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Crisis Paperback – August 7, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425216578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425216576
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #627,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Cook's latest medical thriller focuses on a timely topic—the new and controversial "concierge" medicine that caters to the affluent willing and able to pay for special attention. When Patience Stanhope, a hypochondriac patient of Boston physician Craig Bowman, dies of a heart attack, her husband sues Bowman for malpractice. The suit alleges that the delay caused by Bowman's paying a house call instead of ordering Patience immediately to the hospital was fatal. After the trial gets off to a rocky start for Bowman, his wife calls in her brother, Dr. Jack Stapleton, a New York City medical examiner, who has appeared in Marker (2005) and other Cook novels. Some anomalies in the medical evidence lead Stapleton, who's worried about getting back to New York in time for his wedding, to attempt a rush autopsy of the dead woman. The choice to reveal early on that Bowman and Stapleton will become bitter enemies lessens the suspense, while at the climax Stapleton's failure to realize he can take a train or bus after he's missed the last shuttle back to New York will annoy some. Still, most readers should enjoy the ride. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Medical-thriller writer Cook's latest page-turner is played out more in the courtroom than in the hospital. Dr. Craig Bowman is irritated when problem-patient Patience Stanhope calls him on what he assumes is yet another false alarm. But Craig makes a house call and discovers Patience near death. He rushes her to the hospital but not in time to save her, and the result is a malpractice suit that could cost Craig his livelihood. Alexis, the wife Craig recently reunited with, calls her brother, New York City medical examiner Jack Stapleton (last seen in Marker, 2005), and asks him to come to Boston for advice. Jack, who is less than a week away from his wedding to fellow ME Laurie Montgomery, agrees, despite the fact that he's never liked Craig. But when he travels to Boston and starts to attend Craig's trial, Jack worries that the case is being railroaded by the plaintiff's sleazy lawyer. When Jack performs the autopsy, the results are shocking. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

You don't read a Robin Cook novel for its literary craftsmanship.
Richard A. Lovett
I really enjoyed this book and as I was getting closer to the end I realized that there was not enough book left to tie up the loose ends.
Michael A. Newman
Not only is he inconsistent as a character, but he is also not at all likeable.
Carl Alves

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Janet Boyer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Robin Cook pretty much birthed the "medical thriller" with his book "Coma" paving the way for the likes of Michael Palmer and Tess Gerritsen.

I've been a fan of Cook's for almost 20 years, and was happy to see a new release in the stores. I rarely buy hardcover fiction, but chose to purchase Crisis.

Let me just say that had I got this from the library, I would have returned it within the first few chapters. But, since I had bought it, I felt obligated to finish it.

More legal drama than medical thriller, a familiar cast of characters pop up in Crisis--namely, Dr. Jack Stapleton, his fiance, Dr. Laurie Montgomery, and other colleagues/friends from the NYC area.

One of the first things I noticed about this book was the implausible dialgue, especially between Jack and his sister, Alexis. Upon Jack's arrival, she comments that he looks "...hale, hungry, and hollow-cheeked, like an actor in a spaghetti western".

No matter how 'intellectual' a person is (Alexis is a psychologist), I can't imagine a brother and sister talking this way! And Jack's dialogue was formal, too, with a bunch of medical jargon thrown in.

Crisis quickly turns into a legal drama (something I do NOT like to read), with drawn-out courtroom "objections" and "sustained" and so on.

And Laurie? She is constantly reprimanding Jack in this book--much more a mother figure than a fiance. I was hoping that Jack would hook up with Dr. Latasha Wylie and dump Laurie! I mean, Jack *dreads* Laurie's whining and scolding, so he procrastinates in calling her...but he and Latasha share a comfortable rhythm (when doing an autopsy) and enthusiasm.

But alas, it didn't happen...

The ending was very anti-climatic, and somewhat disturbing.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I seem to have this love/hate relationship with Robin Cook titles. His latest, Crisis, is no different. On one hand, I like a good medical thriller, and generally the overall plot of Crisis, isn't bad. On the other hand, I get really tired of the incessant flogging of the "evil" insurance companies. Couple that with an ending here that left me scratching my head, and I'm not real sure I'd recommend the time commitment on this one.

Jack Stapleton, a medical examiner from prior novels, is preparing for his wedding. But within the final week, he gets a call from his sister in Boston. Her husband, Dr. Craig Bowman, has been hit with a malpractice suit as part of his concierge medical practice. An older hypochondriac patient died of an apparent heart attack, and Bowman was unable to resuscitate her. The "grieving" husband filed suit, and Bowman is spiraling off the deep end with depression, anger, and indignation. The sister wants Jack to lend some moral support and see if there's anything that could indicate that Bowman shouldn't be found guilty, and Jack reluctantly agrees (knowing the wedding is fast approaching). The court case is made even more difficult in that Bowman was separated from his wife at the time, living with his office assistant, labeled this particular patient as a "problem patient" in his files, and made some very derogatory statements about the deceased which came out at trial. Jack wonders if some of the symptoms point to another cause of death, and attempts to get permission to exhume the body and perform an autopsy. But certain parties have made it very clear that they do *not* want an autopsy, and they're willing to go to extreme measures to prevent it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By deeper waters on December 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although it started out with genuine promise, the story lost its way pretty quickly. This book offers unbelievable dialogue from the mouths of unbelievable characters, disjointed story line with a resolution that is totally unsatisfying. What is truly in crisis is the state of Robin Cook's literary skills.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thundering Herd on October 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I agree with "implausible". The book was fairly interesting until the last thirty or so pages. Apparently, the author was late on a deadline to get the book to the publisher because the ending made no sense, left numerous issues outstanding, and left this reader with the sense of being cheated. I have enjoyed this author's books in the past. Not this time.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Lovett on January 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
You don't read a Robin Cook novel for its literary craftsmanship. You do expect a plotline that pulls you through, with cutting-edge science or even borderline science fiction. Unfortunately, this book wants to be a character study. That makes it a thriller without thrills by an author whose characters are generally as overstated as his prose.

The story returns us to Jack, Cook's bike-riding, basketball-playing medical examiner whose exploits predate CSI, Bones, etc. On the eve of his wedding, Jack is called to Boston to help his sister whose husband, Craig, has been sued for malpractice. The suspense is based on when Jack will finally manage to do a much-belated autopsy on the victim, and whether he will manage to get this done in time for his wedding (or even if he wants to get it done in time for his wedding). There's a good story lurking in there, but Cook isn't up to it. Particularly galling is his repeated insistence that a psychologist character's professional training will make her extremely good at handling the crises afflicting her family. Jonathan Kellerman's books have pretty thoroughly shattered any illusion that psychologists are inhumanly good at managing their own lives.

The other characters are stereotypes: the arrogant doctor-defendant whose inability to control his temper makes him his own worst witness, the highbrow defense attorney, the mob-connected plaintiff's attorney with a murderous associate, and Jack, whose lack of impulse control creates most of the story's action. The weird part is that most of the action resulting from the interplay of these characters is irrelevant to the core story.

This is Cook's worst book. There are very few plot surprises, a lot of utterly irrelevant dashing around Boston, and clues that are so apparent to the experienced mystery reader that we want to shout, "You idiot," at Jack. "It's got to have something to do with the..."

Not recommended.
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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).

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