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Flawless [Kindle Edition]

Joshua Spanogle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $5.98
You Save: $1.01 (14%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

A former medical detective for the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Nate McCormick had seen enough suffering to last a lifetime. Now he’s left the CDC, determined to begin a new life with his girlfriend in San Francisco…until the vicious murder of a biotech researcher—an old friend—hurtles him back into the medical world he’d left behind. While the police hunt for a killer, Nate starts sifting through evidence, determined to find what his friend did to provoke his brutal death. And the truth he ultimately discovers far exceeds the very worst he had imagined.

As a circle of treachery tightens around Nate, and the woman he loves is thrust into the line of fire, patients surface with agonizing stories to tell. Nate is about to make the most startling discovery of all: a secret alliance between crime, science, and a billion-dollar industry determined to hide its victims at any price. For Nate, that price will be the one person most important to him—unless he can expose the flaw in a perfect conspiracy of medicine and murder.

From shocking evidence revealed under a microscope to the shattering testimony of those betrayed by the ruthlessness of the medical industry, Flawless takes us on a terrifying, adrenaline-charged journey. Taut, thrilling, and relentless, it will leave you pondering its questions long after the last page is turned.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stanford med student Spanogle's high-energy sequel to 2006's Isolation Ward shares its predecessor's virtues and, well, flaws. Smart-alecky Dr. Nathaniel McCormick, starting a new life in the San Francisco Bay Area after quitting his job at the Centers for Disease Control, stumbles on photographs of living people with hideous facial tumors. Before they can die from their disease, however, the sufferers are being horrifically murdered in an apparent effort to prevent the authorities from noticing their condition. Lurking in the background is an unsavory gang of Chinese mobsters with a particular interest in the region's biotech industry. McCormick hunts frantically for answers as the bodies pile up. Spanogle's efforts at engineering poignant moments clunk more often than not, and his hero's tendency to crack wise in dire situations strains believability, but he has an undeniable gift for creating tension and movement. For page-turning fun, this gory medical thriller has all the elements. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Dr. Nathaniel McCormick is going through a bad time. After barely stopping a viral outbreak (chronicled in Isolation Ward, 2006), he quit his job at the Centers for Disease Control and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to be with his girlfriend. Now that relationship is failing, and Nate is jobless. It only gets worse when an old friend contacts Nate and then is promptly murdered (with his wife and children); Nate, desperately searching for something to pull himself back into the world, determines to find out who did the killing and why. This is a very clever novel, and although it features the usual medical-thriller device, the deadly conspiracy, it's a far cry from the Robin Cook–style conglomeration of cardboard characters and chase scenes. This one is more in the Michael Palmer vein: well-drawn characters, a smart story, plenty of suspense, and even a little commentary on the nature of the medical profession. If Spanogle ever decides to move from medical thrillers to technothrillers, he could give Michael Crichton a run for his money. Skilled storytelling. Pitt, David

Product Details

  • File Size: 433 KB
  • Print Length: 578 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0440242290
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (August 28, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000VSW7VG
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,170 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent second novel October 20, 2007
Format:Hardcover
I'm not usually a fan of medical thrillers, but gave Joshua Spanogle's Isolation Ward a try and was glad I did. This guy can write! Hero Nate McCormick is a great flawed protagonist with a unique voice and someone who is easy to identify with. In Flawless, McCormick is back and Spanogle has managed to avoid the sophomore curse, returning with a novel just as good (if not better) than his first.

Nate has relocated to the West Coast to pursue a relationship with the girlfriend he reconnected with during his initial case (chronicled in Ward). He's jobless and hasn't found an apartment and his aimless state has started to wear on the burgeoning relationship. Into this state of things comes an old friend from his student days who wants Nate's help with something. But before Nate can find out what it is, his friend Murph is murdered, along with his wife and two children, plunging Nate into a complicated mystery swirling around a biotech company in the South San Francisco hills, coupled with Chinese gangsters and a series of photographs of women and men, faces disfigured by an agressive facial cancer.

Nate is warned off, his girlfriend is attacked, and several of the people in the photographs are killed in a variety of shocking ways, but McCormick just can't give up, feeling he owes something to the friend he lost track of. This is an excellent, fast-moving novel with three-dimensional, believable characters. Nate suffers for his investigation and his feelings of rage and helplessness are palpable. And his life continues to develop on the sidelines, in the manner of the best current detective fiction. Spanogle is a truly talented writer and I'm very much looking forward to his next novel. Flawless is very highly recommended!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.25 stars: Fun page-turner for Robin Cook fans July 20, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I purchased this off-the-shelf because Booklist on the cover promised it "Could give Michael Chricton a run for his money. Skilled storytelling" and because it sounded like a unique concept - "Perfect patients, perfect victims, a medical nightmare come true".

With a likeable, but flawed main character who uses humor to offset stress, page-turning action, a host of REALLY, REALLY bad guys and bureaucratically challenged government agents, there's no doubt that the "Skilled storytelling." part is true.

There are a few flaws that keep this book for me from being more than just a slightly above average, fun page-turner.

1. Over the top characters and action - it's fun to read over-the-top sometimes, but while I liked and despised appropriate characters I never really cared when something good or bad happened to any of them.

2. The cover and title of the book (not to mention the blurb on the back) gives away what it takes Nate our hero - 289 pages to figure out. Fortunately, enough page-turning action and a sense of how you don't really know how it will all play out keeps you reading up to that point. It would be better if you didn't know exactly what every clue meant, so long before him.

3. Big over-the-top ending. It's a pet peeve of mine lately - how decent thrillers turn into cartoonish VERY, VERY BAD GUYS against GOOD GUY with impossible odds doing things that stretch far, far beyond the believable.

Bottom Line: Spanogle weaves a decent tale that will keep you turning the pages. He's not the next Micheal Chricton, though. He's more like the next Robin Cook - with his fun, over-the-top medical thrillers. And, if you like Robin Cook medical thrillers, the more you're bound to like this one - it's right up there with many of his.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TAUT, TENSE, THRILL-PACKED READING September 4, 2007
Format:Audio CD
If you want a voice performer who can deliver terse, edgy lines that keep you listening and can sustain suspense with well chosen pauses, look for Scott Brick's name on an audio book. That's not news as he seems to be sought after by almost every audio publisher, and has been named Narrator of the Year. His take on protagonist Nate McCormick is perfection as Nate sometimes spouts off unwisely or verbally flagellates himself because he can't put the pieces of this crime/medical puzzle together fast enough.

Once a detective for the Centers for Disease Control, Nate has decided to turn his life around with a new job, new location and, of course, the beautiful Brooke. But, at the outset there's trouble beginning with a a heated argument then the murder of an old friend and the discovery of shocking photographs - pictures of the horribly disfigured, women with their faces covered with tumors. As if this suffering were not enough, it soon becomes obvious that these same women are being murdered in an effort to cover up the devastating effects of a cosmetic drug.

We learned with Isolation Ward that medical student Joshua Spanogle knows his territory well, and he mines it again with chilling results in this story of the havoc wrought when organized crime and medicine partner.

- Gail Cooke
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good thriller with character September 11, 2007
By Vanessa
Format:Audio CD
I read his previous book, and was a little annoyed by the main character's persona, but "Nate" and every other part of the book was very much improved. Easily the best book I have read this year. Deep and well developed... more believable and not a plot that you can figure out quickly.

I highly recommend the audiobook on CD or at [...]... Scott Brick really brings this book to life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I read the first book and enjoyed it so much that I bought this one...
I discovered this author through one of the Amazon specials for 99 cents. I read the first book and enjoyed it so much that I bought this one too. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent medical mystery.
Published 8 months ago by Cali Shell
5.0 out of 5 stars Roller coaster
This was an edge of your seat roller coaster ride. I thought Isolation Ward had a lot of suspense . . . This beats the first book. And, the villains are downright horrific. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Sandra Greene
2.0 out of 5 stars save your money
I was very disappointed in this book that promised so much from the cover. What immediately irritated me were too many references to what our "hero" had done in the past. Read more
Published on March 29, 2013 by Ann Bresnan
5.0 out of 5 stars Out of all the books I have read, he is rated in the top 10
EXCELLENT writer - really really superb. Gripping story from the first page - only negative is that he hasn't written any more books (I think only this one and one other). Read more
Published on January 9, 2013 by Joanna57
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first!
Spanogle constructs a fantastic noir atmosphere that is reminiscent of Chandler and Hammett. The last chapters of the book were so exciting I could not read fast enough. Read more
Published on January 2, 2012 by PaigeTurner
3.0 out of 5 stars Disaster
Found this book very lacking. Characters not well developed, also to my chagrin I received two copies what a disatre
Published on December 31, 2011 by Mrstdy
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really a medical novel
I only lasted half-way through the book and got too bored to continue. I was looking for a medical thriller and was very disapointed.
Published on March 12, 2011 by Dotan Naveh
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Much of a Medical Thriller
There are a good number of long-winded, interminable action sequences which tend to get weary. Nate's sharpness and deduction prowess for connecting the dots is glaringly... Read more
Published on September 9, 2010 by Tubby
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty enjoyable
I believe this book is slightly better than the last. It was a page turner. Spanogle has really gotten the hang of it. I believe he really has talent. Read more
Published on March 15, 2009 by Green Leaf
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