After reading a few of Robin Cook's novels, I have come to the conclusion that he is not a very good writer. From a technical standpoint, his prose is very flawed. His dialogue is weak and doesn't resemble real conversations. In this novel, his characters are exceptionally weak and not remotely believable. Their actions don't match their motivations. The worst of the characters is Dr. Craig Bowman, who is sort of the main character in this novel. Not only is he inconsistent as a character, but he is also not at all likeable. None of the characters in this novel are likeable, even Dr. Jack Stapleton, who I think is supposed to be the most sympathetic of the characters.
The novel starts off with a patient of Bowman who dies of an apparent heart attack. Bowman is then sued by the patient's husband. Stapleton has had no contact with his sister, who is Bowman's wife, for over a decade, yet when she calls him to help out with the malpractice lawsuit against Bowman, he drops everything and goes to Boston to help even though he is getting married in less than a week. That is so preposterous and unbelievable, yet is very typical of all the characters' inconsistencies. Bowman, who had left his wife for another woman at the time of the patient's death, is now back with his wife. She is supporting him even though he dumped her and they don't seem to like each other at all.
The only redeemable aspect of this novel is that the storyline following the malpractice trial is fairly interesting and entertaining. On that basis, it was a readable novel, but it wasn't very good and got progressively worse as it went along.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street