Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Well written medical thriller

Dr. Lou Welcome is sent to Atlanta to make a presentation for his boss at a medical convention. His boss couldn't attend due to his wife's health.

Lou brings his best friend and AA sponsor, Cap Duncan on the trip. While on a long distance run through mountain terrain, a freak accident lands Cap in the hospital. He contracts a deadly infection from which there is no cure. This flesh eating bacteria is dubbed the Doomsday Germ by the media.

Unable to give the presentation because Lou is caring for his friend, his boss fires Lou for dereliction of duty. This enables Lou to return to Atlanta and spend more time to care for his friend.

Lou is informed that the doctors will have to amputate Cap's leg because the bacteria is spreading. Lou meets a pharmacist named Humphrey Miller. Miller gives Lou advice about which surgeon to pick for Cap's operation and he and Lou become friends.

Humphrey is an  intelligent man suffering from cerebral palsy. Because of this he is often overlooked and underappreciated but he has a passion for macrobiotics and has been working with another doctor on a cure for this bacteria.

The reader follows a group of people called 100 Neighbors. They want to end government entitlement programs like social security, medicare and welfare. They think these programs are ruining the country. They want to find a cure to this disease and blackmail the government into stopping the entitlement programs and then they will give the government the cure to the Doomsday Germ.

There are a number of surprises and the good characters like Lou, Cap Duncan and Humphrey are well described and likable. We want them to succeed. The evil characters are somewhat stereotypical of what a villain should be. But there is excellent suspense and the action moves swiftly.

I enjoyed this fast moving story and regret that the author is no longer with us to demonstrate Lou Welcome in another adventure.  I also found a number of messages in the story such as a person's loyalty to another, overcoming physical obstacles and the power of having a positive mental attitude.


skkorman said...

Thanks for the review, Mike—I love Michael Palmer's books and was deeply saddened when he passed away.


Man of la Book said...

Great review, medical thrillers are very difficult to write and, I would imagine, to keep interesting to non-medical folks.

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