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The Last Surgeon [Kindle Edition]

Michael Palmer
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99
Sold by: Macmillan
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Book Description

The New York Times bestselling author and master of medical suspense delivers another shocker of a thriller filled with insider details and a terrifying psychopath

Four murders.

Three accidents.

Two suicides.

One left…


Michael Palmer's latest novel pits a flawed doctor against a ruthless psychopath, who has made murder his art form. Dr. Nick Garrity, a vet suffering from PTSD--post traumatic stress disorder--spends his days and nights dispensing medical treatment from a mobile clinic to the homeless and disenfranchised in D.C. and Baltimore. In addition, he is constantly on the lookout for his war buddy Umberto Vasquez, who was plucked from the streets by the military four years ago for a secret mission and has not been seen since.

Psych nurse Gillian Coates wants to find her sister's killer. She does not believe that Belle Coates, an ICU nurse, took her own life, even though every bit of evidence indicates that she did--every bit save one. Belle has left Gillian a subtle clue that connects her with Nick Garrity.

Together, Nick and Gillian determine that one-by-one, each of those in the operating room for a fatally botched case is dying. Their discoveries pit them against genius Franz Koller--the highly-paid master of the "non-kill"--the art of murder that does not look like murder. As Doctor and nurse move closer to finding the terrifying secret behind these killings, Koller has been given a new directive: his mission will not be complete until Gillian Coates and Garrity, the last surgeon, are dead.

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: 517 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; Reprint edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0035FZJA8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,544 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars engaging read February 16, 2010
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
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Surgeon February 16, 2010
"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
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing novel for a medical thriller fan... June 23, 2010
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Written and will Keep You Guessing June 8, 2010
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a great read.
I could not put down the book. It was a great read.
Published 19 days ago by Shelley R. Guerin
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Too much violence
Published 2 months ago by JJ
4.0 out of 5 stars but picks up speed and ends a good read.
A little slow at the beginning, but picks up speed and ends a good read.
Published 3 months ago by Charlie Anderson
1.0 out of 5 stars I liked "Resistence" so much that I looked forward to more ...
I liked "Resistence" so much that I looked forward to more Michael Palmer. I really tried to like this book, but I just don't like being in the mind of the creepy killer... Read more
Published 4 months ago by skymuffin
5.0 out of 5 stars good book I am just about finished
good book I am just about finished. Michael Palmer has done it again
Published 4 months ago by Patt
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not well thought out or written this time.
Published 4 months ago by Delight Debernardis
2.0 out of 5 stars Spoiler alert-Last Surgeon - this may be the last book of his I read....
Silly premise for a story. The nurse has more balls then the Surgeon, who is always measuring his PTSD rating. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Fritz Air
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a good story and kept you on edge through out the book. I enjoy Michael Palmer's books.
Published 5 months ago by babeboots
5.0 out of 5 stars Palmer has done it again
Another book by Michael Palmer that tells such a great story. While there are just a few parts that lag, they are few and far between. Read more
Published 6 months ago by kenogal
4.0 out of 5 stars Jillian is convinced her sister was murdered and made to look like...
The story is fast paced with just enough political & medical jargon to keep you intrigued without needing background knowledge in each field. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Growing_hair
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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.

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