After not doing much reading last week, due to the combination of watching too many Hearthstone streams and commencing my second week of honours research which is daunting and time consuming, I finally finished another book.

Feeling in the mood for a medical thriller….well i must admit at the moment i am always in the mood for a medical thriller, especially after reading so many journal articles for my research, i picked up another Robin Cook story.

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One of Cook’s most successful–and timelybestsellers.Contagion is a terrifying cautionary tale for the millennium as a deadly epidemic is spread not merely by microbesbut by sabotage…

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The Goodreads summary does not give much away, or really give any inkling about the plot of the story, but this must be one of my favourite Robin Cook books i have read-perhaps only second to Coma. This is the second book in the Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery series and finally i have gotten the full backstory behind Jack-something i was missing as i read some of the later books in the series.

Contagion follows Jack as he investigates a number of infectious disease deaths from one of the New York Hospitals- which is also managed by the company that Jack dislikes as he believes they are partly responsible for the death of his family. While infectious disease breakouts are common in hospitals: the plague, tulemeria, rikettsia and very virulent influenza cases are not all that common, especially extremely fatal strains. Patients are dying fast with severe symptoms and devastating pathology , and Jack feels something is not right. And in typical Robin Cook fashion, Jack dives in and investigates these deaths, getting in far too deep with his life in danger.

I loved the story- from the infectious disease aspect, the science and action, even the romantic element. It seems like in his early books, for example this book was published in 1996 and Coma was published in ’77, Robin Cook focuses more on the medicine and science with hints of action and romance to make it a bit more interesting and thrilling. I was not bored once throughout the book and the plot twist at the end was amazing! I did not expect who was actually behind the outbreak of infectious disease- however it did make sense and was not some ‘hail mary’ to try to have a plot twist ‘just because’. The ending was satisfying with all of my questions about characters and the plot answered.

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While reading the other books in the Jack and Laurie series,  i was yearning for some more character development of Jack- particularly because he is one of my favourite characters (i don’t care much for Laurie). Looking back i probably should have read this book before the others in the series as we really are given the history and the emotional background behind Jack and how he ended up where he is now.Jack is a great character and i really cannot say anything against him. I don’t really have much more to say regarding characters as apart from Jack there are only a few who have a part in this story or who are really explored during this book. I will mention Terese, the semi-romanctic interest of Jack. She is a business women with high ambitions of becoming president of her advertising firm and dedicated to her work. I can’t mention much more without divulging some of the plot but i wish there was a bit more information about her as she seemed like an interesting character and i would love to understand more about her decisions her life.

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This reminded me why i like Robin Cook and his writing. To me this is has all the elements of a Medical Thriller- lots of science and medicine with dashes of thrill and action. This balance is hard to maintain, even in his later books i have read Robin Cook oversteps the boundary and to me felt like the books were more ‘thriller’ then ‘medical’. The story is great, the protagonist well developed and written and just overall a really entertaining read that i found hard to put down.

Let me know what you all think and as always dont hesitate to send recommendations my way!

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