Deadly Care

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Overview

The man without a face. Without fingerprints. Who was he? Who murdered him so viciously, so unspeakably? And why, suddenly, is there a rash of patient deaths at the prestigious Los Angeles hospital - mysterious deaths for which there is no explicable cause? These are questions confounding Dr. Joanna Blalock, a leading forensic pathologist, as she tries to piece together the faceless man's identity through computer technology and her own desperate guesswork. When Joanna finally identifies the man, she is stunned ...
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Overview

The man without a face. Without fingerprints. Who was he? Who murdered him so viciously, so unspeakably? And why, suddenly, is there a rash of patient deaths at the prestigious Los Angeles hospital - mysterious deaths for which there is no explicable cause? These are questions confounding Dr. Joanna Blalock, a leading forensic pathologist, as she tries to piece together the faceless man's identity through computer technology and her own desperate guesswork. When Joanna finally identifies the man, she is stunned to discover a connection between his brutal murder and the other dead patients. Something is wrong. Terribly wrong. And little by little, with the help of her former lover, homicide detective Jake Sinclair, Joanna begins to collect horrifying clues to this nightmare. But as they pile up, each points in a different direction. The great hospital she always respected has been shot through with suspicion and scandal, and everyone seems to have something to hide. But most chilling of all, Joanna is being drawn into a game of deceit and death with an unseen enemy who knows that she has already discovered too much.

When a brilliant forensic pathologist investigates a series of mysterious deaths at Los Angeles Memorial Hospital, she uncovers instead a chilling plot more terrifying and far-reaching than she could possibly imagine!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A plethora of technical forensic detail adds much-needed gloss to a medical thriller involving largely two-dimensional characters. Heroine Joanna Blalock (also seen in Deadly Practice and Deadly Medicine) is head of forensic pathology at an L.A. hospital where her chock-full autopsy schedule has become even busier because of some sudden, in-hospital deaths: a leukemia patient awaiting a bone-marrow transplant suddenly succumbs, as does a woman whose breast cancer had appeared to be in remission. Aided by computer modeling, Julia tries to identify a corpse with missing fingertips and every facial bone broken. Do the deaths have anything to do with the HMO to which the victims belonged? After a vicious killer forces her car off a hilly road, Joanna recovers-but with amnesia. She is saved from another attempt on her life when a homeless woman hides her in a deserted Venice Beach building. Joanna and her on-again, off-again lover, LAPD Lieutenant Jake Sinclair, have a climactic face-off with the killer and the chief villain (whose identity will not be a surprise); and we learn of yet another dastardly plot to kill sick people for profit. The writing is at best serviceable ("They were cornered, imprisoned like in a container"), but Goldberg, a celebrated pathologist and professor at the UCLA Medical Center, engages us with enough convincing and engaging shop talk to keep this thriller off the coroner's table. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Mar.)
William Beatty
When three women--all patients at Memorial Hospital, insured by Health First, and candidates for bone-marrow transplants--die mysteriously, several people set out to find, or cover up, the murdere (s). The setters-out include forensic pathologist Joanna Blalock, detective Jake Sinclair, and Karl Rimer, who, according to official records, died in Vietnam. A faceless, fingertipless man serves as the thread that ties much of this fascinating, fast-moving story together, while artistic blue-and-gold tattoos furnish links for the pursuers. When Joanna's car is pushed over a cliff, breathless but believable chase scenes follow. Homeless Emma saves the day several times but gets her brains blown out. Joanna, Jake, Karl, and two of the Health First higher-ups finally come together in the research tower, and Emma's old Mace can helps to keep the subsequent deaths on the right side. The three woman patients died, it turns out, in the name of cost-containment, which makes this thriller a thought-provoking glimpse into what controlled, if not managed, care may soon offer us all.
Kirkus Reviews
In a first hardcover medical-thriller, Goldberg (a clinical professor at UCLA Medical Center) gives HMOs rough treatment while concocting a scalpel-edged page-turner.

Heroine Dr. Joanna Blalock, a Los Angeles pathologist (also featured in the earlier paperbacks Deadly Medicine and A Deadly Practice), is back at Memorial Hospital, where a recent outcropping of Legionnaires' disease had flooded her dissecting rooms with an overflow of coroner's cases. Suddenly three more appear: two bone- marrow transplants and one breast cancer—the bodies of patients who died unexpectedly of unknown causes just as they entered Memorial for treatment. Even though her dissections, resections, and cell and blood analyses draw blanks, Joanna smells murder. Meanwhile, readers will find E.R.'s visuals light stuff beside Goldberg's knowing corpse-cutting, popping out of inner organs, and poison-seeking. We are also well aware that a monster is loose in the form of Karl Rimer, a Vietnam-trained assassin who now works for the Agency—and does outside jobs as well, as he is doing in L.A. Joanna's affair with homicide detective Jake Sinclair is fading badly, even though their paths cross often in the investigation. Slowly, the reader, if not the two leads, comes to suspect that Health First, an HMO that sent these three failing patients to Memorial, is somehow behind the murders. The burgeoning Health First is masterminded by Dr. Robert Mariner, a now middle- aged boy genius reminiscent of Jonathan Winters's cemetery owner in The Loved One, who complains, "What are all these stiffs doing on my property?" When Joanna gets too close to the truth, Rimer sets out to remove her, forcing her car over a cliff. Joanna survives, though, an amnesiac pursued by a murderer when she doesn't even know who she is. . . .

Cool cuttings by a sure hand.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451187420
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/1997
  • Series: Joanne Blalock Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 1999

    Goldberg's Goldmine

    This book is nothing less than a masterpiece. You get caught up in it from the very first page. Goldberg's characters seem so life-like. This medical thriller is a mixture of suspense and drama. Read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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