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The Last Surgeon Kindle Edition

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Length: 384 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders
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Featuring fifty-two haunting and hilarious images, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a modern fable for people of all ages that touches on the power of kindness, generosity, compassion, and community. Learn more | See author page

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this anemic medical thriller from bestseller Palmer (The Second Opinion), former trauma surgeon Dr. Nick Garrity, who suffers from PTSD as the result of a suicide attack on his field hospital in Afghanistan, is now in charge of the Helping Hands RV, a mobile clinic that plies the streets of Baltimore offering medical aid to the homeless. Meanwhile, a high-priced hit man starts to commit a series of murders, his first victim being Belle Coates, a nurse in Charlotte, N.C. When Belle's sister, Jillian, who lives in Virginia, searches for her sister's killer, she finds a connection to Nick. Several missing homeless men lead everyone to a massive plot involving high-level politicians and a secret CIA program. The action is all fairly predictable, the characters off-the-shelf, and the writing, if not exactly purple, at least mauve: A guttural, primal scream exploded from Nick's throat as he crouched by the body. 250,000 first printing. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Palmer’s best novel in years is a highly suspenseful story that begins with a murder staged to look like a suicide and ends with the exposure of a far-reaching conspiracy. The three central players are Jillian Coates, a nurse who refuses to believe her sister would kill herself; Nick Garrity, a physician still haunted by the disappearance of his best friend three years ago; and Franz Koller, a ruthless hired killer who has several victims to dispatch, only none of them can look like murder. Palmer cleverly teams up Nick and Jillian, uniting them in a common purpose: to find out how Jillian’s dead sister and Nick’s missing friend seem to have come in contact with one another. Palmer keeps his two leads—and us, too—in the dark for a good portion of the book, dispensing the occasional tantalizing hint of some horrible secret lying just below the surface. When we discover the truth behind the mystery, we’re shocked and exhilarated and bewildered, all at the same time. Palmer has always spun a good yarn, but this one is more compelling and features more engaging characters than some of his recent efforts. --David Pitt

Product Details

  • File Size: 1201 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (February 11, 2010)
  • Publication Date: February 16, 2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0035FZJA8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #275,452 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Alla S. VINE VOICE on February 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In "Last Surgeon," Michael Palmer tells the story of Nick Garrity, a trauma surgeon suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, otherwise known as PTSD. Following the horrific events of 9/11, Garrity volunteers to serve in Afghanistan, only to nearly lose his life in the process--when a trusted local running a medical clinic orchestrates an explosion that takes the life of many Americans, including Garrity's fiancée Sarah.

The only ones to survive this tragedy are Nick Garrity and staff sergeant Umberto Vasquez, who miraculously saves Nick's life. Fast forward years later and life is never the same. Garrity quits his private practice, teams up with a cheerful nurse called Junie, and starts running a mobile charity clinic called Helping Hands, giving medical treatments to the poor and the homeless in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas, while trying to help other vets suffering from PTSD gain benefits.

His peaceful life is disrupted with the arrival of nurse Jillian Coates, whose sister Belle, also a practicing nurse, dies in suspicious circumstances. Her death is made to look like suicide--a simple overdose of sleeping pills, but Jillian believes otherwise. She sees a suspicious stack of comic books hidden in Belle's apartment, all focused on the character Nick Fury. Jillian locates Dr. Nick Garrity, when she finds out that Nick Fury was his military nickname and suspects Belle's death is somehow related to him.

Meanwhile, Nick is growing concerned with the disappearance of Umberto Vasquez, who, after returning from Afghanistan, turns into an alcoholic and mysteriously disappears after agreeing to take on a special military mission.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on February 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The Last Surgeon" by Michael Palmer is one fast-paced, action-packed thriller that had me not wanting to put the book down. Dr. Nick Garrity has been searching for a long lost war buddy when he meets Gillian Coates, whose sister Belle seemingly committed suicide, but Gillian thinks otherwise. A comic book clue "Nick Fury", led Gillian to Nick and together they find clues of a much bigger conspiracy. Soon they are on the hit-list and must not only find out who is behind it all, but keep themselves and others around them alive. Mr. Palmer has written a novel that kept me up into the middle of the night because it was that entertaining.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Denise Crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
There was not much "medical" in this purported medical thriller novel by Michael Palmer. I've read his entire backlist, and indeed some of his novels are better than others, but this one was very much not one of his better ones. This book was about conspiracy and secret operations and veterans and only marginally even about PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). The characters in the book seemed flat and stereotypical -- the vet, a doctor, had a fiance who was brutally murdered by a terrorist and thus he suffers the survivor guilt and also the PTSD from the event. The typical beautiful psychiatric nurse, Jillian, who falls for him was such a cliche (far too perfect and the romance was so contrived as to be nauseating). Both of them mostly just annoyed me. I didn't need so much focus on the romance in this book and was looking for far more medicine and a lot more thriller. It just falls short in every respect.

The ex trauma surgeon, Dr. Nick Garrity, actually only works for one or maybe two nights during the whole of the novel in an RV that he and a nurse have developed into a charitable business delivering care to the poor of Baltimore and DC, and to veterans in particular -- Helping Hands Mobile Medical Unit. That is the sum total of the "medical" part in this book. After the second chapter, the story line focuses on his search for his Marine buddy, the guy who saved him from the terrorist, Umberto Vasquez. Apparently the staff sergeant disappeared about 4 years previously, supposedly called back to some secret special operation and has not been heard from since.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As I read the last few words and closed this book, my heart was racing and my pulse was pounding. I just had to sit there for a moment and reflect on the many issues that were presented in this fascinating tale. Not only does Michael Palmer write well-plotted stories, he builds them around real medical issues, health problems, or controversial ethical questions. In THE LAST SURGEON, the reader learns about the disorder known as PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and how it specifically affects the lives of those returning from war.

Not only do many regard PTSD as a phony malady, many veterans have difficulty getting their benefits because of the misunderstood diagnosis. Dr. Nick Garrity is under the curse of this often debilitating disease. He has spent years in therapy and has finally gotten healthy enough to volunteer his medical skills with Helping Hands, a mobile medical RV that serves the homeless and indigent. Yet he struggles every day with his ever-present memories. When he meets Jillian Coates and they begin working together, his hope for recovery is encouraged and we have to admire his character and determination.

In contrast to the admirable Dr. Garrity is Franz Koller, who is probably the most diabolical mass murderer ever. He works for a person/group known only as "Jericho," and his assignments take him all over the country to set up "non-kills" --- murders that are cleverly made to look like accidents or suicides. He finds his work irresistible and has lost track of how many murders he has committed. The pattern of his kills has never been discovered --- until now. And, as Nick and Jillan begin to uncover clues, they come closer and closer to becoming his next victims.
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