- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press (February 19, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312343531
- ISBN-13: 978-0312343538
- Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 161 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The First Patient Hardcover – February 19, 2008
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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.)
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About the Author
Michael Palmer is 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, including alcoholism.
Top customer reviews
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I must confess, though, there were some elements of the story that strained plausibility, including improbable personal reactions, eyebrow-raising political staff situations, head-shaking occurrences involving the President, and questionable technology - amazingly advanced in some cases, juxtaposed against non-use of existing technology, either through intentional omission or not being aware of it.
It was very well-written (typical of Michael Palmer) and edited, and was worth the time to read.
Dr. Gabe Singleton has been called to Washington to be the personal physician to President Andrew Stoddard, an old Annapolis roommate. What he doesn't know is that the president may be going insane and that the previous presidential physician has disappeared.
The second hook involves nanotechnology, a science that uses atoms as building blocks to do such things as target cancers. Palmer adroitly works this new science into the plot, and there's a character, Lily Sexton, who's up for the new science and technology cabinet position which will try to regulate a science that may be overflowing its bounds.
Of course, there's also a love story. A nurse, Alison Cromartie, who's really an undercover secret service agent assigned to Singleton's office to find out if the rumors about the president's mental instability are true. Gabe and Alison immediately fall for each other, although he knows she hasn't been completely honest with him and the president's blood work is missing.
Michael Palmer provides all kinds of suspects including the vice president who makes no bones about the fact that he wants Stoddard's job. He even goes so far as to explain the 25th Amendment to Gabe. As Singleton tries to figure out what's going on with the president, Allison pursues a creepy secret service agent who has a secret life.
The author is associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services that works with physicians who have wellness issues, so he really has the inside track. This is a real page-turner, right up until the end when Palmer plays a little fast and loose with the ending. For instance, would invite someone to your ranch who had tried to kill you, no matter what his motivation was?