Two graduate students decide to solve their financial problems by becoming egg donors at an exclusive, highly profitable fertility clinic on Boston's North Shore. But second thoughts and curiosity prompt the two women to find out more about their donated eggs. Obtaining employment at the clinic under aliases, they soon discover the horrifying aims of its research, immediately putting their lives-and their sanity-irrevocably at riskýPosited on up-to-the-minute science, Shock is a spine-tingling novel of medicine run amok by the bestselling master of medical suspense.
A startling novel based on the latest fertility technology, it's "one of the most memorable of Robin Cook's medical thrillers." (The Associated Press) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 22, 2004
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Excerpt from Shock by Robin Cook
OCTOBER 8, 1999
SO LET ME get this straight," Joanna Meissner said to Carlton Williams. The two friends were sitting in the dark inside Carlton's Jeep Cherokee in a no-parking zone on Craigie Street alongside the Craigie Arms apartment building in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "You've decided that it would be best for us to wait to be married until after you finish your surgical residency some three or four years from now."
"I haven't decided anything," Carlton said defensively. "We're having a discussion here."
Joanna and Carlton had been out to dinner in Harvard Square that Friday evening and had been enjoying themselves until Joanna had brought up the sore subject of their long-term plans. As usual, from that moment on, the tone of the conversation had deteriorated. They had been over this thorny issue many times in the past as a consequence of their engagement. Theirs was a quintessentially long affair; they had known each other since kindergarten and had been dating each other exclusively since the ninth grade.
"Listen," Carlton said soothingly. "I'm just trying to think of what's best for both of us."
"Oh, bull!" Joanna blurted. Despite her vow to herself to stay calm, she could feel anger brewing in her gut as if she were a nuclear reactor about to go critical.
"I'm serious," Carlton said. "Joanna, I'm working my tail off. You know how often I'm on call. You know the hours. Being a resident at the MGH is a hell of a lot more demanding than I'd ever guessed."
"What difference does that make?" Joanna snapped, unable to keep the irritation she felt from being painfully obvious. She couldn't help feeling betrayed and rejected.
"It makes a lot of difference," Carlton persisted. "I'm exhausted. I'm no fun to be with. I can't have a normal conversation outside of what's going on in the hospital. It's pathetic. I don't even know what's happening in Boston, much less the world."
"That kind of comment might have some validity if we were dating casually. But the fact of the matter is we've been seeing each other for eleven years. And up until I broached this delicate issue of setting a date tonight, you were enjoying yourself, and you were perfectly fun to be with."
"I certainly love seeing you . . ." Carlton said.
"That's reassuring," Joanna interjected sarcastically. "What I find particularly ironic about this situation is that you're the one who asked me to marry you, not vice versa. The trouble is, that was seven years ago. I'd say that suggests your ardor has significantly cooled."
"It hasn't," Carlton protested. "I do want to marry you."