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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (10 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Palmer Narrator: Henry Leyva Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2002 ISBN: 9780739301128
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From The Sisterhood, Michael Palmer's first New York Times bestseller, to The Patient, his ninth, reviewers have proclaimed him a master of medical suspense. Recognized around the world for original, topical, nail-biting suspense, emergency physician Palmer'swork has been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Now he reaches controversial and startling new heights in a terrifying tale of cutting-edge microbiology, unbridled greed, and murder, where either knowing too little or trusting too much can be FATAL.

In Chicago, a pregnant cafeteria worker suffering nothing more malevolent than flulike symptoms begins hemorrhaging from every part of her body. In Boston, a brilliant musician, her face disfigured by an unknown disease, rapidly descends into a lethal paranoia. In Belinda, West Virginia, a miner suddenly goes berserk, causing a cave-in that kills two of his co-workers. Finding the link between these events could prove FATAL.

Five years ago, internist and emergency specialist Matt Rutledge returned to his West Virginia home to marry his high-school sweetheart and open a practice. He also had a score to settle. His father died while working for the Belinda Coal and Coke Company, and Matt swore to expose the mine’s health and safety violations.

When his beloved Ginny succumbed to an unusual cancer, his campaign became even more bitterly personal. Now Matt has identified two bizarre cases of what he has dubbed the Belinda Syndrome--caused, he is certain, by the mine’s careless disposal of toxic chemicals. All he needs is proof.

Meanwhile, two women, unknown to one another, are drawn inexorably to Belinda, into Matt’s life--and into mortal danger. Massachusetts coroner Nikki Solari comes to attend the funeral of her roommate, killed violently on a Boston street. Ellen Kroft, a retired schoolteacher from Maryland, seeks the remorseless killer who has threatened to destroy her and her family.Three strangers--Rutledge, Solari, and Kroft--each hold one piece of a puzzle they must solve, and solve quickly. If they don’t, it will be far more than just their own lives that are at risk.

Michael Palmer has crafted a novel of breathtaking speed and medical intricacy where nothing is as it seems and one false step could be FATAL.

From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • 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. The Washington Times
  • Palmer [brings] his fascinating ER procedural knowledge to a fast-paced...narrative. San Francisco Chronicle
    “Guaranteed to terrify anyone who...has reason to step inside the doors of a hospital....Dynamite plot...fast-paced and engrossing.
    The Washington Post
  • “Palmer skillfully juggles many subplots, integrating colorful characters and using current bioscience topics. FDA testing, vaccines, environmental toxins, spongiform encephalitis, greedy pharmaceutical executives, and bad cops-all contribute to the novel’s action, suspense, and intrigue.”

    School Library Journal

  • Raves for Michael Palmer's
    The Patient might be [Palmer’s] most riveting book yet, leaving hardly enough time to take a breath. The Denver Post
  • The Patient is what Die Hard movies are made of: brilliantly nasty terrorists hectoring innocent folks, with only a wisecracking lone wolf to forestall. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
    “A highly entertaining tale of greed and medicine run amok. Chicago Tribune
  • “Packs plenty of heart-stopping action. Associated Press
    “Wrenchingly scary...Palmer is reaching the top of a demanding craft. Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corgilover06 | 3/6/2011

    " I liked this book very much. It was enthralling and I liked the characters and the medical twists and turns. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 11/21/2010

    " Good beach read. Reminds me of Michael Crichton's books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 9/15/2010

    " excellent book. lots of suspence, great details, on the edge of your seat excitment in some of the chapters "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheila | 7/31/2010

    " I love all of Michael Palmer books! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chuck | 6/1/2010

    " A good story, medical in nature of course, as Palmer is a physician. Each of our three protagonists holds a piece of a jigsaw puzzle that they must solve quickly. Complex and action packed but dialog is simplistic and occasionally juvenile.

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 2/26/2010

    " The cave scenes, rather than invoking fear, made me want to go caving again. Seemed disjointed at first but Palmer tied the medical mysteries together well enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 DH | 2/10/2010

    " one of my favorite medical thriller. i loved how all of the story lines connected and related to one another. it did seem a little far fetched at times, but that didn't take away from the thrilling and suspenseful novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 12/6/2009

    " Not quite as good as the first Palmer book I read, Second Opinion "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 9/7/2009

    " Excellent; two doctors work to determine what is causing disfigurement and death in people in a small town, and wind up challenging a new vaccine being pushed by the First Lady

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy | 6/30/2009

    " I always like a medical thriller and this was based in an unusual locale...West Virginia. Matt Rutledge is a physician with an axe to grind with the local coal mine because he lost his father and wife due to their careless and dangerous ways. Very entertaining. "

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About the Author
Author Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer (1942–2013) authored twenty-one novels of medical suspense, all international bestsellers, including The First Patient, The Second Opinion, and The Last Surgeon. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. Extreme Measures was the basis for a movie starring Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman.

About the Narrator

Henry Leyva is a classically trained actor with extensive work in theater, television, film, and radio. He has appeared off Broadway and in regional theaters across the country in many plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, and Street Car Named Desire. He has also performed in audio dramas for the Syfy Channel and National Public Radio. His audiobook narration has won him three AudioFile Earphones Awards.