Critical Conditions: An Alan Gregory Thriller

Overview

From New York Times bestselling author Stephen White comes the sixth suspense thriller featuring psychologist Dr. Alan Gregory. Summoned to the hospital to learn the motives behind a teenage girl's suicide attempt, Alan discovers that the girl's young stepsister lies near death in another hospital with a heart disease. Denied an experimental new treatment that could save her life by her parent's managed-care provider, the stepsister has become a symbol of a health care system more concerned with costs than with ...

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Critical Conditions: An Alan Gregory Thriller

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Overview

From New York Times bestselling author Stephen White comes the sixth suspense thriller featuring psychologist Dr. Alan Gregory. Summoned to the hospital to learn the motives behind a teenage girl's suicide attempt, Alan discovers that the girl's young stepsister lies near death in another hospital with a heart disease. Denied an experimental new treatment that could save her life by her parent's managed-care provider, the stepsister has become a symbol of a health care system more concerned with costs than with the lives of its patients. And when a wealthy executive of the family's HMO is found dead, Alan and Denver detective Sam Purdy uncover the truth that links the teenage girl to his death, and the truth behind a family willing to kill in the name of love...and revenge.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451191700
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Series: Alan Gregory Series , #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 412,416
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen White is a clinical psychologist and New York Times bestselling author of thirteen previous novels, including The Best Revenge and Missing Persons.

Biography

Anyone who has ever tried his or her hand at writing has surely heard the sage advice "write what you know." Stephen White has most-assuredly taken that bit of wisdom to heart in creating his thrilling series of Alan Gregory novels. A clinical psychologist, White has crafted a character with a similar background that has also benefited from his fifteen years of professional practice.

White has been keeping fans of psychological thrillers on the edges of their seats ever since he published his first novel Privileged Information in 1991. The book introduced his literary alter ego Dr. Alan Gregory and made ample use of everything he'd gleaned while working as a practicing psychologist. "There are two benefits of my previous experience as a psychologist that I consider invaluable to my life as a writer," White revealed in an interview on his web site (www.authorstephenwhite.com). "The first is that my work gave me a chance to observe and study the infinite varieties of motivation that human beings have for their behavior. The other is that being a psychotherapist exposed me to dialogue in its purest form. For eight to ten hours a day over a period of fifteen years I had the privilege of sitting and listening to a wide variety of people just talk. I can't imagine a better training ground for writing dialogue."

As for how similar he truly is to his most-famous creation beyond their shared profession, White says, "The similarities don't exactly end there but there's no need to exaggerate them, either. Although neither of us is a model of mental health, his neuroses are different than mine. And he has advantages that I never had as a psychotherapist. First, he has the benefit of all my years of experience. And second, I get to think about his lines as long as I'd like. Real patients never offer that luxury." The resulting debut novel won rave reviews from the likes of The New York Daily News, Publisher's Weekly, and The Library Journal and established White as a writer to watch.

White followed Privileged Information with over a dozen additional installments of the Alan Gregory adventures. The latest may very well be the most exciting and psychologically provocative episode yet. In Kill Me, a happily-married extreme sports enthusiast and patient of Gregory's makes a deal with a clandestine organization called Death Angels Inc. that may very well bring his life to an untimely end. As always, Dr. Alan Gregory is present, but he plays more of a background role than he does in most of White's other novels. Still, fans of White's previous work will surely be captivated by the novel that Booklist has deemed "Bizarre, thrilling, and oh so much fun" and fellow bestselling writer Michael Connelly (Blood Work, The Closers) asserts is "his best yet."

In any event, White has no immediate plans of abandoning Gregory to write a non-series novel. "My series is commercially successful, thanks to all of you," he says. "As important for me as the commercial success is, the fact [is] that the series is also creatively flexible.... [I] anticipate staying with the series as long as the readers are interested..." If that's the case, then readers can expect the Dr. Alan Gregory to have a long and psychologically healthy life.

Good To Know

Contrary to the rumor mill, the Stephen White who created Alan Gregory is not the same Stephen White who has written a series of books about...ahem ... Barney the Purple Dinosaur. However, White admits that he has occasionally signed the other Stephen White's Barney books when asked to.

For those who are wondering what ever happened to the seemingly long-lost book Saints and Sinners, which was excerpted in Private Practices, you may have already read it without even realizing. Shortly before publication, the title Saints and Sinners was changed to Higher Authority. Some interesting outtakes from our interview with White:

"Jonathan Kellerman and I were colleagues in the early 1980's before either of us were novelists. At a time when our nascent field was very small, we were both psychologists specializing in the psychological aspects of childhood cancer. Jon was at Los Angeles Childrens Hospital. I was at The Children's Hospital in Denver."

"My brother is a better writer than I am."

"One of my first jobs was as a tour guide at Universal Studios. I lasted five weeks. That's two weeks longer than I lasted as a creative writing major during my freshman year at the University of California."

"I worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley in 1971-72, running the upstairs café, waiting tables, and occasionally doing some cooking. Two of my bosses were Alice Waters and Jeremiah Tower. They both cook better than I write. Jeremiah actually writes better than I cook."

"I learned to fly an airplane before I learned to drive a car".

"I'm a lucky man. I've spent much of my adult life in two terrific, rewarding careers. In the first, as a clinical psychologist, I spent eight to twelve hours a day in a room with one other person. In the second, as a writer, I spend a similar number of hours a day in a room with no other person, though sometimes I'm blessed with the company of a dog or two."

"A primary difference between the two experiences? As a psychotherapist, only one other person -- my patient -- typically observed my work. Virtually no one ever critiqued it. As a novelist, literally millions of people observe my work, and most feel no compunction whatsoever about critiquing it. Being a writer is a lovely thing. But adapting to the reality of being read has been a constant source of wonder for me."

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

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Strange plot

    Took most of the book to understand why one of the main characters refused to talk. The tie in took most of the book to understand the tight relationship she had with one of the other characters. And then the chase at the end through the DIA baggage system, the first and only time we see this given protagonist. All other references were presented as past occurrences, making it hard to believe that this character would do this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2000

    Grabs you by the heart and won't let go!

    I compulsively ready Critical Condition until the last page. As always, Mr. White kept me extremely interested in the story line and the fate of his characters. Mr. White's characters are always believable and I feel like the main characters are friends. His writing is superb and even with all the twists and turns involved, easy to follow. So real! Bravo, Mr. White. You are now my favorite author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2000

    the greatest book

    I think this book is riviting I loved it the caracters are so reall.T his book is the best one I ever read I will recomend it to everybody inthe news paper

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2000

    Excellent book!

    This book was full of mystery and suspense. The characters seemed very real and it was easy to be drawn into their plights.

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