Fatal Cure Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 1995
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
"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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on Nov. 15 2003
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 morePublished on April 2 2003 by Jorge Frid
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 morePublished on April 12 2002 by a reader in Camarillo
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 morePublished on April 11 2002 by CJH
Wonderful book! This will make you rethink the health benefit options you select at enrollment.Published on Feb. 21 2002
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 morePublished on Nov. 10 2001 by Clew
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 morePublished on July 9 2000 by Michael S. Chernysh
I thought the plot was great and he developped the characters very well.
I'm reading Vector now - it's quite good so far!