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Critical Conditions
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Critical Conditions

3.6 13
by Stephen White, Dick Hill (Read by)
 

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As Stephen White's popularity surges forward, his recurring hero, Denver psychologist Alan Gregory, finds himself in the midst of an intricate and heart-wrenching case. Summoned to the bedside of a fifteen-year-old girl who has attempted suicide, Alan discovers that she is mute. But as a bond develops between them, he learns that her baby sister has a deadly

Overview

As Stephen White's popularity surges forward, his recurring hero, Denver psychologist Alan Gregory, finds himself in the midst of an intricate and heart-wrenching case. Summoned to the bedside of a fifteen-year-old girl who has attempted suicide, Alan discovers that she is mute. But as a bond develops between them, he learns that her baby sister has a deadly infection, and that a managed care company is refusing to allow treatment with an experimental drug. More shocking, however, is the revelation that an executive of the HMO has just met a violent death, and that his patient may be involved. Calling on his old friend, Denver police detective Sam Purdy, Gregory draws on his special connection to the young girl to begin investigating the truth that lies behind her silence.
•Stephen White is a strong rival to Jonathan Kellerman.
•Stephen White's sleuth, Dr. Alan Gregory, has an established popularity among readers.
•This is a timely plot dealing with the defects of HMOs and American health care.
•Teaser chapter of Critical Conditions will appear in the Signet edition of Stephen White's Remote Control, to be published simultaneously by Signet.
•Stephen White is now a New York Times bestselling author.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Critical Conditions is another pulse-pounding psychological romp featuring the charming crack psychologist Dr. Alan Gregory. Gregory is called in after Merritt Strait -- a 15-year-old girl whose stepsister is on the verge of death following her HMO's refusal to allow an experimental yet potentially lifesaving operation -- allegedly attempts to end her own life. Soon the HMO's leading executive is found dead, and evidence -- shockingly enough -- points to Merritt as the murderer.
Publishers Weekly
Psychologist Alan Gregory is brought in to evaluate 15-year-old Merritt Strait after her attempted suicide. The teenager has had a complicated life: her stepsister is dying from a heart ailment that might be helped by an experimental treatment, but that treatment isn't covered by the family's HMO. When the head of said evil HMO is shot and killed, the evidence points toward Merritt as the prime suspect. Alan, along with his police friend (and Merritt's uncle), Sam Purdy, begin an investigation that will expose blackmail, extortion and dark family secrets. The usually reliable Dick Hill gives a disappointing performance; his overall delivery is so low-key and measured that he doesn't bring the energy necessary to spark this thriller to life. A Signet paperback. (July)
Library Journal
In his sixth suspense novel, White (Remote Control, LJ 1/97) and his protagonist psychologist Alan Gregory take on managed healthcare and come up with another compulsive read. A 15-year-old girl attempts suicide and turns mute, her two-year-old sister is dying from a rare disease while her health insurer won't pay for expensive experimental treatment, and the doctor who heads the insurance company is found shot to death. While Gregory treats the teenager and consults with police, his cop friend Sam Purdy (an in-law of principals in the case) has to keep his distance, and complications mount. White ties up all the loose ends, concerning death threats, blackmail, murder, extortion, and suicide, after a spine-tingling chase through the conveyor system of the new Denver airport. But he leaves strings dangling regarding his appealing cast of continuing characters (such as Gregory's wife Lauren's health and neighbor Adrienne's love life), guaranteeing anticipation for number seven. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/97.]Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
Kirkus Reviews
Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory confronts a hapless family's mismanaged-care nightmare, in White's overstuffed sixth thriller. The toddler of Alan's newly transplanted colleague, John Trent, has been stricken with a rare strain of viral myocarditis for which MedExcel, the family's HMO, refuses the only available treatment as too experimental; meanwhile, his wife, TV news personality Brenda Strait, is being harassed by threats and vandalism. As their daughter Chaney lies dying for lack of funds, Trent wonders how much worse things could get. Here's how much: Brenda's daughter Merritt, 15, tries to kill herself, gets dragged back to life refusing to speak, and turns out to be hiding a handgun and a bloody outfit that tie her to the murder of Dr. Edward Robilio, the founder and chairman of MedExcel. Assigned to Merritt's case, Alan finds crippling new connections among the characters at every turn. His cop friend Sam Purdy is the brother-in-law Brenda's been feuding with for years. Dr. Terence Gusman, who chairs the medical exam review board at MedExcel, is the brother of a woman fatally traumatized by Brenda's hard-nosed reporting. Even Alan's urologist neighbor Adrienne, who's been sleeping with the Trent/Strait's lawyer, thinks she prefers the lawyer's wife. As he rolls like a fifth wheel from one crime scene to the next and struggles to get his mute patient to open up—even after she starts to talk, her shocking, predictable revelations are delayed by a series of shameless ploys—Alan goggles at the unholy network of lovers, codependents, and betrayers. The result is that White (Remote Control, 1997, etc.) loses his initial focus on the indictment of uncaring HMOs; bythe time you stumble to the center of this labyrinth, you're amazed that the medical community can lift a finger to help this dysfunctional community.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423394679
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
07/15/2009
Series:
Dr. Alan Gregory Series , #6
Edition description:
Abridged, 5 CDs, 6 hrs. 8 min.
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are Saying About This

Larry King
A can't-miss read.

Meet the Author

Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen novels, including Kill Me and Dry Ice. He lives in Colorado.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Colorado
Date of Birth:
August 20, 1951
Place of Birth:
Long Island, New York
Education:
B.A., UC Berkeley, 1972; M.A., University of Colorado, Boulder, 1975; Ph.D., 1979
Website:
http://www.authorstephenwhite.com

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Critical Conditions 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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