A series of unexplained deaths in foreign hospitals sends an idealistic UCLA medical student on a desperate search for answers, in this chilling tale from the master of the medical thriller.
Jennifer Hernandez is a fourth-year medical student at UCLA, just completing an elective in general surgery, whose world is shattered during a break in an otherwise ordinary day. While relaxing in the surgical lounge of L.A.'s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, she half-listens to a piece on medical tourism, where first-world citizens travel to third-world countries for surgery. But when she hears her beloved grandmother's name mentioned, her own heart nearly stops: the CNN reporter says Maria Suarez-Hernandez had died, a day after undergoing a hip replacement in New Delhi's Queen Victoria Hospital.
Maria had raised Jennifer and her brothers from infancy, and their bond was unshakable. Still, the news that Maria had traveled to India was a shock to Jennifer, until she realized that it was the only viable option for the hardworking yet uninsured woman. Devastated, and desperate for answers, Jennifer takes emergency leave from school and heads to India, where relations with local officials go from sympathetic to sour as she presses for more information. With the discovery of other unexplained deaths followed by hasty cremations, Jennifer reaches out to her mentor, New York City medical examiner Dr. Laurie Montgomery, who has her own deep connection to Maria.
Laurie, along with her husband, Dr. Jack Stapleton, rushes to the younger woman's side, discovering a sophisticated medical facility with little margin for error. As the death count grows, so do the questions, leading Laurie and Jennifer to unveil a sinister, multilayered conspiracy of global proportions.
Witness the Thrilling Events Leading Up to the Book
Take a trip into seduction, murder, and international intrigue from the exotic streets of Delhi to the sun-soaked sands of Santa Monica. Catch this thrilling prologue to Foreign Body.
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Bestseller Cook (Critical) stumbles in this formulaic thriller about the timely subject of medical tourism, the trend in which U.S. citizens seek to save costs on expensive surgery through treatment overseas. At the center of the drama is Jennifer Hernandez, a fourth-year medical student at UCLA, whose grandmother has died in a New Delhi hospital following hip replacement surgery. Suspicious about the circumstances, Hernandez immediately flies to India to investigate. There she not only discovers a number of similar deaths of U.S. citizens but also runs into the one-two punch of a desperate Indian medical industry struggling to block all publicity about the deaths and a huge American HMO that wants nothing more than the widest exposure of the apparent medical missteps in the Third World. Implausible plot twists, unconvincing villains, silly dialogue and a convenient, all-too-happy ending make this one of Cook's rare weak efforts. (Aug.) Copyright @ Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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August 04, 2008
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