Category Archives: Medical Drama

Book review: “A Heartbeat Away” by Michael Palmer


Synopsis (from  On the night of the State of the Union address, President James Allaire expects to give the speech of his career. But no one anticipates the terrifying turn of events that forces him to quarantine everyone in the Capitol building. A terrorist group calling itself “Genesis” has unleashed WRX3883, a deadly, highly contagious virus, into the building. No one fully knows the deadly effect of the germ except for the team responsible for its development—a team headed by Allaire, himself. The only one who might be able to help is virologist Griffin Rhodes, currently in solitary confinement in a maximum security federal prison for alleged terrorist acts, including the attempted theft of WRX3883 from the lab where he worked. Rhodes has no idea why he has been arrested, but when Allaire offers to free him in exchange for his help combating the virus, he reluctantly agrees to do what he can to support the government that has imprisoned him without apparent cause.

Meanwhile, every single person in line for presidential succession is trapped inside the Capitol—every person except one: the Director of Homeland Security, who is safely at home in Minnesota, having been selected as the “Designated Survivor” for this event. With enemies both named and unnamed closing in, and the security of the nation at stake, Griff must unravel the mysteries of WRX3883 without violating his pledge as a scientist to use no animal testing in his experiments…and time is running out.

Tense, thrilling, and entirely plausible, A Heartbeat Away will make you reflect, wonder, and be truly afraid.


My thoughts:   Loved, loved, loved this book!   A terrorist group releases a deadly virus directly into the chamber during the President’s State of the Union address . . . could there be a more exciting start to a book.

What ensues is chaos, political agendas, struggles for power, medical mysteries, and a hunt for the cure.

An absolute thrill ride of a book that I literally did not want to put down.

If you love a good virus book and a mix of a medical and political mystery do youself a favor a get this book now!!!

And remember

Books Are life,



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Filed under Book Reviews, Medical Drama, Michael Palmer, Mystery

Book Review: “Host” by Robin Cook


Title:  Host

Author:  Robin Cook

Synopsis (from  Lynn Peirce, a fourth-year medical student at South Carolina’s Mason-Dixon University, thinks she has her life figured out. But when her otherwise healthy boyfriend, Carl, enters the hospital for routine surgery, her neatly ordered life is thrown into total chaos. Carl fails to return to consciousness after the procedure, and an MRI confirms brain death.
Devastated by Carl’s condition, Lynn searches for answers. Convinced there’s more to the story than what the authorities are willing to reveal, Lynn uses all her resources at Mason-Dixon—including her initially reluctant lab partner, Michael Pender—to hunt down evidence of medical error or malpractice.
What she uncovers, however, is far more disturbing. Hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including the Mason-Dixon Medical Center, have unnervingly high rates of unexplained anesthetic complications and patients contracting serious and terminal illness in the wake of routine hospital admissions.
When Lynn and Michael begin to receive death threats, they know they’re into something bigger than either of them anticipated. They soon enter a desperate race against time for answers before shadowy forces behind Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals, can put a stop to their efforts once and for all.

My thoughts:   Recently I got into a bit of a Robin Cook phase after finding Charlatans by mistake at the library.  So I embarked on “Host”.   Unfortunately, it wasn’t my favorite.

I love medical dramas (and there just isn’t enough out there :), but this one left me a bit disappointed.  After having just read Charlatans, Host was just too similar.  They were both about anesthesia complications and frankly I was a bit stunned how similar they felt to each other.

Also, uncharacteristically for me and medical dramas, the two main characters in this drama were 4th year medical students who frankly where just idiotic.  They were juvenile, were way too unknowledgeable about medicine to be that far in med school, and pulled ridiculous stunts that even for fiction were ridiculously fake!

Not my favorite Robin Cook read, ugh!

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Filed under Fiction, Medical Drama, Mystery, Uncategorized

Book Review: “Charlatans” by Robin Cook


Title:  Charlatans

Author:  Robin Cook

Synopsis (from 

Newly minted chief resident at Boston Memorial Hospital Noah Rothauser is swamped in his new position, from managing the surgical schedules to dealing with the fallout from patient deaths. Known for its medical advances, the famed teaching hospital has fitted several ORs as “hybrid operating rooms of the future”—an improvement that seems positive until an anesthesia error during a routine procedure results in the death of an otherwise healthy man. Noah suspects Dr. William Mason, an egotistical, world-class surgeon, of an error during the operation and for tampering with the patient’s record afterward. But Mason is quick to blame anesthesiologist Dr. Ava London.

When more anesthesia-related deaths start to occur, Noah is forced to question all of the residents on his staff, including Ava, and quickly realizes there’s more to her than what he sees. A social media junkie, Ava has created multiple alternate personas for herself on the Internet. With his own job and credibility now in jeopardy, Noah must decide which doctor is at fault and who he can believe—before any more lives are lost.

My thoughts:  I have been in a terrible reading slump since February and believe me this latest book by Robin Cook certainly got me out of it!  What a great, exciting, page-turner of a medical drama!  Wow!

Fast-paced, great medical stort, page turner!  I am definitely guilty of pulling many of the infamous “just one more chapter” evenings on this one!

The end was good . . . but most definitely not the way I wanted the story to end!

If you are a fan of medical dramas . . . pick this up as soon as you can!

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Book Review: “Miracle Cure” by Harlan Coben

miracle cure

Title:  Miracle Cure

Author:  Harlan Coben

Summary (from  A Harlan Coben Classic-Now Back in Print!

In a clinic on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a doctor has dedicated his life to eradicating a devastating disease. One by one, his patients are getting well. And one by one, they’re being targeted by a serial killer.

There’s only one cure, but many ways to die…

My thoughts:  I didn’t realize when I picked this book up that is was a reprint from 1991.  That certainly explains the dated references . . . such as car phones & beepers . . . and in general the dated overall topic of AIDS, AIDS research and funding.

Putting that aside . . . I really, really enjoyed this book.  I sat down and read its 500 pages in about a day and a half – which is not exactly like me if its not a Patterson book :).  I felt it was fast paced, thoroughly enjoyed the characters, and my jaw dropped a bit when the mystery was solved . . . I thought I had it figured out, but I didn’t go there.

Overall, a fast paced great read!!

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Filed under Detective/Police, Fiction, Medical Drama, Mystery, Uncategorized

Book Review: “Doing Harm” by Kelly Parsons



Title:  Doing Harm

Author:  Kelly Parsons

Synopsis (from

There are many ways to die in a hospital…being sick is only one of them.

Chief resident Steve Mitchell is the quintessential surgeon: ambitious, intelligent, confident. Charged with molding a group of medical trainees into doctors, and in line for a coveted job, Steve’s future is bright. But then a patient mysteriously dies, and it quickly becomes clear that a killer is on the loose in his hospital. A killer set on playing a deadly game with Steve. A killer holding information that could ruin his career and marriage. Now, alone and under a cloud of suspicion, Steve must discover a way to outsmart his opponent and save the killer’s next victim before the cycle repeats itself again and again…

A chilling and compelling thriller that also takes you into the hospital and details the politics and hierarchy among doctors, as well as the life and death decisions that are made by flawed human beings, Kelly Parsons’ Doing Harm marks the gripping debut of a major fiction career.



My thoughts:  If you like medical dramas, drop what you are doing and head out and buy this book right NOW!  This book was an absolutely excellent medical drama filled with twists, turns, unbelievable plot surprises and drama, drama, drama!

As one who has spent her entire career in healthcare, I personally found some of the medical explanations rather simplistic and unnecessary to the storyline, but of course not everyone knows the terminology!

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book.  I started it on a plane and literally didn’t want to get off the plane so I could keep on reading!  For me, this one is one not to put down!

Overall, a great medical drama, fast-paced, plot twists, great characters!  I sincerely hope this author continues with his writing and gets us out another book soon!

And remember,

Boos Are Life,


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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Medical Drama, Mystery, New Releases

Book Review: “Error in Diagnosis” by Mason Lucas



Title:  Error in Diagnosis

Author:  Mason Lucas

Synopsis (from

Innocent lives are put in jeopardy in this terrifying new thriller that asks the question: Are we prepared for the next epidemic?

A mysterious illness with disturbing symptoms is plaguing women across the United States. It begins with memory loss and confusion and ends with the patient falling into a coma. Medical professionals are at a loss for the cause, but one thing remains constant: All of the victims are pregnant.

Called in to consult on the case of his best friend’s wife, neurologist Jack Wyatt has never seen anything like it. Now, with the nation on the brink of panic, Jack and his colleagues are in race against time to find a cure.

The disease they are calling Gestational Neuropathic Syndrome (GNS) is spreading. Patients are dying—and no one can guess what will happen next…



My thoughts:  Finally I found another good medical drama on the market.  Back in the day I remember medical dramas being much more prevalent in the book world and they seem to have disappeared.. . hmmm.

I really love a good medical drama and “Error in Diagnosis” certainly fit the bill.   A good story, fast paced, and medical excitement.

Overall a great read, and highly recommended if you love the medical drama genre.

And remember,

Books Are Life


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Book Review: “Resistant” by Michael Palmer (Dr. Lou Welcome #3)



Title:  Resistant

Author:  Michael Palmer

Series:  Dr. Lou Welcome #3

Synopsis (

They fight without conscience or remorse. Their only job is to kill.

They are the most ruthless enemy we have ever faced.

And they are one millionth our size.

When Dr. Lou Welcome fills in last minute for his boss at a national conference in Atlanta he brings along his best friend, Cap Duncan. But an accident turns tragic when Cap injures his leg while running.  Surgeons manage to save the leg, but the open wound is the perfect breeding ground for a deadly microbial invader committed to eating Cap alive from the inside out. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, a teenaged girl is fighting for her life against the same bacteria. The germ is resistant to any known antibiotic and the government scientist tasked with finding a cure has been kidnapped. Turning to the Centers for Disease Control for help, Lou Welcome uncovers a link to a shadowy group known as One Hundred Neighbors that has infiltrated our society and is using our health institutions as hostages.  Like the deadly germs they can unleash, One Hundred Neighbors will stop at nothing to further their agenda. From the hospital corridors where anything you touch can mean your end, to the top corridors of power in this race against time, Lou must stop an epidemic, save his best friend, and face even his own most terrifying demons.

From the New York Times bestselling author comes another heart stopping thriller that will make you look at the world around you in a new and frightening way.


My thoughts:  When I saw there was a new medical thriller on the market, I knew I had to read it.  When I saw it was about a germ . . . I knew I had to read it right away.  I absolutely love medical thrillers and have realized this is one genre that just isn’t quite as popular as it was in the past . . . great authors like Leonard Goldberg, Robin Cook, and of course Michael Palmer.

All in all I thought this was an absolutely great book!  In short, a right-wing group called One Hundred Neighbors who thinks that entitlement programs are basically crippling America sets out to control the government and its policies by releasing this bacteria/virus.   I was a bit worried that it was going to be too political and that the author was going to use it as a stage for his own political beliefs to come through, but I did not feel this at all.  If you read other reviews online that are saying this, the political nature of the book is not prevalent at all.  In fact, I felt that this underlying issue took a bit of a back seat and actually wish it would have come out a little more.

The storyline was filled with thrilling twists and turns, exciting medical drama, political intrigue, and great characters.  It wasn’t until I read this book that I realized there are two previous books featuring Dr. Lou Welcome, namely Oath of Office and Political Suicide.  I loved this book so much that I immediately went out to get the rest of the series and will be reviewing that shortly.

What I love about these intriguing political, medical thrillers is that they always make you ask yourself, “Could this really happen?”  In this case, I believe it is a true possibility . . . booooo!

Definitely worth the read if you love fast-paced medical thrillers with a political twist.

And since Michael Palmer sadly passed away in 2013, I guess we will have to say a fond farewell to Dr. Lou Welcome!

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Filed under Book Reviews, Detective/Police, Fiction, Medical Drama, Michael Palmer, Thriller

Book Review – Plague Ship by Leonard Goldberg

plagueship   Title:  Plague Ship

Author:  Leonard Goldberg

Series:  Dr. Ballineau/Carolyn Ross

Publisher:  Midnight Ink


Synopsis (from  When a mysterious and potentially fatal illness strikes a luxury Caribbean cruise, every passenger is at risk—including Dr. David Ballineau, his young daughter, and his girlfriend, nurse Carolyn Ross. With a shortage of medical help and supplies, David and Carolyn struggle to treat and contain a deadly, highly contagious form of bird flu. Under quarantine, they are forbidden from docking—provoking panicked and desperate passengers to launch a mutiny and steer the ship toward land. If David can’t find a way to neutralize the virus or take control of the ship, a worldwide pandemic could erupt.


My thoughts:  In a word, this book was  AMAZING!  If you are a fan of medical dramas, do not hesitate, head out and get this book!  I knew this was no doubt going to be a one day read, so I purposely saved it for a Saturday, tucked in under my favorite blankie on a cold Chicago day, poured myself an endless cup of coffee and embarked on the journey!

I have always been a fan of Leonard Goldberg as I love medical dramas.  His first series of books quite a few years ago featured pathologist Dr. Joanna Blalock, I loved this series.  Then I was afraid Goldberg had stopped writing as I saw nothing out of him for years – but HE IS DEFINITELY BACK!  In 2012 he came out with the first book, Patient One, in this new series featuring Dr. David Ballineau and his girlfriend, nurse Carol Ross.  And now the fabulous, Plague Ship!

I find the characters in this new series wonderful and the plot incredibly fast paced, exciting, and constantly making the reader going, “What?  Are you kidding me?  That too?  Ahhhhh!”

I can say nothing more than go out and get this book!

And remember,

Books Are Life,




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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Medical Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Book Review – Plague (A Medical Thriller) by Victor Methos

plagueTitle:  Plague

Author:  Victor Methos

Availble: Kindle ebook only,, $2.99



Synopsis (from


A lethal pathogen appears on the
Hawaiian island of Oahu. Dr. Samantha Bower of the Centers for Disease Control
is handed the case and assigned to investigate its containment and origins.


Bower finds a microorganism unlike any she has run across in her lifetime. The
symptomology points her to the most destructive disease in human history. One
man has offered her help. A man with insight into the disease who reveals
nothing about himself or his past.


Dr. Bower discovers that there are forces at work she can’t
understand. All applying pressure to use the chaos of an epidemic to their
advantage. But there is one thing she is certain of: humanity may soon be an
endangered species . . .


My thoughts:  This was one of my infamous free Kindle books that I frequently download on my iPad to read during workouts!  As an aside, I am seriously not a fan of working out, so I find that reading almost anything is better than constantly looking at the clock 🙂

I really do love a good medical thriller (which makes me think, where did all the great medical thrillers go?), so I embarked on this book during hours on the treadmill and elliptical.

This book actually started out pretty darn good.  I enjoyed the characters, espcially the strong female lead character.  I enjoyed the medical story and getting to know the characters better.  However, the ending of the book was horrible in my opinion.  It not only fell completely flat for me, it just abruptly stopped – to the point where I actually turned back a bit to see if I had accidentally skipped a part.  To me, it just ended and I was like, “Where is the ending?  That is it!”

Put it this way, it was an alright book to be read during workouts and I got it for FREE!  I am not sure I would even pay the $2.99 for it to be honest.  I ahve definitely read better, more compelling, and more dramatic medical thrillers in my life!

A so-so read with a flat ending!

And remember,

Books Are Life,



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Book Review – “Patient One” by Leonard Goldberg

    Title:  Patient One

Author:  Leonard Goldberg

ISBN:  9780738730462

Publisher:  Midnight Ink


Synopsis (from  U.S. President John Merrill is hosting Russian President Dimitri Suslev at a glittering state dinner to celebrate a new economic pact. As the after-dinner toasts begin, the two leaders, their wives, and scores of prominent guests become violently ill. Merrill and Suslev, along with the other stricken guests, are rushed to the nearest hospital. As Secret Service agents struggle to secure the hospital and locate Merrill’s daughter, the President’s personal physician — who’s been withholding critical medical information about the Commander-in- Chief — tries desperately to stabilize the President.

In the chaos, Chechen terrorists make their move, breaching the secured area and taking both presidents hostage. Emergency-room physician David Ballineau, a former commando struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, and trauma nurse Carolyn Ross may be the President Merrill’s only hope for survival.


My thoughts:  This book was INCREDIBLE, AWESOME, AMAZING, 5 STARS, FANTASTIC!  Ok, if you get my drift, you realize that I loved this book.  Put it this way, you know a book is good when you are reading it by the pool at a resort on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii and you could give a care less what is happening at that pool and really have no idea what happened around you at all!  I literally could not put this book down.  I cruised through it in a day and wanted much, much more.

I became a huge fan of Leonard Goldberg’s medical dramas when he was writing his Joanna Blalock series.  Then all of a sudden he stopped writing, and I feared he was done.  Imagine my delight when I saw his new one Patient One had come out.

This book is fast-paced from the very beginning, it grabs you immediately and doesn’t let go until the very end.  It is a nail biting story of bio-terrorism, hostages, and a heroic physician who himself is struggling with PTSD.  I can’t describe how good it is any further, you just have to pick up a copy and get reading for yourself!


And this book reminds me how long it has been since I have read a great medical drama.  There doesn’t seem to be as many on the market as there were a couple years ago.  Anyone know of any great new medical dramas?

And remember,

Books Are Life,


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Filed under Book Reviews, Fiction, Medical Drama, Mystery, Thriller