From The Sisterhood, Michael Palmer's first New York Times bestseller, to The Patient, his ninth, reviewers have proclaimed him a master of medical suspense. Recognized around the world for original, topical, nail-biting suspense, emergency physician Palmer'swork has been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Now he reaches controversial and startling new heights in a terrifying tale of cutting-edge microbiology, unbridled greed, and murder, where either knowing too little or trusting too much can be FATAL. In Chicago, a pregnant cafeteria worker suffering nothing more malevolent than flulike symptoms begins hemorrhaging from every part of her body. In Boston, a brilliant musician, her face disfigured by an unknown disease, rapidly descends into a lethal paranoia. In Belinda, West Virginia, a miner suddenly goes berserk, causing a cave-in that kills two of his co-workers. Finding the link between these events could prove FATAL. Five years ago, internist and emergency specialist Matt Rutledge returned to his West Virginia home to marry his high-school sweetheart and open a practice.
Palmer's 10th medical thriller rides on his usual wave of unrelenting adrenaline, and will make readers think twice the next time they're due for a routine vaccination. The physician-hero this time is Matt Ruttledge, a doctor in bucolic Belinda, W.Va. When several of his patients turn up in the emergency room, babbling incoherently and sporting unsightly lumps on their faces, Ruttledge blames the town's main employer, a large mining operation with a history of safety abuses and environmental neglect. As more patients turn up with the same fatal symptoms, Ruttledge discovers that a larger culprit may be responsible: a new supervaccine that's about to hit the market. Backed by powerful political interests and drug companies, the vaccine, called Omnivax, had been tested in Belinda a decade earlier, and its deadly side effects are now finally surfacing. Joined by a group of like-minded medical professionals and a colorful cast of civilians, Ruttledge sets out to stymie the makers of the vaccine. Omnivax's backers, however, have no intention of letting a lone doctor and a gaggle of bumpkins kill their cash cow. As with Palmer's other popular thrillers (The Patient, etc.), the plot at times turns wild to the point of disbelief, and the occasional red herring practically screams its presence the moment it swims into view. But the former ER physician's ability to craft gripping suspense, likable heroes and hateful villains as well as a thought-provoking dialogue about the risks of the nation's vaccination program keep the pulse pounding. Major print and radio ad/promo; author tour. (May 7) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . exciting page turner. easy read
Posted October 11, 2010 by beckie , springfieldHave enjoyed other books by Michael Palmer. This book too was enjoyable. Couldn't put it down. Would recommend to anyone.
September 29, 2003
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Excerpt from Fatal by Michael Palmer
Belinda, West Virginia
Matt, this is Laura in the er. . . . Matt "
"Matt, you're still asleep."
"You are. I can tell."
"Time zit "
"Two-thirty. Matt, please turn on a light and wake up. There's been an accident at the mine."
Matt Rutledge groaned. "Friggin' mine," he muttered.
"Dr. Butler has activated the disaster protocol. Team B is it tonight. Matt, are you awake "
"I'm awake, I'm awake," he pronounced hoarsely, fumbling with the switch on his bedside lamp. "Nine times seven is fifty-six. The Miami basketball team is the Heat. The fifth president--"
"Okay, okay. I believe you."
From college, through medical school and residency, and now into his life as an internist, it had always been a chore for Matt to shut his mind down enough to fall asleep--but not nearly the challenge of subsequently waking up. Laura Williams knew this trait of his as well as any nurse, having worked with him in the ER of Montgomery County Regional Hospital for two years before his decision to switch over to private practice. She and all the other nurses had adopted the policy that Dr. Matthew Rutledge wasn't definitely awake until he could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
"Light on Feet on the floor "
"I'm up, I'm up. Hold on for a second." Matt tossed the receiver onto the bed and pulled on a pair of worn jeans, a can aerosols now T-shirt, and a light sweater. "Was it a cave-in " he asked, tucking the receiver beneath one ear. He sensed a tightening in his gut at even saying the words.
"I think so. Ambulances are out there, but no one's been brought in here yet. The man from the mine just got here, though. He says he thinks ten or twelve are injured."