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Fatal Cure [Mass Market Paperback]

Robin Cook
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 4 2002
Public health care is one of the most important issues in America today. Now Robin Cook, the bestselling master of medical suspense, confronts this controversial subject with an all-too-possible scenario as powerful--and terrifying--as his groundbreaking blockbuster, Coma...With its state-of-the-art facility and peaceful Vermont setting, the Bartlet Community Hospital seemed like a dream come true. It offered doctors David and Angela Wilson new career opportunities, a chance to work within an enlightened system of "Managed care" --and a perfect place to raise their daughter, who suffered from cystic fibrosis. But then, one by one, their dreams turned to nightmares. And day by day, their patients began to die...

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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.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A naive young couple sets out to practice medicine in an idyllic small town and find their dreams shattered within months of their arrival. Four of David Wilson's patients die unexpectedly, Angela Wilson is sexually harassed, and the dead body of an irascible old doctor is found in their cellar. Yes, they do solve the mystery and end up appearing on 60 Minutes describing what health reform could do to American medicine! Several hours of narrative are devoted to describing the Wilsons' stereotypic fairy tale before the plot starts to get interesting. Michael McConnohie reads clearly but is unable to do much with the author's simple sentence structure and unimaginative word choice. The abridged version of this novel, also available from Audio Renaissance (Audio Reviews, LJ 5/15/94), might be a better choice for popular collections.
Juleigh Muirhead Clark, Coll. of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"WE'RE COMING TO A RIVER UP AHEAD," DAVID WILSON said to his daughter, Nikki, who was sitting in the passenger seat next to him. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great polemic, but he doesn't know Vermont June 6 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is not my favorite Robin Cook novel. Being a native Vermonter I kept being distracted by the fact that the book talked about a Vermont town that simply doesn't exist. It isn't just that it's a fictional town, it's that the setting is totally unreal. It appears to have been written by someone who's seen some Vermont postcards, but never spent any time in the state. There simply aren't places in Vermont where nearby hospitals have been put out of business by HMO's and other hospitals, other than Burlington where the facilities have essentially consolidated. There is no way that Burlington could be mistaken for Cook's setting.The Vermonters in the story don't act like real Vermonters, the yuppie professionals in the story are unrealistic as well.
Having said that there are some factual pieces about hospitals forcing doctors out of private practices into hospital controlled practices.
The unreality in this story really detracted from the story line as a whole. Also I was perplexed as to why the couple would allow their daughter to be hospitalized in a hospital where patients were dying mysteriously. It isn't like there are no other hospitals in the state. People routinely travel for an hour plus in Vermont to get better medical care than is available locally.
All in all the book's polemics were interesting, but the lack of knowledge of the setting and poor character development made it not one of Cook's best. Before he writes about Vermont again he ought to come and live here for 6 months or so.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robin Cook's "Fatal Cure" is more of the same from this best-selling author. As is standard, Cook takes a development in health care that is disturbing and expands it into fantastic proportions. In this case, the disturbing element is the increased emphasis on cost at the expense of patients' health--all courtesy of HMO's.
"Fatal Cure" tells the story of two young doctors (Angela and David Wilson) who move to an idyllic Vermont town when they are able to land jobs, one at a hospital and another working for the only HMO in the area. David's patients begin dying at an alarming rate, and the deaths defy diagnosis. At the same time, they turn up the body of a doctor in their basement. The dead man had disappeared relatively recently, and the Wilsons (Angela, especially, as she becomes obsessed with the matter) seek to unravel the mystery surrounding his death. Their efforts, however, do not please the town, which responds with threats, vandalism, and hostility. And as if these two problems are not enough, there's the rapist who has been claiming victims in the hospital's parking lots.
The story is thoroughly transparent, and while the precise identity of the culprit might not be obvious, the reasons behind and causes of the patients' mysterious deaths should not be any surprise (and shouldn't have been a surprise to the Wilsons). The lack of surprise is due largely to the transparency of Cook's political message. The characters' motivations do not seem to be entirely consistent with reality, especially as the two young doctors repeatedly endanger their daughter's life by taking her into high-risk situations.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Awful April 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm sure you've read the plot synopsis by now, so I'll skip it and get to the real review. This book is a long, contrived, boring piece of unrealistic drivel. This guy went to Harvard? It reads like an Encyclopedia Brown mystery, except you figure it all out much quicker. The characters are underdeveloped and frighteningly unrealistic (not to mention just plain stupid. It took them 400 pages to figure out what was going on? Maybe they went to Harvard, too). Evidently, in Dr. Cook's world nobody ever utters an obscenity or does anything risque or more involved than "making love." We get pages and pages about a man having an affair with his business associate, been when it comes to the pivotal moment the experience is summed up in two words. Sounds like Cook is as prudish as his main characters. Skip this book unless you enjoy mind-bogglingly bad literature (a la "Mystery Science Theater 3000", perhaps). This is my first, and last, Robin Cook novel.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Cook Must Be Kidding Oct. 16 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an unbelievably bad book. The story, including the identity of the villain, is obvious within the first chapters. The characters, dialogue and situations are so unbelivable as to be ridiculous. If the protagonists in this story graduated from medical school, I might consider sending my hamster, because they seem to have about an equal intelligence level. David and Angela should have figured this whole mess out even before I did, but they were too busy listening to their daughter's improbable dialogue, answering her with trite, cutesy nonsense, and putting her into situations that should have made them lose their parenting privileges. Cook should leave polemics about HMOs to the analysts and concentrate on basic writing techniques - plot, character development and dialogue.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cotton Candy Fiction Oct. 31 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Fatal Cure" is a quick read. There's no depth of character to slow the reader; but the plot weaves as pages turn. Dr. Angela Wilson is a pathologist who does not like her boss touching her on the derriere or pulling her onto his lap for a peek at the microscope, a scientific lap dance. When she complains about sexual harassment, her boss suddenly gets upset with her. Then when a dead body of the former hospital administrator is found in her basement requiring continual absences from work, she gets fired! Where is CSI Vermont!?! ... This book was fun because something was always happening. It was also frustrating because the characters lacked perception. This is a fast read that's fiction's nutritional equivalent to cotton candy. A definite maybe!
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the real world
I enjoyed reading the book because it did have a good idea behind it. What bothered me, though, was how unrealistic the main characters' responses were to what happened to them. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Robin Cook
This is the kind of books that I like of Dr. Cook, of course I am not a doctor so I don't understand many things about medicine, but this book is definitely a medical thrillers,... Read more
Published on April 2 2003 by Jorge Frid
4.0 out of 5 stars The Cure
This book deals with the exciting lives of two doctors and their ill daughter, who move to a new community only to find a dead body in their new house and a town full of secrets. Read more
Published on April 12 2002 by a reader in Camarillo
2.0 out of 5 stars Preachy as all heck - okay storyline.
While the story line was tolerable and interesting at times, the preachiness of 'educating the reader' about the favorite 'special interest' of the author really comes across to... Read more
Published on April 11 2002 by CJH
4.0 out of 5 stars It'll make you think about your health benefits
Wonderful book! This will make you rethink the health benefit options you select at enrollment.
Published on Feb. 21 2002 by "jnj1"
4.0 out of 5 stars Reviving the fear of hospitals...
Robin Cook is just one of those authors that you just love to read when you want to be slightly amused. This book gets you going and revives that fear of hospitals and doctors. Read more
Published on Nov. 10 2001 by Clew
4.0 out of 5 stars Think twice about your HMO
Robin Cook again shows us that his novels contain an element that may affect you. In Fatal Cure, he questions HMOs and the morality about it all. Read more
Published on July 9 2000 by Michael S. Chernysh
4.0 out of 5 stars JUST GREAT!
I thought the plot was great and he developped the characters very well.
I'm reading Vector now - it's quite good so far!
Published on Jan. 11 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars absorbing thriller
Dr David Wilson and his wife Angela Wilson(also a doctor) seek employment at Bartlet Community Hospital,Bartlet desiring to live a quiet and peaceful life in the countryside away... Read more
Published on May 7 1999
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