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The First Patient Hardcover – February 19, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (February 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780312343538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312343538
  • ASIN: 0312343531
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,223,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This over-the-top yet endlessly entertaining thriller from bestseller Palmer (The Fifth Vial) pits a country doctor against a conspiracy to kill the president. Dr. Gabe Singleton, an old friend of President Andrew Stoddard, is brought to Washington, D.C., from Wyoming when Jim Ferendelli, Stoddard's former doctor, goes missing. Almost immediately, things fall apart as Stoddard suffers from a random episode of incoherence, and Singleton is shot at while driving in early morning D.C. traffic. Complicating matters is Alison Cromartie, a sexy nurse who captures Singleton's heart. Singleton must figure out who's behind the president's mysterious illness, investigating everyone from the Secret Service agents to the vice president. Citing specific medical and technological processes, Palmer convinces readers that his novel is logical and reasonable, even as he mixes the unlikely with the insanely hyperbolic. The roller-coaster ride of a plot builds to an undeniably shocking conclusion. Author tour. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Endlessly entertaining ... The roller-coaster ride of a plot builds to an undeniably shocking conclusion" Publisher's Weekly "Ingenious ... suspenseful and cleverly plotted" Kathy Reichs "A tale set at the very edge of our knowledge ... I loved it" Tess Gerritsen "An exciting thriller that is full of surprises and captures the intense atmosphere of the White House. I thoroughly enjoyed it" Bill Clinton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Michael Palmer, medical thriller author and physician, died unexpectedly on October 30, 2013. Michael wrote 18 novels of medical and political suspense, all international bestsellers. In addition to writing, Palmer served as an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, devoted to helping physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues, and chemical dependency. His 19th novel RESISTANT will be released on May 20, 2014.

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

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  • "Writing" 33
  • "Action" 14
  • "Characters" 12
  • "Suspense" 8
  • "Romantic" 3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Carole J. Cox VINE VOICE on March 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
We read for many reasons. Those who have left rather stinging remarks in their reviews have valid comments. They are perhaps reading for information or enlightenment. Yet, there are other readers who read to escape the routine of their life. They want to fall in love, have an adventure and solve a case, all within the cover of a book. Yes, the plot is rather far fetched but so is Harry Potter and look how many copies it sold! I tend to bristle at technical readers who do not stick to technical media. The categories is NON-FICTION! Dan Brown has received similar comments about his writing. This comments are unfortunate as they may influence an uniformed reader to not purchase Books that are entertaining and escapist. A book that is realistic is called a textbook. They cost ten times what these wonderful little novels do and sell far fewer copies.

All this being said, I feel First Patient has many merits. It has a clever plot. The reader is taken through several twists and is given the surprise ending that thrills us all.

Michael Palmer created some likable characters which are important for our transference into the plot. I think one of the biggest problems a writer faces is creating characters and scenes that are transferring while staying within the confines of what a publisher feels is a marketable length.

I most most impressed by who the villain was. Often, I am ready to put a book aside within the first 50 pages because the writer has given me too much information and I am not inclined to read any further. This was not the case in First Patient.

Anyone wishing to take a small weekend adventure that doesn't use any gasoline or create a motel bill will be satisfied by their First Patient experience.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Linda Bulger VINE VOICE on April 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There is so much of interest in the field of medicine that it seems a shame to use an obscure element in a medical thriller. Nanotechnology (I don't think that's a spoiler) is on the sensational end of medicine: real but not in our everyday medical lexicon. Yet Michael Palmer used it as his "hook" in The First Patient, and used it effectively.

Palmer's smooth style brought me straight into the story. Gabe Singleton, a Wyoming doctor, was a Naval Academy roommate of Andrew Stoddard who is now the President of the United States. Stoddard pays a visit to Gabe and persuades him to come to Washington as the President's personal physician after the previous holder of that position vanished. Another man might see this as a good career move but Gabe has his "baggage" and goes only as a favor to his friend.

Things get ugly fast when the President has what seems to be a psychotic episode; temporary, but not his first. The twenty-fifth amendment to the constitution is waved about (rules of succession should the president be incapacitated). That night someone tries to kill Gabe at a traffic light. Something's rotten in the state of Denmark and Gabe is determined to puzzle it out. There are two beautiful women, horses, impressive real estate, Washington intrigue, ideology in politics.

Michael Palmer always delivers great writing and a brisk pace. His characters are well drawn: the good guys a little flawed, the bad guys wearing a veneer (in some cases very thin) of civility. My personal preference in a medical thriller is that it be grounded a bit more firmly in the plausible, but this book delivers the goods and is sure to please readers far and wide. Four stars, and it would have been four and a half if I had enjoyed the political overtones more. Recommended for a beach read or a rainy night.

Linda Bulger, 2008
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dan McKinnon VINE VOICE on March 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
'The First Patient' by Michael Palmer is an entertaining medical/political thriller that revolves around the President of the United States becoming potentially medically unsound and unfit to run the country any more. Palmer is an experienced author who knows his stuff. He has written many books in the past and being an M.D. himself his medical knowledge is vast. The thing I really like about this book is the concept. We have had Presidents die of natural causes, we have had Presidents get shot, but what about the case where the leader of the USA becomes medially unfit to run the country? I guess the closest we came to this recently was when Reagan was shot in 1981 but it hasn't been a reality long term. The author addresses this idea in splendid fashion and has written a fun book that is exciting and fresh.

If you like medical thrillers you will enjoy The First Patient. It's a quick read that is perfect for sitting down in a quiet room with and enjoying with your favorite warm beverage in hand.

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Pribble on February 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Very promising story line about someone trying to get to the POTUS (President of the United States) but it gets a little too weird and far out there for my tastes. The premise is that two friends from the Naval Academy are friends. One's life take s a tailspin when he is sent to prison for two murders. He gets out and becomes a doctor. The other, ends up being the US President. When his doctor goes missing, he finds his old school buddy working in Wyoming and lures him to Washington D.C. with lies and promises. The problem it seems, is that the President is becoming mentally ill. Story plays a lot with nanotechnology and futuristic medicine. It was believable up until the free living brains in jars. There are some unexpected twists and the end.
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