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The Patient

Cover of The Patient

The Patient

Someone is killing off the world's most gifted neurosurgeons, and Alex Bishop, a renegade CIA agent, thinks he knows who it is.More
Someone is killing off the world's most gifted neurosurgeons, and Alex Bishop, a renegade CIA agent, thinks he knows who it is.More
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Description-
  • Someone is killing off the world's most gifted neurosurgeons, and Alex Bishop, a renegade CIA agent, thinks he knows who it is.

Excerpts-
  • From the book

    They were nearly three hours into the operation and not one cell of the cancer had yet been removed. But by neurosurgical standards, three hours was still well within the feeling-out period -- especially for a procedure involving experimental equipment. And despite huge progress recently, ARTIE most certainly remained experimental.

    "Let's try another set of images with enhancement of the tumor, please."

    To a physician, all growths, benign and malignant, were tumors, although the term "cancer" was generally reserved for malignancies -- those tumors capable of spreading to distant organs. This particular cancer, a glioblastoma, was among the most virulent of all brain tumors.

    Staring straight ahead at the eight-inch monitor screen that was suspended from the ceiling to her eye level, Jessie Copeland set her gloved hands down on the patient's draped scalp, which was fixed by heavy screws to an immobile titanium frame. The physical contact wasn't technically necessary. From here on, ARTIE would be doing the actual surgery. But there was still something reassuring about it.

    "You playing gypsy fortune-teller?" Emily DelGreco asked from across the table.

    "I just want to make certain the guy hasn't slipped out from under the sheets, gotten up, and run away while I'm trying to decide whether or not our little robot pal is in position to begin removing this tumor. For some reason ARTIE's movements forward and left feel sluggish to me -- not as responsive to the controls as I think he should be."

    "Easy does it, Jess," Emily said. "We always expect more from our kids than they can ever deliver -- just ask mine. The sensors I'm watching, plus my monitor screen, say you and ARTIE are doing fine. If you start feeling rushed, just say 'Berenberg.'"

    Emily, a nurse practitioner, had been on the neurosurgical service at the Eastern Massachusetts Medical Center for several years before Jessie started her residency. The two of them, close in age if not in temperament, had hit it off immediately, and over the intervening eight years had become fast friends. Now that Jessie was on the junior faculty, Emily had moved into the tiny office next to hers and worked almost exclusively with her and her patients. Neither of them would ever forget Stanley Berenberg, one of the first brain tumor cases the two of them had done together. His operation had taken twenty-two hours. They did the delicate resection together without relief. But every minute they spent on the case proved worth it. Berenberg was now enjoying an active retirement, playing golf and carving birds, one of which -- a beautifully rendered red-tailed hawk -- held sway on the mantel in Jessie's apartment.

    "Berenberg ... Berenberg ... Berenberg," Jessie repeated mantralike. "Thanks for the pep talk, Em. I think ARTIE's just about ready to start melting this tumor."

    Jessie had decided to apply to medical school five years after her graduation from MIT with a combined degree in biology and mechanical engineering. She had spent those five years working in research and development for Globotech, one of the hottest R and D companies around.

    "I didn't mind making those toys," she had told neurosurgical chief Carl Gilbride at her residency interview, "but I really wanted to play with them afterwards."

    Under Gilbride's leadership, the Eastern Mass Medical Center's neurosurgical program, once the subject of scorn in academic circles, was a residency on the rise, drawing high-ranking applicants from the best medical schools in the country. Jessie, who was comfortably in the middle of the pack at Boston University's med school, had applied to EMMC strictly as a long shot. She...

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Doctors, arch criminals, robotic surgeons, and rogue CIA agents--Michael Palmer's latest has it all. Gripping from its foreword to its final lines, the story follows a young neurosurgeon in her battle of wits and will with one of the world's most vicious terrorists, Claude Maloche, who demands her care. If she refuses or fails to save his life, Maloche promises that his criminal organization will exact revenge on her and thousands of Bostonians. Narrator Michael Kramer does a masterful job with the fast pace and with keeping the many characters clear in the listener's mind. Kramer moves easily from narrating Palmer's frantic action to plowing through the medical dialogue, all the time using his gentle cadence and strong voice to make for 12 hours of enthralling listening. J.B.B. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine
  • The Denver Post "The Patient might be [Michael Palmer's] most riveting book yet, leaving hardly enough time to take a breath. After all, it is brain surgery."
  • Chicago Tribune Miracle Cure:
    "A highly entertaining tale of greed and medicine run amok."
  • Associated Press "Packs plenty of heart-stopping action."
  • The Globe and Mail, Toronto Critical Judgment:
    "Manages to scare the socks off the reader."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "Palmer [brings] his fascinating ER procedural knowledge to a fast-paced...narrative."
  • The Washington Post Silent Treatment:
    "Guaranteed to terrify anyone who...has reason to step inside the doors of a hospital."
  • The Washington Times "Palmer owes this reviewer about three hours of sleep spent reading this can't-put-it-downer. You are cautioned...don't start this one at 10 at night."
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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