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Plague Mass Market Paperback – December 3, 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; First edition (December 3, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425187071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425187074
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,727,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The subtitle of this middling medical thriller overstates its case; readers expecting an epidemic on the scale of The Hot Zone will be disappointed by the body count here, but the sheer variety of germs may appease virus fans. When several children die of mysterious but virulent diseases and no one, not even the CDC, considers the matter seriously, beautiful and brilliant Dr. Annick Clement investigates with the help of senior fellow Mac Eastwick, her thinly sketched love interest. Before long, Annick begins to suspect that a bioterrorist may be orchestrating the unusual deaths, but she needs more evidence to prove her theory. Birken's second novel (after Final Diagnosis) reflects his obvious medical expertise, but the often clunky prose and too-literal descriptions hamper the story ("Mac glanced over, noticed a small stool and took a seat. `I'll just grab a seat over here,' he said, more to himself than Annick"). All of the characters are underdeveloped, and the relationship between Annick and Mac is so hasty it's possible to miss it until they wake up together halfway through the book. Once the FBI gets involved, the action heats up. Ultimately, however, diehard biothriller fans will be disappointed by Birken's tired take on a timely but familiar topic.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "chillnbillian84" on December 9, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I though this book was amazing. It is definately one of the best medical thrillers I have read in a while. I have read Dr. Birken's novels in the past and this one was just as good as the rest. I recomend this book to anybody who enjoys medical thrillers or just reading in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 16, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dr. Annick Clement is a third year resident in pediatrics and the first resident to participate in a French-American exchange program. One day while she is working in the Emergency Room, she is treating a very sick little boy and she isn't sure what is wrong with him. Tests discover that he has botulism but they don't know how he got it or why. Soon after, Annick treats a little girl, who after extensive testing, is found out to have the pneumonic plague.
She begins to believe that somebody in the hospital is deliberately making these children sick. The administration of Franklin Children's Hospital doesn't want to believe there is a bio-terrorist on the loose and tries to muzzle Annick who refuses to give up seeking possible links. When three children come down with cholera, Annick's theory proves deadly correct and she is even able to point the FBI in the direction of the perpetrator. What she doesn't know is her suspect is only a puppet and somebody very close to her is pulling the strings.
Fans of Robin Cook, Patricia Cromwell and Kathy Reichs are going to want to put PLAGUE on his or her must read list. The heroine is spunky, intelligent and intuitive, a combination that makes her an excellent medical detective. This hopefully is the first installment in a medical thrilling series because the heroine would make a great recurring character.
Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Vegan on March 26, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When several children die of mysterious but virulent diseases and no one, not even the CDC, considers the matter seriously, Dr. Annick Clement investigates with the help of senior fellow Mac Eastwick. Before long, Annick begins to suspect that a bioterrorist may be orchestrating the unusual deaths, but she needs more evidence to prove her theory. Once the FBI gets involved, the action heats up. This is the second book by Gary Birken and I found it just as fast paced as his first. The only complaint I have about this book is that it dragged on in places. More than 50 pages were dedicated to a trip to Paris that really didn't need to be in the book. Also, the ending was a bit of a flop since the book builds up so much tension. Either way, it was still a good read. But if you're expecting The Cobra Event, you'll be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Casey Wireman on December 10, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up more as a time killer than anything else. The description on the back of the book looked promising, so I thought i'd give it a try. It turns out that I quite enjoyed it.

While I don't know, nor do I care, whether the facts are accurate in the book, that's not something that I look for in a novel. The book's job was to entertain, and it served its purpose in my opinion.

I particularly liked some of the ways that the killer chose to kill his victims, but I won't give that away here. Good for a quick, yet entertaining read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mountain reader on October 10, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is another great book by this author. I have read all of them and have enjoyed the nail biting suspense in everyone.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Woodlandtrails on March 18, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
All the cliches are here. Rich people looking "down" on the not so rich. Doctors looking "down" on lowly lab techs. Spoiled rotten rich daddy's girl who got him to pay for her education up though and including supporting her as a resident physician, Annick acts patronizingly as she is only looking out for you aka Bill O'Rielly.

Annick has no worries or debts so she can afford to be magnanimous. She even flies to France on the weekends via daddy's private jet when she wants to get away from it all and once in while invites a "poor" physician in training along and then she and daddy secretly smirk at him as he takes in the personal jets and opulent hotels and apartments.

The reader gets the feeling Annick even feels smarter than the administrative staff of the hospital because her father could buy it.

If the author had Grady kill Annick instead of those children, I would have given this book a 5.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Creech on April 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What is it with doctors and lawyers who write thrillers with heroes in their own professions? They're all incredibly attractive, brilliant and adored by all - even when they aren't particularly nice to the numerous people they consider their inferiors. This is yet another example of wishful thinking, and an extremely poorly written one at that. The characters are all cardboard cut-outs and the plot strains credulity.
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