Robin cook is a physician turned novelist who is famous for writing medical thrillers about topics related to public health. His novels have garnered a fair share of controversy, especially Coma and Shock that deal with illegal organ harvesting and the stem cell problem. He continues to write about these sensitive issues so that he can draw the public’s interest to the problems in the medical world through them and make them aware. He has covered topics like fertility treatment, genetic engineering, research funding, medical tourism and organ transplantation and donation, through his books. He has sold about 100 million copies of his books and some have made it to the New York Times Bestseller List and Reader’s Digest’s featured book section. Some of his books have even been adapted to television productions, like Coma, Outbreak, Mortal Fear, Invasion and Harmful Intent.
Cook is an American who was born on May 4, 1940 and brought up in Queens and Leonia. He graduated from Wesleyan and Columbia Universities. He finally completed his post graduate degree from Harvard University. He currently resides in both Boston and Naples. His wife and son live at Naples. Some of his most famous books are:
No list of Robin Cook’s books is complete without a mention of Coma. Coma is the book that brought Robin Cook into the limelight. He describes a young woman’s, Susan Wheeler’s, journey into the medical profession at the Boston Memorial Hospital. Her attention is caught by two patients who mysteriously slip into a coma after routine operations which were apparently induced due to complications in anaesthesia. On further investigation she discovers that these patients are actually brain dead and they are whisked off to another wing where their bodies are kept alive and healthy till they receive a call for a particular organ, At this point, the particular organ is removed from the patient’s body and sold on the black market. This book was well-acclaimed and was declared as the number one book in the year it was released, by the New York Times Book Review. It was also adapted into a movie, a highly successful one at that, by the author and director Michael Crichton.
Contagion is the second book from the Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery series written by Arthur Hailey. This series, part of New York Times Bestselling medical thrillers, is about Jack Stapleton and his soon-to-be wife Laurie Montgomery, a pathologist and his colleague, respectively. This pair spends their time solving a number of medical mysteries and crimes. Other books in this series include Blindsight, Chromosome 6, Marker, Vector, Critical, Crisis, Intervention, Cure, Foreign Body and Death Benefit.
Published in 1977, this book paints a story around contact with aliens. Arthur Hailey spins an extra-ordinary tale about an alien invasion through black discs that infect humans, causing flu like symptoms that vanish but induce a deep personality change. The first to be infected is Beau Stark, an ambitious 21-year old who becomes a leader of the infected people. His girl friend, Cassy, notices his weird changes and intimates her ex-lover who is a medical student. Cassy, her ex-lover Pitt and Dr. Shiela engage themselves in solving this curious medical mystery when they see several people with diabetes and some other diseases falling dead in an unexplained fashion. They discover that Centre for Disease Control headquarter which is also infected. The group finally contacts and works with a number of underground groups that working against the same invasion. The book ends on a good note when they finally get a cure, although Beau who is massively infected dies.
- Fatal Cure
Through this story Arthur Hailey has brought up the situation of managed health care and maintenance organizations (HMOs). David and Angela Wilson are young doctors, at the start of their medical career, who are brought to Vermont due to their jobs. David works as an internist while Angela works as a pathologist at an HMO. They stumble into several dark secrets of this small town. For example, patients keep dying at the HMO often and prematurely. While Angela faces harassment at the workplace, David is faced with the fury of the HMO administration. He his rebuked for giving patients a lot of his time and allowing them to take numerous tests and extending their stay. He wants to treat his patients well, but the administration ties his hands. They finally get fired and fall deeply in debt due a system that is extremely corrupt.
Robin Cook’s novel Godplayer was published in 1983 in the United States of America and United Kingdom. The protagonist of the novel is Dr. Cassandra Kingsley, who works at the Boston Memorial Hospital with her husband. She works in the cardiac surgery division, a dream come true for her. She is soon brought into the dirty politics and power struggle between private practitioners and resident doctors at the hospital. In the midst of this, eighteen patients in the cardiac surgery unit die mysteriously, an investigation that she takes up soon. Soon she and Robert Seibert come across illegal practices of drugs, knife-happy surgeons and dangerous IVs at the hospital.