With everything we have gone through from a medical standpoint, I absolutely stay away from books marketed as medical thrillers. Kaye George kicks off February with her review below…
Patient One by Leonard Goldberg
I hope this medical thriller doesn't deter someone from going to the emergency room when they need to go. Believe me, the people in this book shouldn't have.
A group of Chechen terrorists have planned it just right so that the poisoned President of the United States and his family are sent to the specific hospital they can control. A group of dignitaries, including the leader of Russia are having their state dinner at the Beverly Hills Wilshire Hotel because the Russian leader's wife is enamored of movie stars. Security forces grumbled about having two hundred fifty people in an area they weren’t used to securing, but the diplomats bowed to the opportunity to entertain the guests and perhaps sway their opinions. Up until the guests started getting sick, the biggest concern of the visit has been a friendship pact, soon to be signed, that would liberate America from OPEC control of the oil market.
Luckily, forty-five-year-old John Merrill, the youngest president since John F. Kennedy, is, everyone thinks, in excellent health. He should be able to weather the effects of the poison like everyone else is predicted to do. His gastric problems have been kept from the public, but he's in danger of dying from the poison.
Meanwhile, the terrorist have taken control of the hospital and are holding the first family and several others hostage. It's up to Dr. David Ballineau, the emergency room physician on call that night, and the very capable nurse Carolyn. Neither of these two are quite what they seem.
Warning: I enjoyed the book very much, but this is not reading for the squeamish. The effects of the poison are vividly and often portrayed using blood, orifices, and bodily functions.
Reviewed by Kaye George, Author of Smoke for Suspense Magazine