It was the 31st of December and I had entered the airport ready to leave home for the next semester of college. It was going to be a long flight and I decided to stop at the bookstore on my way. Lying right in the center of the New Arrivals section, I saw a green paperback with ROBIN COOK written in bold letters. As a die hard robin cook fan , I just had to pick it up.
Death benefit is a typical medical thriller from the master of the genre himself. A perfect balance of fact and fiction that very few writers can achieve with such ease.
The story follows Pia Grazdani, an exceptionally intelligent and attractive final year medical student who has had a troubled childhood. Since the age of six she shuffled from child protective services to juvenile prisons and reform homes turning her into a withdrawn and cold young woman. In her final year the brilliant but antisocial molecular geneticist Dr. Rothman takes her under his wing. Dr. Rothman and his assistant Dr. Yamamoto are on the verge of a breakthrough in regenerative medicine that poses a threat to the life insurance industry. Their research, if published will usher in the era of replacing defective organs with newly grown healthy ones that will increase the life expectancy of diabetics , people with organ failure and even cancer patients. When Dr.Rothman and his assistant are killed by an alleged leak in the bio-safety unit of the laboratory, Pia is devastated. Knowing her mentor to be a careful man, she is less than convinced that a deadly leak is the cause of his death. As she digs deeper, the case becomes increasingly suspicious. Pia and her friend George stumble upon an ingenious conspiracy to end the revolutionary research that would have changed the basis of treatment of almost all chronic diseases known to man.
Robin cook weaves a web of greed, deception and violence that the protagonist finds herself trapped in. He expertly untangles the web he has so meticulously created and makes sure every piece in the puzzle fits right into the other, even when the reader has forgotten the very existence of that piece. Th author in his usual style has adorned the story with carefully created characters and precisely described medical conditions. Robin Cook’s skill to explain the most complex of phenomena in the simplest of words is at its peak in this book. He uses it to educate his reader under the guise of entertainment.
The reader: whether a devoted robin cook enthusiast or a stranger to his books will find himself lapping up each word and biting his nails till the very end as I did throughout my flight, which if I may add felt like the shortest i have ever taken!
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