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The Society Mass Market Paperback – August 30, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Palmer's 11th medical thriller (Fatal; etc.) takes careful and bloody aim at the managed care industry, beginning with the murder of several loathsome CEOs of HMOs in Massachusetts. Dr. Will Grant is a talented and caring physician in the Boston area who works long hours and hates the unfair and obstructive practices of the big insurance companies. Patty Moriarity is a rookie state cop whose first big case is investigating the deaths of the health care vultures. After some early research, Patty suspects Will, but soon enough that's all straightened out and they're smooching on the couch. After Will is drugged and collapses during a delicate operation, things get rough: he's kicked out of his hospital for drug abuse and sued. Next he's being tortured, while Patty, shot after attempting to save the boorish chauvinist detective who has taken over her case, lies in a coma. The action is a bit preachy in the beginning, but once Palmer gets all his characters in place, the suspense builds. He wraps it all up with a slam-bang battle between our love-smitten duo and some extremely nasty health insurer executives and their loyal, gun-toting minions.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"'Gripping suspense, likeable heroes and hateful villains keep the pulse pounding'" Publishers Weekly "'Guaranteed to terrify anyone... Dynamite plot... fast-paced and engrossing'" Washington Post --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (August 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055358362X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553583625
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

I am always excited to read the newest Michael Palmer novel.
The overall storyline kept me going, but it's just not that great of a book as far as believability, dialogue quality and character development.
Detroit Rick
The story was very interesting and moved at a fast action filled pace.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Bull on September 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
We have enjoyed most of Michael Palmer's medical thrillers, finding them to be entertaining stories with realistic premises about dangers to us all that could happen in the field of doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutics. His latest novel, "The Society", has it all: villainous rich men guiding HMO's to make money against all standards of decency toward their patients; an innocent doctor, who protests against HMO's by night, gets drugged before doing surgery by day (?); and a young female homicide investigator anxious to stand on her own two feet (not on her cop father's laurels) in an immensely sexist police department. Toss in some blood-chilling action, including torture and near death to both our heroes, and this busy storyline will keep you turning pages quickly to see who the bad guys really are and whether our leading man and lady will not only survive, but get to consummate a growing love interest.

As with Dr. Robin Cook's tales, we feel Palmer is on more solid ground when describing the problems the docs face and telling us what really happens in the field than he is when moving people about and using guns and generally outwitting or outrunning guys who kill for fun and profit. While we have to suspend reality a little to believe the otherwise terrifying circumstances near the book's end, the stories about HMO abuse are only too real, as Palmer recruited all of those from true-life examples of readers of his web site. A somewhat overly righteous call for a socialized medicine scheme similar to Canada's was hardly fleshed out enough to warrant the mention that it got -- we hear too many stories of Canadians crossing the line to get "real" care to just swallow that one wholeheartedly. Nonetheless, Palmer has crafted yet another in his provocative line of thrillers -- one sure to wow both his fan club and the average reader alike. Enjoy!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By J. Fink on October 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been waiting for this book for ages. A while back, I just so happened to stumble upon a Micheal Palmer book, and after devouring it, I eagerly lept from book to book, finding each one a very enjoyable (though often predictable) read. This book, I waited a while for the hardback edition and, not liking hardbacks, waited even longer for the paperback. I must admit, I am not all the way finished with this book. It may get better still. But being almost 400 pages into a 480 page book gives me enough of an insight to write a review.

This book is hard to get through. The last 100 pages have picked up, but the first couple hundered pages were kinda painful. The characters are fairly unlikeable. I don't feel any sort of connection to any of them, I'm not rooting for them, and I definitely don't feel any chemistry between Will and Patty. There are also a few more characters than usual, and I feel that Palmer, in an attempt to broaden his story arc, ended up hurting himself. There were so many characters, he didn't really take too much time with any of them. (the possible exception being, in my opinion, the Davenport widow)

As other reviewers have said, his plots appear to be more cut and paste all the time. Insert name, insert town (if it happens to be one of the few outside of White Memorial), and use the same story as the last one. But I can deal with that.

This book, however, fell short of it's least in my opinion. I will finish it, out of deference to my esteem for his previous books, rubbernecking, whatever. But I may pay a little more attention to reviews of the next one.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr D. on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Michael Palmer's latest medical thriller, The Society, is about the managed care industry (HMOs), and the medical profession's ongoing opposition to them.

Dr. Will Grant is a workaholic. He works almost eighty hours a week as a surgeon and an ER doctor at his hospital. He does this to make ends meet, having to pay child support for his twins (a boy and a girl), whom he adores and alimony to their mother and his ex-wife, Maxine. Despite this drain on his time and finances, Will manages to support his pet projects, a mission style soup kitchen for the poor and homeless called the Open Hearth Kitchen and The Hippocrates Society, a collection of various medical practitioners who have banded together the counter the creeping influence of the dreaded heath management organizations.

All in all, Will, who is widely respected in his field and admired for his sensitivity for his patient's welfare, has a pretty normal and uneventful life. That is until he is cajoled into representing the Society, as a last minute replacement, in a scheduled debate with Boyd Halliday, the CEO of a large and growing HMO, Excelsis Health Care. From then on his life seems to unravel. First he meets an attractive plain clothes police officer, Patty Moriarity, who is investigating a series of homicides of CEOs of three HMOs believed to be the work of a disgruntled patient or relative. At first Moriarity is attracted to Will but after she checks up on him she thinks he may possibly be involved in the murders. Then the killer calls him on his private number, congratulating Will on his skill in the debate. Then the ceiling caves in when he passes out, literally head first, into the patient's newly opened incision during surgery.

Will wakes up in intensive care and everybody is very cool to him.
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