We're reading Michael Palmer's medical thrillers in order, having thoroughly enjoyed his earlier "Sisterhood" & "Side Effects". As before, most of the story revolves around a hospital, this one, Sterling New Hampshire's Ultramed, part of a big business conglomerate. The successful administrator is Frank Iverson, son of the town's patriarch, Judge Clayton Iverson. When younger brother Zack finally finishes all his training in neurosurgery, he decides (with some misgivings) to return to the family stomping grounds and sign on with Ultramed. We're soon introduced to an 8-year-old, Toby, who is near dieing over reliving his surgery of a year or so ago. We readers are given enough clues to know something is up, and it finally turns out two doctors are in cahoots to experiment on certain patients - gads! As our hero Zack starts to zero in on the malpractice, his new love, cardiologist Susanne Cole, is also victimized, certainly making the whole thing more personal. Meanwhile, hospital politics are rife with tension as Frank and Zack do not see eye to eye almost off the bat; and the Judge is stirring up a possible community buyback of the hospital. Female Ultramed executives bring more chaos to the scene as Frank gets more desperate to hide a years earlier embezzlement, the experimental drugging his salvation??
As with his early books, Palmer keeps us hooked til right near the end. In fact, he mixes so many ingredients from the human condition into this one that we can't even tell what kind of stew it is. But it tastes good and leaves us looking for more Palmer - handy he finds success and as of now has seven more novels for us to enjoy. Let's get at it!