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Isolation Ward by Joshua Spanogle
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A mysterious illness has appeared in several women living in group homes for the moderately mentally impaired and as the disease continues to ravage the women's bodies the doctors in the Baltimore hospital in which they have been admitted realize they have a deadly comminicable biological threat on their hands. Immediately the women are placed in isolation and Dr. Nate McCormick from the CDC is called in to investigate. Nate comes upon some alarming facts that show the disease is spread by sexual contact and that somehow these women have been involved with the same man over a short period of time. Trying to find the source of the disease leads Nate to San Franciso where his mentor, Dr. Tobel, is still doing research at the medical school Nate once attended. As Nate asks questions of people thought to be involved with the elusive carrier of the disease some of the witnesses are murdered and as Nate gets closer to the truth his own life is in grave danger. He realizes that Dr. Tobel knows much more than she is admitting and that her research may have gone to areas too horrible to contemplate. Nate teams up with a former love, Dr. Brooke Michaels, and the two of them relentlessly pursue the killers as the Baltimore patients begin to die.

I enjoyed this mystery/thriller for the most part; it was certainly suspenseful and interesting. The biology and science were way over my head, unfortunately, so that took away from the story somewhat for me. Nate was not always an entirely likeable character but he was certainly dedicated and determined to get at the truth. The author certainly has medical expertise and it shines through. There was one particular scene in the book that was so medically graphic that if I could have read it with my eyes closed I would have! If you like medical mysteries you will probably like this one.
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  Ellen_R | Jan 15, 2016 |
Medical thriller about mentally handicapped patients dying. The CDC, Nate McCormick, becomes involved in solving what is killing the people and how. Considering this was a book I picked up at a book exchange at a campground, I really found it interesting. It was a bit slow in places, and a bit technical in others, but suspenseful. ( )
  LivelyLady | Dec 5, 2013 |
Just an okay book. I really got lost in all the medical talk and it ruin my experience. It was needed as that's what this book is all about. I just wish it had been put more in layman terms as I pretty much skipped through those parts and ended up feeling somewhat confused because of that. ( )
  justablondemoment | Feb 6, 2013 |
Fast -- written by a doctor in training
  bobp0303 | Aug 12, 2011 |
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"It's been a lot of years since a young medical student named Michael Chrichton created a brand-new genre with "Andromeda Strain," and since then not too many people have managed to join him in the ranks of medical thriller writers. Well, make some room. Joshua Spanogle - another young medical student - has written a topical, compelling, and terrific first novel. Isolation Ward is smart, it's surprising, it's challening, and it's destined to be the foundation for a long career"
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440242282, Mass Market Paperback)

Straight out of today’s hospitals and labs–and tomorrow’s headlines–comes a frightening, scalpel-sharp thriller from medical insider Joshua Spanogle. In an astounding debut, Spanogle takes us on an all-too-real race against time…as a young doctor enters the dark side of scientific research, desperate to stop a terrifying epidemic before it is too late….

In Baltimore’s St. Raphael’s Hospital, three newly admitted patients are among society’s most helpless citizens: female residents of Baltimore’s group homes for the mentally impaired, their bodies racked by a virus the likes of which no one at St. Raphael’s has ever seen.

Dr. Nathaniel McCormick is one of the first on the scene. A young investigator from the Centers for Disease Control, Nate is paid to explore the bizarre, the exotic, and the baffling–from superviruses to bioterrorism. But as soon as Nate begins to investigate the lives and habits of the victims, he knows something is terribly wrong. Using all his skills as a medical detective, Nate soon zeroes in on the “vector”–the one person who had sexual contact with the first victims. And when that suspect is found murdered, Nate fears that the disease he’s chasing may not be an act of nature, but of man.

With his brash style angering his superiors and fellow investigators alike, Nate turns to an old colleague and former lover, Dr. Brooke Michaels, for help. Together the two investigators follow a twisting trail of clues to a discovery that is at once groundbreaking and unspeakable. And as a circle of treachery tightens around him, Nate is about to confront the most chilling revelation of all–and a past Nate himself has been trying to escape.

At once a taut medical thriller and a riveting psychological portrait of a young doctor on the edge, Isolation Ward is a tale of runaway tension–with a brilliant “what-if” premise that is harrowing…heartbreaking…and impossible to wrench from your imagination.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:28 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

When three female residents of Baltimore's group home for the mentally impaired are admitted to St. Raphael's Hospital with an unknown virus Dr. Nathaniel McCormick, an investigator from the CDC discovers that something is terribly wrong. The man who had sexual contact with the women is found murdered and Nate fears that the disease he's chasing may not be an act of nature, but of man. Together with Dr. Brooke Michaels an old colleague and former lover they follow the trail of clues to discovery.… (more)

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