever serial killer with a very unusual motive, involving frightening ties to both developing genomic medicine and the economics of modern-day health care.
Then Laurie is dealt a double blow: While coping with Jack's inability to commit to their relationship, she discovers she carries a genetic marker for a breast-cancer gene. As her personal life continues to unravel, the need for answers becomes more urgent, especially when Laurie is pulled into the nightmare as a potential victim herself. With time winding down, she and Jack race to connect the dots-and save Laurie's life.
With his signature blend of suspense and science, Robin Cook delivers an electrifying page-turner as vivid as today's headlines.