Contagion (Jack Stapleton Series #2)

Contagion (Jack Stapleton Series #2)

4.1 47
by Robin Cook

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One of Cook's most successful--and timelybestsellers. Contagion is a terrifying cautionary tale for the millennium as a deadly epidemic is spread not merely by microbesbut by sabotage...  See more details below


One of Cook's most successful--and timelybestsellers. Contagion is a terrifying cautionary tale for the millennium as a deadly epidemic is spread not merely by microbesbut by sabotage...

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In Cook's numerous best-selling medical thrillers, the nasty microbes and lethal diseases are never as loathsome as the greedy villains who spread illness for profit. Here, a cynical forensics doctor suspects that a for-profit medical firm is murdering its more costly subscribers. A Literary GuildR main selection.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Jack Stapleton Series , #2
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
714 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Doctor and author Robin Cook is widely credited with introducing the word “medical” to the thriller genre, and thirty one years after the publication of his breakthrough novel, Coma, he continues to dominate the category he created. Cook has successfully combined medical fact with fantasy to produce a succession of twenty-seven New York Times bestsellers that have been translated into forty languages. To date, they include Outbreak (1987), Mindbend (1988), Mutation (1989), Harmful Intent (1990), Vital Signs (1991), Blindsight (1992), Terminal (1993), Fatal Cure (1994), Acceptable Risk (1995), Contagion (1996), Chromosome 6 (1997), Toxin (1998), Vector (1999), Shock (2001), Seizure (2003), Marker (2005), Crisis (2006), Critical (2007) and Foreign Body (2008).

In each of his novels, Robin Cook strives to elucidate various medical/biotech ethical issues. Dr. Cook says he chose to write thrillers as a way to use entertainment as a method of exposing the public to public policy conundrums such as genetic engineering, medical economics, in vitro fertilization, research funding, managed care, drug research, organ transplantation, stem cell research, concierge medicine, and M.D. owned specialty hospitals.

There have been numerous theatrical movies, television movies, and mini-series made from Robin Cook’s work. In addition to the successful feature film Coma, in December 1993, CBS-TV aired “Robin Cook’s Harmful Intent”; in November 1994 NBC-TV aired “Robin Cook’s Mortal Fear”; in May 1995, NBC-TV aired “Robin Cook’s Virus,” based on Outbreak; in February 1996 NBC-TV aired “Robin Cook’s Terminal”; in 1997 NBC-TV aired “Robin Cook’s Invasion”; and in October 2001 TNT-TV aired “Robin Cook’s Acceptable Risk”.

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Contagion 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
bobbewig More than 1 year ago
Contagion had been sitting in my bookcase unread since I obtained a proof of it in 1996. I decided to read it now because the movie reviews of Contagion were pretty good and I knew I'd never read the book if I had gone to see the movie first. My decision was a huge mistake since the book was -- in a word -- awful. It's not that the plot was so bad, which involves forensic pathologist Jack Stapleton suspecting that three different very rare diseases responsible for the deaths of several people at a New York hospital is more than just coincidence. While the plot is highly implausible and requires the reader to stretch their willingness-to-believe to the limit, the book does move along at a decent enough pace. What made this book so bad for me was that Cook's ability to create believable, richly developed characters and dialogue that real people would speak was virtually non-existent. The characters were so one-dimensional,cartoon-like and unrealistic, and the dialogue was so cliche-ridden and ridiculous, that I frequently found myself thinking that the influenza that killed several characters in the book couldn't be any more painful than the pain reading this book produced. What I am asking myself now is: Why did I finish this book if I thought it was so bad? Could I be a glutton for punishment? I don't think so. Despite my problems with the plot, character development and dialogue, I continued reading because I wanted to see what happened in the end. Reading the last 75 pages was the "straw that broke the camel's back" for me. While there was a bit of a surprising twist toward the end, the way Cook wrapped up this book was extremely poor and unrealistic. So poor, that the odds of any of the other unread books by Robin Cook in my bookcase ever being read are about the same as the cause for the influenza outbreak described in Contagion becoming reality.
001Shelly More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. It took me a minute to get used to the writing style, but once I did it really took off. It's much better than the movie! Enjoyable Read.
engine88JM More than 1 year ago
I found this book quite by accident. It had no cover and is several years old. I could not put it down. I is amoung one of the best books I have read this year. Please check it out you will not be disapointed
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved it. Cook is masterful at taking several opposite subjects and tying them all together for a fantastic page turning mystery
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robin Cook has yet produces another griping medical mystery telling the story of some plague. He has added his own special tough of magic as he always does. Jack Stapleton, a medical examiner autopsies some very suscpicios cases with Plague, Flu, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and maybe even Ebola. A must read for Robin Cook fans!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My First Robin Cook Novel and I'm ready to buy more! Contagion is well written with an exciting plot, making it hard to put down once you get going. First Class!
Books4Tomorrow More than 1 year ago
Have you read any of Robin Cook’s books yet? No? NO??!! Dude!! You have no idea what you’re missing out on! We’re talking epidemic, deadly viruses, panic, conspiracies, drama, confusion, medical negligence, and gangsters! And of course, as with any good medical drama worth its salt, at the center of it all are two competing corporate healthcare giants out to make a quick profit AND an ad company with a near-impossible deadline. If this sounds to you like a heady mix of suspense, intrigue, and holy-crap-hope-this-never-happens-to-us chills, then right you are. Seriously, you have to read this. Contagion is also my first Robin Cook experience, so I won’t judge you for not having read any of his novels yet.  Right, so I mentioned the panic and conspiracy theories, a plague, and other killer diseases. But there are a ton more elements that made this both an exciting and disturbing read. The scariest thing for me was that this could really happen. It might seem unlikely that a break-out with such devastating consequences as described in this story could occur in a real-life large, bustling, modern hospital, but I personally believe it’s possible. Even if you don’t believe such a likelihood exists, Contagion will definitely convince you otherwise.   Here we have a spectacular cast of characters to keep track of. Most characters have minor roles, and some more important, but each character is crucial in moving the plot along. It is clear that a good amount of time was spent on developing every character no matter how big or small their part in this story. From start to end, there is absolutely no indication of who the guilty party might be. Yet, when the big reveal is done, you’ll probably ask yourself why you hadn’t suspected that person(s) from the start. I love when an author is detail-oriented, but doesn’t weigh the reader down with too much unnecessary information about the setting and characters’ histories. Robin Cook balances all this perfectly and sticks to the storyline without too much explanation (though a lot of the medical- and biological terminology went right over my head).  You know what I liked most about Jack’s character? His go-getter attitude. He asks questions, gather as much information as he can, and then immediately goes out looking for the answers. He doesn’t even care how many toes he steps on along the way. Plus, he does all this while adding his own patented brand of tongue-in-cheek humor, intentionally provoking the tempers of his superiors, the staff at Manhattan General Hospital where the first plague outbreak occurred, and the corporate heads at healthcare giant, AmeriCare. Jack is fearless, yet vulnerable, and I soon realized I’m rapidly developing a soft spot for this character. One of Jack’s best lines in my opinion (with which I share the same sentiment):  “The problem is that I’ve developed an aversion to mediocrity.” The only issues I had was that the ending felt a little blunt, and the motivation behind the spread of the deadly diseases wasn’t as impressive as the continued build-up throughout the story led me to believe it would be. Although, I did like how it ended for the antagonist(s), so I’m giving Contagion an easy five stars. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this book. Want to know what lengths some people will go to to get what they want? Yes? Then this book was written for you. If not, read it anyway because it’s kick-ass!   
CrystalSmartt More than 1 year ago
I'm fascinated by infectious diseases anyway & this book is all about that. However, the twist is what happens when they are handled by the wrong ppl.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We are used to Robin Cook highlighting a failing in the medical system. As usual this is the story of a conglomerate seeking huge profits the easiest way they can. Dr. John Stapleton is a man who has lost everything. His wife and two daughters in a plane crash, his business to the very organization who seem responsible for the flu like disease. The virus particularly selects the young, old and the other vulnerable members of society. Stapleton teams up with Theresa Hagan from a Madison Avenue advertising agency to search for the explanation for the infection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always loved Dr. Cook's books and this was no exception. Filled with emotion and expectation. Thank you Dr.Cook. NanaKP
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