What’s it all about?:
When Dr. Craig Bowman is served with a summons for medical malpractice, he’s shocked, enraged, and more than a little humiliated. A devoted physician who works continuously in the service of others, he endured grueling years of training and is now a partner in an exclusive concierge medical practice. No longer forced to see more and more patients while spending less and less time with each one just to keep his office door open, he now provides the kind of medical care he is trained to do, lavishing twenty-four-hour availability and personalized attention on his handpicked patients. And at last, he is earning a significant income, no longer burdened by falling reimbursements from insurance companies.But this idyllic practice comes to a grinding halt one sunny afternoon-and gets much, much worse.
Enter Dr. Jack Stapleton, a medical examiner in New York City and Bowman’s brother-in-law: Jack’s sister Alexis-now Craig’s estranged wife-tearfully begs for his help as her husband’s trial drags on. Jack agrees to travel to Boston to offer his forensic services and expert witness experience to Craig’s beleaguered defense attorney. But when Jack’s irreverent suggestion to exhume the corpse to disprove the alleged malpractice is taken seriously, he opens a Pandora’s box of trouble. As Craig Bowman’s life and career are put on the line, Jack is on the verge of making a most unwelcome discovery of tremendous legal and medical significance-and there are people who will do anything to keep him from learning the truth.
What did I think?:
This is proving to be a very difficult book to review. Some parts of it I really enjoyed – the medical, more science-based sections, which the author is famous for and which is why I usually read his books. However, there was a lot of court- room drama in this novel, and I’m sorry to say that it read like a poor mans John Grisham. There were a few half decent characters that did not feel properly developed, like Jack Stapleton who had considerable potential. Other characters, like Jack’s sister Alexis, seemed one-dimensional and as dull as dishwater. The author also seems to like ending each chapter with a little cliffhanger a la James Patterson, which doesn’t really work in this style of story.
If you can get past these annoyances, the story is actually rather good. I did find myself intrigued to know the outcome of the case, and the twist at the end was appreciated and enjoyed. The issue of concierge medicine, practiced in the United States, is very interesting and it was nice to have a fuller explanation of it in the endnotes by the author. However, I did find it funny looking back at the novel and comparing it with the endnotes. It seemed like it was written by two completely different people! The bulk of this story in my opinion felt “dumbed-down” and I actually preferred the writing in the endnotes to the novel as a whole. Sorry Robin Cook, this is NOT your best work.
Would I recommend it?:
Star rating (out of 5):