Blasting through the books this week- at the expense of the reading i need to do for my honours research. This book my Michael Palmer was recommended to me on Goodreads. Looking at his author page and the books he has written i was instantly reminded of Robin Cook. I have discovered a love for medical thriller books so i decided to give Palmer a go and read The Patient.
Neurosurgeon Jessie Copeland works at the very frontier of neurosurgery, developing technology that could revolutionize the treatment of brain tumors. But her work brings her to the attention of an infinitely dangerous man.
Claude Malloche is brilliant, remorseless—a terrorist without regard for human life. He is also ill with a brain tumor considered to be inoperable. Nothing can stop Malloche from getting to the woman he believes can cure him. For those caught in his path, the nightmare has just begun…and no one is more aware of the stakes than Jessie Copeland.
In brain surgery there are no guarantees—but that’s exactly what Malloche demands. With disaster just one cut away, Jessie faces the most harrowing case of her life—and the price of failure may be thousands of lives….
Where Cook struggles, Palmer exceeds. In some of the Cook books i have read, the medical information and part of the plot is interesting and one of my favourite parts of his writing. However i find that when Cook tries to add a little more actions, espionage or something similar it lacks something. While Palmer’s book might not be as ‘medical’ orientated as Cook, his action sequences and how he constructs action and the ‘thriller’ aspect of the story is awesome. I really enjoyed The Patient from start to finish. The medical aspect of the story was believable- the use of robots to remove brain tumours in hard to reach places of the brain with the assistance of real time MRI. While the science might not be the highlight of the story-there is really no conspiracy, no medical mystery- Alex and his hunt for the crime lord Malloche held my interest and i could not put the book down. The main character Jessie is a neurosurgeon with a great lot of care and attention to her patients. With a background in engineering she is chosen to aid in the research and creation of a robot to use for neurosurgery. Her Boss is ethically questionable, and soon garners attention after using the robot to excise the tumour of a famous athlete- hundreds of people want treatment. Alex comes to the hospital and wins the attention of Jessie, before telling here about the crime lord Malloche and that he might be in the hospital seeking treatment. I loved the build up and the reveal of who Malloche is-and the story did not end there. The last half of the book was filled with action and the ending was satisfying. I would have loved there to be more, maybe an extended epilogue as i would have loved to see what happened to Jessie, Alex and the hospital.
The characters were well thought out and really came into their own throughout the book. Jessie was the main character and my favourite- another strong female character. I feel like i am repeating this in all of my book reviews, which i must admit is far from a problem. Jessie is an experienced doctor with a great relationship with her best friend Emily as well as all of the other hospital staff- apart from her boss. Throughout medical school she was criticised of her sensitivity, attributed to the fact she is a women. While she knows she must ‘turn this off’ during surgery she maintains the greatest sense of care and attention to her patients,the majority of which have some form of disability due to the nature of their disease- brain tumours and other neurological diseases often have a lifetime result. She is a lover of video games, which initially i thought was just some background information to make the character likable or highlight how different she was, but tied into the story in an interesting way. Alex was another strong character in the book. And ex-CIA agent (or some other secretive government agency) his last 5 years have been dedicated to catching Malloche. While i was disappointed that he used Jessie for information, he was sorry and both Jessie and himself acted realistically after the revelation. All of the ‘supporting characters’ were extremely well written- especially Malloche. While i did have a suspicion as to his true identity, it was a great plot twist.
The Patient was so enjoyable and a great read. It really gave me a taste of what Michael Palmers books are like and i have already started reading a second book written by him. The plot was interesting and kept a steady pace throughout, with the a strong female main character which i always appreciate- especially in medical thrillers. If you love medical thrillers give this book a go!
Let me know what you think and give me recommendations as to what i should add to my reading list.
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