25 August 2017

Review #637: Charlatans by Robin Cook



My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“We can't possibly have a summer love. So many people have tried that the name's become proverbial. Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It's a sad season of life without growth...It has no day.”

----F. Scott Fitzgerald


Dr. Robin Cook, the international best-selling author, is back with a bang and this time with an intriguing and pot-boiling medical thriller called, Charlatans that no-doubt, revolves around the cutting edge technology and advancements in the field of medicine and medical practices, but mainly centers around the educational backgrounds of the doctors, where the two protagonists, one, a chief medical resident and the other, a star anesthesiologist of the Boston Memorial Hospital who get tangled up in the OR deaths of three patients, and the investigation behind the death puts doubt in the minds of the chief medical resident about the star anesthesiologist's training and the fancy educational background, even though they get emotionally and sexually involved with one another beyond the premises of the hospital.


Synopsis:

"Charlatans is an explosive thriller from New York Times bestselling author and master of the medical thriller Robin Cook.

Noah Rothauser is the new super chief resident at Boston Memorial Hospital. Housing state-of-the-art medical facilities, it’s always been Noah’s dream to work for such an esteemed institution. But the pressures of the role become all too clear when a seemingly routine operation results in the tragic death of an otherwise healthy man. With potential malpractice suspected it falls to the newly appointed surgical doctor to investigate what happened.

Questioning those involved uncovers bitter feuds within the hospital’s surgical staff when Dr. William Mason, the egotistical, world-class surgeon who performed the operation, is quick to blame staff anaeshtetist Dr. Ava London for the disastrous outcome. However Dr. London, along with the nursing staff, point the finger at the surgeon.

When two more anesthesia-related deaths occur, Noah is forced to look closer at the impressively competent, charming, yet mysterious Dr. London, and he quickly realizes there’s far more to her than meets the eye. With his own job and integrity coming into jeopardy, Noah must decide which doctor is at fault and who he can believe – before any more lives are lost."



Little did Dr. Noah Rothauser knew that right from the very first day, his job as the chief medical resident at Boston Memorial Hospital would be a challenging one, especially three patient deaths on a weekly basis would keep his schedule tightly packed. And not to mention, his new and secret affair with the hospital's star anesthesiologist, Dr. Ava London, would almost cost him his job in the hospital, as haters of London, namely a celebrated surgeon, Dr. William Mason, is constantly hinting on firing the young and ambitious doctor. So when Noah reluctantly gets to the bottom of the mystery behind London's palatial house at an upscale area in Boston and her educational and medical training background, alongside her many social media avatars, Noah discovers a lot of layers and many prodding mysteries, but can Noah keep himself safe from unveiling the past of a woman who has created a fake version of herself in almost every social media out there? Can doctors kill despite of their fancy degrees?

After reading the previous book of Cook, I was very skeptical in picking up a copy of his new book, Charlatans. But upon getting my hands on the book, and reading the merely the prologue, got me hooked into the story line and I guessed that this plot is going to rock, and my, oh my, it surely did. I'm glad that Cook got back into his previous form whilst maintaining his old flair of medical analogies and terminologies and jargon that only sounds good while reading a medical thriller penned by Dr. Cook. I've always been a fan of this author and have never ever missed any book from him, be it good or bad, Cook is a personal favorite of mine. So here I'm swearing to pen the review in an unbiased manner.

The writing style of the author is eloquent and is laced with medical terminologies and tight suspense, which is not that tasteful but somehow will keep the readers glued to their edges. The narrative is engaging, but most of the time, it kept on diverting into trivial matters rather than staying focused on the main mystery plot. Otherwise, the dialogues are authentic and striking enough to make the readers comprehend with the characters' ongoing plot. The pacing is really fast, mainly because of the thrill and the suspense that made me breeze through the entire book in almost no time.

The mystery portrayed and depicted by the author is tightly wrapped under thick layers of twists and turns, although I won't say that they were unpredictable. The plot is painted with edgy suspense, high octane medical OR drama which are very vividly captured with enough depth and are pulsating enough to keep the readers engaged. Also the scenes are visually strikingly arrested, as a result, the readers can see each and every scene unfolding right before their own eyes. The end isn't that satisfying and unlike his past bestselling books, here the ending will subtly disappoint Cook's dedicated fans.

The characters from this book are well developed but not that good enough to leave an impression in the minds of the readers. The main character, Noah, is an interesting man, who believes in his instincts instead of believing in other people's opinion, very hard working, smart, clever and handsome yet a bit brooding. Overall, he makes a great protagonist for the story. On the other hand, the character of Ava London is very platonic and static, and kind of unreal, at times, she annoyed me a lot. Moreover, the author has failed to explore her past or background in depth, like he did for Noah's character. The supporting ones aren't that interesting enough to strike a chord.

In a nutshell, the book is enthralling and subtly electrifying enough to peak the readers' interest in the world of medicine and medical technologies.

PS: Next time when you visit your Doctor either in a hospital or in his clinic, beware of all those degrees framed up on the wall.


Verdict: King of medical thrillers is back!
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Author Info:
Dr. Robin Cook (born May 4, 1940 in New York City, New York) is an American doctor / novelist who writes about medicine, biotechnology, and topics affecting public health.
He is best known for being the author who created the medical-thriller genre by combining medical writing with the thriller genre of writing. His books have been bestsellers on the "New York Times" Bestseller List with several at #1. A number of his books have also been featured in Reader's Digest. Many were also featured in the Literary Guild. Many have been made into motion pictures.
Cook is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Columbia University School of Medicine. He finished his postgraduate medical training at Harvard that included general surgery and ophthalmology. He divides his time between homes in Florida, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts where he lives with his wife Jean. He is currently on leave from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He has successfully combined medical fact with fiction to produce a succession of bestselling books. Cook's medical thrillers are designed, in part, to make the public aware of both the technological possibilities of modern medicine and the ensuing ethical conundrums.

Cook got a taste of the larger world when the Cousteau Society recruited him to run its blood - gas lab in the South of France while he was in medical school. Intrigued by diving, he later called on a connection he made through Jacques Cousteau to become an aquanaut with the US Navy Sealab when he was drafted in the 60's. During his navy career he served on a nuclear submarine for a seventy-five day stay underwater where he wrote his first book!
Visit him here



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