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Implant Hardcover – October, 1995
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Wealthy plastic surgeon Duncan Lathram would seem to have it made. Thanks to the aid of his brother, a hotshot pharmacologist and implant inventor, his clientele is the rich and famous. But then representatives and senators on a congressional guidelines committee, all of whom have had close associations with Duncan, start dying. Duncan's young surgical colleague, Gina Panzella, starts putting implants, accidents, and motives together, and the action in Wilson's medical thriller picks up. The smoothness with which Wilson develops the plot, the fact that all the major characters are believable human beings, and the mounting excitement as the pieces of a murderous puzzle fall into place should keep readers rapt right to the last page. William Beatty
"This one will keep you page-turning on these long nights." --USA Today
"A taut, battle-of-wits medical thriller that turns on vengeance...." --Publishers Weekly
"The smoothness with which Wilson develops the plot, the fact that all the major characters are believable human beings, and the mounting excitement as the pieces of the murderous puzzle fall into place should keep the reader rapt right to the last page." --Booklist
"Dr. Gina Panzella has returned to Washington, D.C., to practice, hoping to join the legislative process and influence the future of medicine. Her boss, Dr. Duncan Lathram, has similar aspirations, but his aims are less benign. Lathram is a famous plastic surgeon with a new device that speeds healing, putting him in great demand among Washington's rich and powerful. When Gina notices that Lathram's patients keep having violent accidents, she thinks it is only coincidental. Gradually, her reluctant investigation into the accidents jeopardizes her relationship with her lover, an FBI agent, as well as her life. This suspenseful medical thriller has complex, likable characters, an intriguing background, and it raises important questions by pitting self-serving bureaucrats against unethical physicians. Definitely a cut above most thrillers." --Library Journal
"Believable medical suspense...Wilson's most sensible, reined-in plot so far features an attractive and well-spoken villain whose warped take on things is understandable, if not justified....A terrific story." --Kirkus Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
In the end, things get pretty wild. I'm not sure how realistic it is (I'm not saying it isn't...), but one thing is for sure: This is one entertaining story!
In Implant, Gina Panzella is a young doctor who is keeping quite busy. Besides her hospital work, she is also assisting Duncan Lathram, a renowned plastic surgeon who has been Gina's hero since he saved her life after a childhood accident. In addition, Gina is applying for a position with Senator Marsden, who needs an assistant for his work on a medical ethics committee. It's while interviewing for this job that she runs into her old high school acquaintance, Gerry Canney, who is now an FBI agent; by coincidence, Gerry is investigating a couple suspicious deaths of Congressmen associated with the Committee.
One link between these victims is that they both had Lathram as a plastic surgeon, and indeed he is involved. Lathram has a clever plot in mind, motivated by revenge. Gina starts catching on and Lathram, despite his paternal affection for her, is not about to let her interfere.
Implant is, in many ways, a rather routine thriller, but Wilson is able to infuse it with enough life to make it a real page-turner. This was my first exposure to one of Wilson's non-horror novels, and I was quite pleased. Like the bigger names in the field, such as Michael Palmer (who I've also read and enjoyed) or Robin Cook (who I have not read), Wilson handles the medical thriller genre well, and this is a good read if you like the genre or suspense fiction in general.
This book had plenty of twists and turns that kept me on my toes. Even when you know what's going on, you're not sure how the good guys are going to beat the bad guys. The ending was a bit frustrating- both too tidy and too messy. It didn't feel natural.
Make sure you have either a stellar vocabulary or a dictionary handy while reading. One of the characters thinks and talks as if he had a bowl of Thesaurus for breakfast and was burping up obscure words. It gave me flashbacks of prepping for the GRE's... It didn't detract from the writing, and helped you get to know the character, but it certainly interrupted the flow of the story when you can't figure out what the character's saying.
The plot is thin at best. Besides the surgeon, the other two characters, beautiful doctor lady and the rugged FBI agent she reconnects with are flat and predictable. Of course they thwart the attempt on the president, of course they become a romantic item. There are a few twists and turns in the last third of the book, but the outcome is never really in doubt.
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