Monday, January 26, 2009

What I am Reading


Critical by Robin Cook is another medical mystery by this prolific author.  His books follow the same formula - a medical condition, virus, bacteria or illness mysteriously plagues a community and one or two underdogs (trained medical professionals) with the help of law enforcement solve the case and put away the bad guys.  Cook's books are all political, in this case he is taking on the idea of "specialty hospitals".  These are hospitals devoted to specialty procedures - plastic surgery, orthopedics, etc where appointments for surgeries are scheduled and mostly elective as opposed to regular hospitals where there are emergency rooms and Intensive Care Units.  
Cook's premise is that the specialty hospitals cater to the rich (bad) and regular hospitals are benevolent and altruistic (good).  The flaw with this theory is that we all know that you get what you pay for.  Hospitals that are located in inner cities are not there because they are holier than thou, they are there because there is a need.  Yes, some clients that waste thousands of dollars on vain plastic surgery aren't in the same category as someone who's child has cancer.  The medical industry however is a scam overall, so pointing fingers because someone can afford luxury medical care is not the solution.
That being said.  Robin Cook writes a very good, suspenseful novel and Critical is no exception.
This one ties in the mob, NYC, University Hospital, the Morgue and a Specialty Hospital along with some Washington bureaucrats (Cook's favorite target, specifically Republicans). 
If you can get past the political garbage, it is a great read.

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