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Critical Conditions: An Alan Gregory Thriller Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Psychologist Alan Gregory is brought in to evaluate 15-year-old Merritt Strait after her attempted suicide. The teenager has had a complicated life: her stepsister is dying from a heart ailment that might be helped by an experimental treatment, but that treatment isn't covered by the family's HMO. When the head of said evil HMO is shot and killed, the evidence points toward Merritt as the prime suspect. Alan, along with his police friend (and Merritt's uncle), Sam Purdy, begin an investigation that will expose blackmail, extortion and dark family secrets. The usually reliable Dick Hill gives a disappointing performance; his overall delivery is so low-key and measured that he doesn't bring the energy necessary to spark this thriller to life. A Signet paperback. (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 Library Journal

In his sixth suspense novel, White (Remote Control, LJ 1/97) and his protagonist psychologist Alan Gregory take on managed healthcare and come up with another compulsive read. A 15-year-old girl attempts suicide and turns mute, her two-year-old sister is dying from a rare disease while her health insurer won't pay for expensive experimental treatment, and the doctor who heads the insurance company is found shot to death. While Gregory treats the teenager and consults with police, his cop friend Sam Purdy (an in-law of principals in the case) has to keep his distance, and complications mount. White ties up all the loose ends, concerning death threats, blackmail, murder, extortion, and suicide, after a spine-tingling chase through the conveyor system of the new Denver airport. But he leaves strings dangling regarding his appealing cast of continuing characters (such as Gregory's wife Lauren's health and neighbor Adrienne's love life), guaranteeing anticipation for number seven.
-?Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Alan Gregory (Book 6)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451191706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451191700
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of suspense novels, including Dead Time and The Siege. He lives in Colorado.

Customer Reviews

The characters are likeable, but also real.
Bklvr
Alan Gregory is a wonderful psychologist who can't seem to stop getting embroiled in mysteries that often threaten his life.
BreviewerC
It keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
Tabitha Orender

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tabitha Orender on May 1, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I started out reading his book Manner of Death which was a birthday gift from my father. I enjoyed that book so much I went out a bought this book. It keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last page. It is a page turner and I couldn't put it down. So far the two books that I have read are excellent.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dazeoftheweak on October 21, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first book by Stephen White, but not the last. The plot is excellent with many twists and turns to keep me interested, not confused. It sees Dr. Gregory trying to help a young girl who may or may not have killed in order for her sister to get critical health care. However, readers shouldn't despair as it is not full of medical language or too much cumbersome details. I give this book a well deserved five star rating.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Larry Scantlebury on October 19, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The problem with writing about kids, particularly teenagers, is that we have gratefully forgotten what a difficult, scary, uncharted journey adolescence was for us. And I'm just talking about acne and skinny arms (or chests)! Imagine what we would feel like if we had terminally ill sibs?

As a result we have pushed to the more distant recesses of our memory what we did or even more significantly, why we did it. So the 15-year old ingenue in White's excellent murder mystery is at times conniving, relentless, obsessed, beautiful, kid-like, confused along with all of the other formed and unformed virtue/vices of kids placed in life and death circumstances. Or what we imagine those to be.

Her infant sister is dying of a rare disease necessitating, if it will work at all, an expensive heart transplant. Each member of the family has made tremendous sacrifices and then Merritt, the 15-year old, is charged with the murder of the CEO of the insurance provider who rejected the application for the transplant. Did she? Didn't she? Who did? And what else went on?

White weaves in the usual suspects, the gruff Sam Purdy, the lovely but also ill wife Lauren, his (not so) "normal" colleagues, a couple of Colorado Avalanche hockey games . . . even the loyal dog Emily makes several appearances.

Hard to believe, I suppose, to paraphrase Churchill, that so much could happen to so few so close to eachother at the same time. Yet, a relentless mystery for Dr. Alan Gregory to solve who despite impressive credentials, remains "everyman" under these painful circumstances.

Larry Scantlebury. 4 stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tiffany on March 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book I've read out of the Alan Gregory series and I fell in love with it. I have read many many books but not too many mystery/suspense books. After reading this book I plan on reading the rest of his series plus other mystery books. I read this whole book in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down. Like other reviews READ THE BOOKS IN ORDER. I have now read 2 other books out of this series and reading the series in order will be most enjoyable! READ THIS BOOK. It will blow your mind.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on June 28, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Every once in a while I enjoy one of White's books. This one, however, seemed a little convoluted and definitely too drawn out. Also, the book had just too much coincidence and too many contrived situations for my liking.
The story wasn't bad and I really did not figure it out until close to the end...mainly because the 'bad guy" was someone who had really not been a part of the book.
There were a lot of characters, about six suspects, as well as plots and sub-plots in "Critical Conditions". Some characters I would have liked to have known better - White needed to do better character development on some of them, I thought.
The mystery itself - who murdered the CEO of a managed care program? - was secondary to the human dramas being played out in two hospitals by two sisters. Money was the root of all the evil in this book: the money a managed care company refused to shell out for an experimental procedure. I think the author had a bone to pick with managed care and used this book as his vehicle. It would have been better if he had not beaten the idea to death, over and over and over.
Still, "Critical Conditions" was a good read and with a little judicious editing, could have been very good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LUIS M DESLANDES on February 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you get past the first 10 pages you'll finish the book because you'll be hooked.
The plot is well devised although, after many pages of suspense it unravels into the "happy ending" too quickly.
What most impressed me was the writing style and the astute way of introducing the main characters into the plot (never boring).
If I could rate in fractions, I would give it a 4.5/5.0 because about 2/3 of the way through the story stagnates a little bit. But since fractions are not allowed, it rounds off to a 5 star rating.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Hippolytos on December 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's impossible to begin this novel and not devour its entirety in one sitting. It's THAT good. White's hero, psychologist Alan Gregory is beseeched by his urologist friend and colleage, Adrienne, to begin treatment with a recently-admitted 15 year old who attempted suicide. Soon, it becomes clear that the victim is embroiled in the recent murder of a universally-despised physician who chaired a regional health care company. Did she do it? If so, why? It's not the resaon you'll think upon the introduction.
Fast-paced and sparkling with interesting characters and dialogue, this is a thriller not to be missed. So many plot twists, you'll be boggled how they all interconnect, but rest assured White weaves them seemlessly.
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