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Cell Hardcover – February 4, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Cook, whose books are generally mixtures of good ideas and just-barely-passable writing, here focuses on a fictional new technology, iDoc, a smartphone-based diagnostic tool that appears to be connected to the deaths of several people, including the fiancée of the book’s central character, Dr. George Wilson, who has appeared in previous Cook novels and will risk his career, not to mention his life, to penetrate a murderous conspiracy. The prose is typical for Cook: workmanlike, at best, but definitely clunky, feeling more like a dashed-off first draft than a polished final product (in many cases, he takes several repetitive sentences to say something that could have been said in one artfully constructed sentence). On the other hand, also typically, the ideas are interesting and just plausible enough to make you think: hey, what if this really happened? Fans of Cook’s lengthy oeuvre will certainly enjoy this book, but it may receive a less warm reception from readers who like their medical thrillers to be more evenly balanced between ideas and polished prose. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: It may not be artful, but Cook has found a formula that keeps readers coming back for more. That won’t change here. --David Pitt


Praise for CELL:
“Rare is the writer who can take us into the fast-paced, miraculous, often bewildering world of modern medicine the way Robin Cook can. CELL is a superbly crafted, full-steam thriller, to be sure, but also a vivid lesson in just how momentous are the advances being made in medicine almost by the day—and how highly unsettling are some of the possible consequences.”
—David McCullough New York Times-bestselling author of The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
"With Cell Robin Cook demonstrates why he is the undisputed king of medical thrillers.  Can a smartphone app kill you? You'll believe it can after you read this story, which blasts along faster than a truckload of quad core processors. Equal measures a substantive social commentary that we will all soon have to deal with and a terrifying blood-and-guts tale of what lies right around the technology corner, Cook has delivered a home run worthy of the the writer who has consistently thrilled millions ever since his blockbuster Coma."
 —David Baldacci #1 New York Times-bestselling author of King and Maxwell

“Robin Cook has been entertaining medical thriller fans for decades, but he does much more with his latest novel, Cell.... Cook has written a thought-provoking story.”
—Associated Press

“Cook, ever the master of the medical thriller, combines controversial biomedical research issues with critical ethical concerns and gripping suspense. This outstanding and thought-provoking thriller will attract a wide readership.” —Library Journal 
“Logical and surprising...Cook engages with serious medical ethical issues.”
Publishers Weekly 

“Robin Cook proves again he is the master of medical thrillers.” —Suspense Magazine 

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; First Edition edition (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399166300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399166303
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (609 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Doctor and author Robin Cook is widely credited with introducing the word 'medical' to the thriller genre, and over twenty years after the publication of his breakthrough novel, Coma, he continues to dominate the category he created. Cook has successfully combined medical fact with fantasy to produce a over twenty-seven international bestsellers, including Outbreak (1987), Terminal (1993), Contagion (1996), Chromosome 6 (1997) and Foreign Body (2008).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By jane on February 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
How can a book follow such an intriguing story line and end up derailed by such a non-ending? It appears that all of a sudden he needed to stop wriiting and made up a en ending that really didn't finish the story line -- just took a break like there might be a second novel coming to finish it off. Horribly disapointing from an author who used to be so much better at his craft.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joe Da Rold on February 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The time is tomorrow – or the day after – and a new phone app has been introduced that will revolutionize the field of medicine. iDoc installed phones will be provided free for everyone, with an interactive link (think Siri) that diagnoses and treats your illnesses. As you might expect, iDoc malfunctions and participants in the Beta test are suddenly dying before their time. A good director might make this a tension-filled film (think “Coma”), but Cook does not manage to bring much tension to his writing. His characters lack any degree of psychological complexity. The last few chapters really disappoint. Even though you know there will be a twist, it’s a long time coming, and when it does you think “That’s it?”
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Randy on March 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to have poorly developed and unlikeable characters and. like someone else mentioned, it was easy to see the basic plot and who the “bad guy” was very early in the book. Of course in a Robin Cook book when isn't the bad guy an insurance company? The dialogue between supposed friends was also very stiff and formal.

Mr. Cook is always on his soapbox making speeches in his books but in "Cell" he seems to have taken to a new level. If I were able to have a dollar for every time "sick care vs. health care" was mentioned along with comments about the shortage of primary care physicians I could probably go out for a nice dinner. The last few times I've read Robin Cook I've told myself I was not going to read him again. I think after this book I’ll remember.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Big D VINE VOICE on August 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book brings together many of the health issues and concerns of the day, from nanotechnology to the much feared death panels allededly proposed by the Federal government. Lots of fear and wonder here...fear about what may happen to medicine and to us--not to mention doctors--in a brave new world of advancing medical technology, and wonder that it could happen at all---your cell phone serving as your primary care doctor.

The technology is already here, but this book raises the question of what happens if (1) there is a glitch in the technology and (2) what if the operators of the technology start rationing healthcare and attention by intentionally deciding who gets healthcare and lives,who does not and dies. Sound familiar? And all in your cell phone!!!

Good book, good story, good characters, well told, intriguing and mesmerizing.

But a word of warning: don't trust anyone.,

This book has one helluva an ending.....

If indeed the story is over?
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amit Chauhan on March 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been a huge fan of Cook's novels but this one disappointed me. Lately the novels written by him are predictable and endings are uninteresting
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Palen on May 8, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What if you could buy an App for your iPhone that would, through wireless sensors, keep a 24 hour track of your health, alert you to any problems, and prescribe medicine - or even administer doses from an implanted reservoir in case of chronic deseases such as diabetes? But what if the software algorithm was also programmed to recognize when treatment of your terminal disease was costing too much, considering that death would eventually occur anyway?

Such is the stuff of this new sleep-depriving page-turner by Dr. Robin Cook, whose writing talent I had erroneously, in a previous review, reported in decline. Nothing wrong with this one: a current topic, plenty of med. tech. that will keep you consulting your Kindle Wikipedia connection, and a constant urge to find out what will happen on the next page.

The book opens with one of the App caused deaths - of the diabetic new fiance of Dr. George Wilson, who in the last book ("Nano") was loved by Paula (now CEO of the said software company), and spurned by Pia (who is mentioned, but does not appear). Paula's software company (actually contolled by someone else) is engaged in a beta test of this new App before going public. Several of George's patients, who are part of the beta test, die unexpectedly, and he starts on a dangerous quest to find out why - leading him to unexpected places, including jail, and the Affordable Care Act.

As one reviewer said, the Epilogue at first seemed a little flat - that is until you got to the double-double-cross at the very end!
Five stars! - I think one of Robin Cook's best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By james c butzek on August 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
OMG. I have been a Robin Cook fan since his first book was published decades ago. Being a retired scientist, I enjoy good science fiction/medical thrillers. I don't read them for their literary value, but for entertainment and the story telling.
This by far is one of the worst I have read. Short background. I was going in for a colonoscopy, more than you need to know, so I wanted something I could read while I got ready for the procedure. Hmm, maybe a story for Cook to pursue?
In any event, I went to my local library, saw Cell on the shelf and grabbed it.
Never would have finished it if it weren't for the fact I needed something to read in the bathroom. Very appropriate.
Though the story could have been good, it was so predictable as to the ending. More disturbing however was how unbelievable the main character was presented. A Columbia M.D.? Acting so paranoid and stupid? Breaking every logical course of action possible? Sneaking into a funeral parlor and opening a casket to search for an implant? Really? Breaking HIPPA rules? Getting plastered on a first date with the ER nurse?
There comes a time when writers like Robin Cook (and now John Grisham with Sycamore Row) seem to be writing novels that will sell based on the author's reputation.
Don't waste your time on this on, unless of course you are getting a reading for a colonoscopy. Somehow both products (end results) seem similar.
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