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Book Review: Host by Robin Cook

Updated on October 23, 2015

The one and only time I've read a Robin Cook medical thriller was when Coma came out years ago. Since its been so long ago, I vaguely remember it, but I still remember the plot.

Jump ahead nearly 40 years and you have the latest thriller from him, Host, which almost seems like a retelling of his debut novel.

With graduation fast approaching, fourth-year medical student Lynn Pierce's boyfriend, Carl, checks into the Mason-Dixon Medical Center for a routine surgery. There's a slight complication during the surgery and when everything is back to normal the staff can't wake him up.

While Lynn knows he's in surgery, she doesn't make a big deal out of it and goes about her day. She plans on being there when he wakes up and when she thinks the surgery is over goes up to check on him.

He's no where to be found.

She keeps a level head and then discovers that he's been transported to the neuro ICU department and while off limits to medical students she realizes that something isn't right. That's when she enlists the help of fellow student, Michael Pender and he tells her that the exact same thing happened to a very distant relative a few months earlier.

While he's not that close with the relative, it starts to get to him as to what happened with her, the two are also shocked to learn that prior to Carl's surgery, another patient fell victim to a coma.

The two have to know put their heads together to figure out what's going on at Mason-Dixon Medical Center.

Although this thriller is engrossing, the subplot of Middleton Healthcare and Sidereal Pharmaceuticals isn't explored enough (the only thing I can think of is that this novel is a continuation of a previous novel, but again, I haven't read the author's previous works after Coma). Had there been more intrigue on the administrative side or healthcare corruption the novel would have to be rated well over a ten.

There were times that I did think it was a retelling since people are being put into coma's and you have the crooked doctors. Plus, the beginning of the novel is explored briefly later on.

Had all of these elements come together on a grander scale I think I would have been satisfied at the conclusion rather than the potential of a sequel.


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