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The Fourth Procedure: A Novel of Medical Suspense Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 1995


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (December 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345402308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345402196
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,286,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The best elements of legal, medical and political thrillers are combined in this frightening novel. Congressman Jack MacLeod is haunted by an episode from the past. Now the police have found evidence linking him to the death of a man in his district. Jack's life spins out of control as strange medical data starts showing up in morgues and operating rooms.

From Publishers Weekly

Mining the emotional cauldron of abortion rights, this superbly crafted medical thriller deftly probes every conceivable angle through characters that would seem cliched if they weren't so visible in today's headlines. Pottinger lays out his riveting debut on a vast canvas, topping it off with a brazen plot twist virtually guaranteed to thrill some readers and appall others?but leave no one unmoved. He has painstakingly assembled a large (though never unwieldy) cast, carefully maneuvering them through interlocking scenarios that are both individually engrossing and collectively formidable. The story is centered on N.Y. congressman Jack MacLeod and organ transplant pioneer Dr. Rachel Redpath, each of whom has lost a loved one to a back-alley abortionist and has made pro-choice politics a priority. This commitment is shared by Rachel's best friend?and Jack's live-in lover?Victoria, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who defends battered women. Added to the potent mix are, among others, an influential, 27-year Senate veteran; the president of a heavily funded anti-abortion society, a strong Washington lobby; and a pro-life appellate judge who becomes Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Such often standard-issue devices as blackmail, dicey pregnancies, bombings and mysteriously appearing corpses are given new vigor in this novel's dexterous plotting. Pottinger handily proves the adage that politics makes strange bedfellows, adding ironic twists that skewer long-accepted assumptions. 250,000 first printing; $250,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

There is however too much going on.
Christopher Hivner
I've recommended this book to my co-workers and will read it again myself.
angie@neo.lrun.com
The book itself was suspenseful but predictable in parts.
NoelleInAZ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Montgomery VINE VOICE on August 3, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This solid debut novel from the lawyer once named one of Time magazine's "Future Leaders of America" focuses on the highly personal, highly controversial issue of abortion. It is billed as a story of medical suspense, but it also combines political and legal elements into a fascinating, thought-provoking, and gripping plot.
Several characters share center stage in "The Fourth Procedure." The most interesting of them is Congressman Jack MacLeod, a pro-choice politician who finds himself the center of attention when anti-abortionist protesters focus their efforts on his home turf of Syracuse, New York. There the pro-life leader Eli Graves, a rather unsympathetic character, digs up the dirt from Jack's past, threatening to expose his dark past.
The medical aspects of "The Fourth Procedure" appear to be well-researched and accurate, a definite plus. In addition to providing a well-crafted and exciting story, Pottinger does an excellent job of showing both sides of the abortion issue, placing his characters in soul-searching situations that prompt the reader to wonder, "what if it were me?" 
If you like a book that challenges you to think a little while it entertains you, then you should enjoy this remarkable debut from a very promising writer. I look forward to what he does next.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I like novels that keep me in suspense until the end. and that's exactly what "The Fourth Procedure" did! I loved that it gave both sides of the issue that was discussed throughout the book:abortion. It also introduced characters that you want to hate, like Eli Graves, characters you sympathize with, like Jack, and characters that are a complete mystery, like Dr. Rachel Redpath. The book includes several mysteries, including three men involved in blowing up abortion clinics suddenly disappear, then turn up dead with their livers removed and plastic baby dolls in their abdomens with a note inside each of them that reads, "Keep It." The whole book is a puzzle, but when the pieces finally come together near the end, prepare for the ultimate shock! I believe that Stanley Pottinger did a great job coming through with this novel, especially since it's his first. Job well done!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Gwiazda on September 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A good work developing the principle of empathy. (the ability to share another person feelings and emotions). Outstanding, breakneck pace, mindboggling, suspense never ever ends until the last page. The unveiling of the fourth procedure is utterly chilling. The author have got what it takes to be an excellent writer When is his next one ?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By NoelleInAZ on December 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I disagree with previous reviewers in that this is not propoganda either for or against abortion; it is merely a book with a plot that happens to center around abortion. Like some books that happen to surround drugs, mafia, guns, etc. It's a crime novel! I never got the feeling the author was trying to make a statement nor did I feel that he was trying to influence me.
The book itself was suspenseful but predictable in parts. It was definitely captivating though unbelievable story; and I have to say that it wasn't necessarily the scientific part that I found hard to accept. It was actually the characters...particularly the way he portrayed politicians. Though I do have to say that even though there were too many characters (I had to flip back to remind myself who some were), the author did a nice job of tying up all the loose ends and unanswered questions in the final pages. It was a lot to keep track of!
Also, the dialog was a bit wordy and I found myself skipping passages that contributed nothing to the outcome of the "fourth procedure". Most of us know what a writer means when he describes a character as being "messy" and don't need to have every sock or pair of dirty underwear described for us.
I'd recommend this as a good weekend read, or on a long flight, purely for entertainment purposes...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dina on May 24, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love books that keep me thinking after I've read them and this was one of those books.
Although it is tagged as a suspense novel (and there is suspense and mystery), I thought it was more on the lines of giving us insight into a subject we all have an opinion on...abortion.
The book gave me positive insight into both the pro-life movement and pro-choice, although...I think ends up being much more sensitive to the pro-choice side.
The book also has some great stuff about women's right...a beautiful speech at the end. Makes me wonder if the author wrote the speech first and then wrote a novel around it so he could get the speech published.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For those who love major thrillers, this is truly one with an outlandish premise that is easily believable. If you're too wrapped up in abortion politics, pass it by, but this novel is truly creative and easily believable. Don't miss it. Could be one of the top ten thrillers of this decade.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Bruce on July 29, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book with a little skeptism at first becaue it said it was a feminist view. I was very impressed with how the story laid out. It was kind of weird that those doctors were doing those experiments. A must read for any medical thriller reader.
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