Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery are back in another medical thriller. Robin Cook has outdone himself with this story.
The characters were very much real and believeable right down to Jack's jealous streak and passive-aggressive behaviour which almost ruins his relationship with Laurie as her friend. While you don't expect Jack to behave in that manner, especially since he is one of the spotlight cast members of the novel, if you think about it, his reaction was only human and anyone of us would probably done the same thing.
The main antagonist was a female who was obviously a psychopath. She had not formed any social ties with her workmates or with people in her gym and lead a solitary life. She scorned at following simple rules such as paying for her groceries and would have rather murdered the storeowner when he caught her than pay the tab, had it not been for a sudden and welcome diversion by way of her mobile phone. Cook wrote this character particularly well, or so I thought.
I could not put this book down. The story was rivetting and the plot page turning.
The begining of the story starts out as Cook describes the cellular and molecular activities of the beginnings of life in one person and the eventual death of another. The whole events are beautifully worded and equate to a symphony and dance at the microscopic level.
The plot starts when Laurie suspects something strange after two seemingly healthy (apart from the minor surgery they underwent) individuals die from no apparent reason post-op. Her sluething for answers uncovers several more cases as well as similar cases in another hospital. Of course, the simple storyline about healthy patients in hospitals mysteriously dying (with suspicions pointing to a serial killer medical staff) has been done to death (no pun intended) both, in real life as well as in novels. But Cook knows how to make this into a page turning, edge-of-the-seat, spine-tingling thriller.
The crux of the story dealth with the human genome and its implication to health insurance. Insurance is basically a gamble. But if we unlock our genes and know in advance what ailments we are prone to, then the gamble becomes almost a sure thing. And it was the way in which higher-ups in the medical field and health insurance were takling this problem that rounds up the storyline.