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Extended Audio Sample Isolation Ward Audiobook, by Joshua Spanogle Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (314 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joshua Spanogle Narrator: Scott Brick Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN: 9781415931950
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Straight out of today’s hospitals and labs—and tomorrow’s headlines—comes a frightening, scalpel-sharp thriller from medical insider Joshua Spanogle. In an astounding debut, Spanogle takes us on an all-too-real race against time … as a young doctor enters the dark side of scientific research, desperate to stop a terrifying epidemic before it is too late.

In Baltimore’s St. Raphael’s Hospital, three newly admitted patients are among society’s most helpless citizens: female residents of Baltimore’s group homes for the mentally impaired, their bodies racked by a virus the likes of which no one at St. Raphael’s has ever seen.

Dr. Nathaniel McCormick is one of the first on the scene. A young investigator from the Centers for Disease Control, Nate is paid to explore the bizarre, the exotic, and the baffling—from super-viruses to bioterrorism. But as soon as Nate begins to investigate the lives and habits of the victims, he knows something is terribly wrong. Using all his skills as a medical detective, Nate soon zeroes in on the “vector”—the one person who had sexual contact with the first victims. And when that suspect is found murdered, Nate fears that the disease he’s chasing may not be an act of nature, but of man.

With his brash style angering his superiors and fellow investigators alike, Nate turns to an old colleague and former lover, Dr. Brooke Michaels, for help. Together the two investigators follow a twisting trail of clues to a discovery that is at once groundbreaking and unspeakable. And as a circle of treachery tightens around him, Nate is about to confront the most chilling revelation of all–and a past Nate himself has been trying to escape.

At once a taut medical thriller and a riveting psychological portrait of a young doctor on the edge, Isolation Ward is a tale of runaway tension—with a brilliant “what-if” premise that is harrowing … heartbreaking … and impossible to wrench from your imagination.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Combines a wonderfully flawed yet stereotypically smart-ass hero with a plot that moves as rapidly as a lethal virus. Entertainment Weekly, grade A-
  • [A] tightly woven debut thriller.... engrossing and intellectually wrought.—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 2/17/2014

    " Dr. Nate McCormick works for the CDC. He is called to a nearby hospital by a friend, Dr. Verlach, to examine a patient admitted with a strange hemorrhagic condition. He immediately runs into interference from other hospital physicians. Nate has a humorous personality that some interpret as brash and disrespectful. The hsopital has sequested the patient and 2 others in a isolation unit. All patients are from a group home for the mentally challenged. When Nate investigates further, he finds several group homes owned by a psychiatrist are poorly maintained. Nate tends to keep his findings and thoughts to himself, leaving his boss in the dark. This does not go over well and Nate is constantly attempting to keep one step ahead. Nate discovers a link, another mentally challenged individual has a link in California. When the man turns up dead, Tim, his boss sends Nate to California to investigate a link to the murdered man. In California, Nate contacts an ex-lover, Brooke, another epidemiologist and the two of them follow leads. The book kept you guessing as to why these individuals were targeted. I enjoyed the humorous comments by the main character. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Blake | 2/6/2014

    " Overall the book was OK. one of the downfalls. This book is all about the guy talking to himself very cynically with humor or to others the same way. fact is he's not only burning bridges, he burns the ones in currently using. I don't really like the way its written, but the story is OK if you can stand the the wording "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 2/4/2014

    " A decent thriller, but I'm a bit surprised that it got such good reviews. Good for an airplane, but nothing more. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tiffany | 2/1/2014

    " Got about half way through the book, and exasperated, just had to quit. The plot potential was huge, and i really liked the premise and was excited initially, but it just took SO LONG for anything to develop. It's like it was always on the verge of "something is about to happen!" then it didn't. Taking forever to describe things that didn't really contribute to the situation, and lacking in what you actually do want to know about. Maybe it picks up later, but I felt like I couldn't waste anymore time trying(hoping) it would get there. And I RARELY quit a book. This is just one of those times. Sorry Spanogle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 1/24/2014

    " This was a good medical mystery-thriller. Spanogle did a fairly good job with a first-person narrative, but it was cumbersome at times. It made a pretty good audio book for the commute. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 1/18/2014

    " I believe this was Joshua's break out novel. REALLY GOOD. I love medical thrillers and this one does not disappoint, I was thoroughly entertained. Joshua wrote this novel while in medical shoo!, which makes the book more amazing! You get a great mixture of a difficult physician who has excellent clinical skills (Sherlock Holmesesgue), throw in the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and Medical/Ethical issues and voila! You get ISOLATION WARD. I didn't figure out the ending, I expected something different, so I did kind of have a minor 'waaa' moment, but only because I would have ended it another way. Oh well, that's creative license for you. Would read again! Recommend to anyone who likes medical thrillers! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 1/16/2014

    " Just didn't grab me. I never finished it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joanne | 1/10/2014

    " Just OK - a little hard to follow the storyline at times; seemed disjointed. I like medical thrillers - this just not the best example. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marsha | 12/26/2013

    " First rate medical thriller tracking the source of a new deadly virus. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lea Anne | 12/3/2013

    " This book started out great, good pace. Towards the middle of the book, it started getting slow. The author really could've cut out about 75 pages. I just finished the book so I could see what the source of the outbreak was. The ending was so lame. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 A | 11/20/2013

    " I enjoyed most of Isolation Ward, however, I have read his other book, Flawless,and thought it to be more interesting. It was a little too technical for my liking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lelia Struve | 11/20/2013

    " I have never read this author's books before. This is definitely one of those books that you cannot put down. I will definitely be reading more this authors books! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 11/1/2013

    " This was a very good medical mystery. A very intersting whodoneit. Kept you guessing till the end. Very gory! Better than Robin Cook's I think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 10/25/2013

    " Very suspenseful medical thriller with strong young doctor investigating supervirus. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/12/2013

    " Interesting story, but I didn't necessarily like the protagonist. He grated on me, which interfered with my enjoyment of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 4/25/2013

    " The book started out with potential and suspense but the plot ended up not being that great. I may try this writer again though it is... sweary (has lots of swearing in it). I really did like the main charachter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abbey | 2/17/2013

    " For storyline I would have given this four stars, but the hero was such an irredeemable jerk, I had to knock it down a star. Great story, lousy protagonist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heidi | 10/12/2012

    " Pretty good medical suspense thriller. Much too much swearing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pandora | 2/23/2012

    " I liked this (not amazing but good) and being based in the Bay Area and about Biotech - made it even more interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann Horton | 12/13/2011

    " Great medical thriller! Hard to put down. The main character, a doctor uses delightfully funny language in describing his perception of the ongoing events - a real change from other medical thrillers. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nina | 2/8/2011

    " Surprised to find out that this book was written by a medical student. Good brain candy while in bed with my strained back... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellen | 3/25/2010

    " Dr Nathaniel MacCormick -- CDC -- Dr Brooke Michaels #1? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 TeriC | 12/2/2009

    " Exciting, well-written and fun to read for a former Infection Control RN. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 8/4/2008

    " started out good but then dragged on too long - in the end I didn't care what the solution to the mystery was "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard Tolleson | 10/13/2007

    " This is in the same vein as Robin Cook's medical thriller's. This won't win a literary prize, but it's exciting and entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy Rogers | 2/17/2007

    " 4 star science/medical thriller (top 25% of the genre). For my full review, see ScienceThrillers.com "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crazy Uncle Ryan | 1/4/2007

    " This was a pretty entertaining book but they could have done with a few less F-bombs. "

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About the Author
Joshua Spanogle is currently a student at Stanford Medical School. A graduate of Yale University, he has also served as a senior researcher at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Bioethics. He is at work on his second medical thriller, Growth Factor, which Delacorte will publish in 2007.
About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.