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Pandemic by Robin Cook


by Robin Cook

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Pandemic, Robin Cook, author, George Guidall, narrator
Robin Cook has chosen a terrific narrator to read this medical mystery featuring the medical examiner, husband and wife team of Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery. This is book number11 in the series about them. George Guidall, the narrator, is a very good interpreter of characters and his reading and portrayal of each one is excellent.
Laurie is now the Chief Medical Examiner which makes her Jack’s boss. Jack was married before, but his family was killed in a plane crash. He and Laurie have two children together. Their daughter has recently been diagnosed with autism which Laurie’s mother blames on vaccinations. Jack cannot understand how she can tell two doctors that it is caused by something that has been refuted. The presence of this busybody relative, in their home, distresses him.
When a woman suddenly dies on a subway in Brooklyn, for an unknown reason, after the sudden onset of symptoms, Jack throws himself into finding the cause of death in order to avoid going home to deal with his mother-in-law and his numerous problems. The presence of a tattoo indicates the victim is possibly gay, but her identity is unknown. She has had a recent heart transplant, but the autopsy reveals that she is not on any immunosuppressant drugs and other than this recent illness, has recovered and was quite healthy. Because there are so many unknowns, including the victim’s name, Jack fears a possible pandemic in the making.
As all known viruses are quickly ruled out, Jack begins to investigate further, visiting the medical center that had been responsible for her care and that had removed her body. He discovers a very successful Chinese business man is running the whole operation in his beautiful new hospital and research facility. Since China is in the news currently, as an unfair business partner, the plot fits right in with today’s politics.
Jack must find out the origin and identity of this fast-acting, life-threatening virus. There is no known treatment or cure, as yet. Laurie, however, is calling the shots, and she seems more consumed with the politics of the problem than with the solution. Jack is afraid that there will be more sudden deaths of otherwise healthy people. He wants the authorities notified, but Laurie balks. Will publicity cause a panic? What if it is a false alarm?
When the news of this unknown virus is leaked to the press, Jack Stapleton is the sacrificial lamb. He had teased a new medical technician who was incompetent, and he, believing the false narrative that Jack had told him, has leaked the phony information to the press, causing a panic and the city to shut down. Jack is placed on administrative leave by none other than his wife and boss because the mayor needs a fall guy to blame for the costly false alarm.
When Jack discovers the horrifying reasons for the additional number of deaths, he confronts the doctors at the new facility in New Jersey, built by the mega rich Chinese businessman, where the first victim was treated. Soon it appears that Jack may be in great danger because he knows too much and will not cooperate. The story doesn’t end in a very satisfying way, but up until the end, when it gets not quite believable, it has the potential to be good for a vacation read. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Feb 23, 2019 |
A good story which was slow and uncaptivating. A medical examiner investigates a few sudden deaths of young people. While he doesn't discover an epidemic he does uncover a secretive Chinese organization growing human organs in an unconventional way. I had to discipline myself to finish this book. Again, the plot and story was good, but the writing was blah and seemed to be missing something. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. ( )
  LivelyLady | Jan 28, 2019 |
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After a young, seemingly healthy woman collapses suddenly on the NYC subway and dies by the time she reaches the hospital, her case is initially chalked up to a virulent case of influenza. That is, until she ends up on Dr. Jack Stapleton's autopsy table, where Jack discovers something eerily fishy: first, that the young woman has had a heart transplant, and second, that her DNA matches that of the transplanted heart.… (more)

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