26 February, 2018

#BookReview :: Charlatans by 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 anaesthesia-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 . . .

When a routine surgery results in death, fingers are pointed in every direction. It falls on Dr. Noah Rothauser, the new super chief resident to investigate the incident. Dr. William Mason was quick to point the finger at the anesthetist Dr. Ava London while the nursing staff blames the surgeon. When there are similar deaths in the hospital, the stakes are raised higher. But it is really difficult to pin point the perpetrator with so many misdirection and lies. Will Noah be able to pin down the one at fault or will he fail and lose his job?

I love Robin Cook and consider him the best in medical thriller category. He did not fail to deliver with this book. With each character carefully developed, it is interesting to see the whole drama play out. The relationship dynamics at the Boston Memorial Hospital is just off the charts. There is so much going on between the characters in there that it is fun to be on the ‘sidelines’ but I do not think I would survive that life for even a day! The plot is interesting, partly due to the plethora of characters and partly because of the whodunit element in it. Dr. Noah’s character, as the protagonist, is not the most interesting one in the book. Yet the way he works through the book to figure out the mystery was remarkable.

I did have a big problem with the book though. The author has taken his narrative to a whole new level with regards to details. For instance the first death took about 25-30 odd pages at the very beginning. As the result it gave the book a very slow start where as the reader we know what is going to happen… yet the pages felt more of a drag than a buildup. It happened several times through the book and as a result I put it down a number of times.

This is certainly not one of the best by the author but still quite good.

Review Copy received from Pan Macmillan India

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