The Last Surgeon

( 124 )

Overview

Surgeon Nick Garrity, a vet suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, spends his days and nights dispensing medical treatment from a mobile clinic to the homeless in D.C. and Baltimore. In addition, he is constantly on the lookout for his best friend who was recruited for a secret military mission four years ago, never to be seen again. Then there’s the case of Belle Coates, an ICU nurse who appears to have killed herself…but left a subtle clue for her sister, Jillian, that...

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Overview

Surgeon Nick Garrity, a vet suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, spends his days and nights dispensing medical treatment from a mobile clinic to the homeless in D.C. and Baltimore. In addition, he is constantly on the lookout for his best friend who was recruited for a secret military mission four years ago, never to be seen again. Then there’s the case of Belle Coates, an ICU nurse who appears to have killed herself…but left a subtle clue for her sister, Jillian, that connects her with Nick.

 Now it’s up to Nick and Jillian, a psychiatric nurse, to find out what really happened. Together, they determine that everyone involved in one specific surgical case is mysteriously dying, one by one... Soon their discoveries will pit them against Franz Koller, the highly paid assassin who specializes in the art of the “non-kill”—murder that does not look like murder. And Nick and Jillian are slated to be the next victims…

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  • The Last Surgeon
    The Last Surgeon  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for

THE LAST SURGEON

“Prepare to burn some serious midnight oil.”—Boston Herald

“Highly suspenseful and compelling.”—Booklist

“Palmer has always been a good writer but he has never crafted a story as suspenseful as this one…This is the kind of book you read with a bright light on and all the doors locked…Franz Koller is one of the most deadly villains to grace the pages of a novel since the introduction of Hannibal Lecter.”—Huffington Post

“Should please…all those who enjoy their suspense mixed with medical characters and settings.”—Library Journal 

“The thrill of the non-kill…[is] chilling.”—North Shore Sunday

“More twists and turns than a sociopath’s psyche…inventive and effective, an entertaining and engaging read.”—California Literary Review

THE SECOND OPINION

“A heart-pounding medical thriller…satisfying, expertly paced [with] enough suspense to keep readers happily turning the pages.”—Boston Globe

“The novel is not merely a thriller but also an exploration of its central character’s unique gifts and her determination to communicate with her comatose father despite overwhelming odds. Another winner from a consistently fine writer.”—Booklist

“A splendid novel.”—Globe and Mail (Canada)

THE FIRST PATIENT

“An exciting thriller that is full of surprises and captures the intense atmosphere of the White House, how the medical system works, and how the 25th Amendment could be brought into play. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” —President Bill Clinton

“An incredibly realistic, frightening thriller that is every White House doctor’s nightmare. “ —Dr. E. Connie Mariano, White House Physician 1992 - 2001

“Endlessly entertaining…the roller-coaster ride of a plot builds to an undeniably shocking conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
In this anemic medical thriller from bestseller Palmer (The Second Opinion), former trauma surgeon Dr. Nick Garrity, who suffers from PTSD as the result of a suicide attack on his field hospital in Afghanistan, is now in charge of the Helping Hands RV, a mobile clinic that plies the streets of Baltimore offering medical aid to the homeless. Meanwhile, a high-priced hit man starts to commit a series of murders, his first victim being Belle Coates, a nurse in Charlotte, N.C. When Belle's sister, Jillian, who lives in Virginia, searches for her sister's killer, she finds a connection to Nick. Several missing homeless men lead everyone to a massive plot involving high-level politicians and a secret CIA program. The action is all fairly predictable, the characters off-the-shelf, and the writing, if not exactly purple, at least mauve: “A guttural, primal scream exploded from Nick's throat as he crouched by the body.” 250,000 first printing. (Feb.)
Library Journal
The death of nurse Jillian Coates's sister and the disappearance of a fellow soldier from the Gulf War front drive Palmer's latest medical-themed novel. Jillian doesn't accept the police's conclusion that her sister was a suicide and quickly becomes obsessed with proving otherwise. Her efforts bring her in contact with Dr. Nick Garrity, a veteran and former surgeon now helping the homeless from a mobile health van. Nick is dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder and his guilt over Umberto Vasquez, who saved his life in Iraq and then disappeared into a civilian life of alcoholism and homelessness. As their investigations converge, Jillian and Nick are led to the Singh Center, a mysterious and very profitable plastic surgery facility. To solve what becomes a series of murders, Nick and Jillian must deal with ruthless government officials and a very talented paid assassin. VERDICT Palmer's latest has an appealing couple at its center, plus good pacing and gritty action to keep the pages turning. Some scenes include descriptions of graphic violence but are appropriate for the story. This latest should please Palmer's fans and all those who enjoy their suspense mixed with medical characters and settings. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/09.]—A.J. Wright, Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham
Kirkus Reviews
Another medical thriller from prolific Palmer (The First Patient, 2008, etc.). In this author's world, heroes and villains are easy to tell apart. Dr. Nick Garrity, whom his many admirers call "Dr. Nick Fury" after a dauntless cartoon character, is our good guy. He suffers from PTSD as a result of injuries sustained in Afghanistan during a suicide bombing that killed his fiancee. Along with wisecracking nurse Junie, Nick now dishes out care on the streets of Baltimore and D.C., making rounds in a medically renovated RV. His nemesis, though he doesn't know it yet, is psychopath Franz Koller, who murders for both money and pleasure, disguising the seemingly unrelated deaths paid for by a mysterious organization called Jericho as "non-kills" (i.e., suicides or accidents). Creepily, Koller is quite popular with students at the local high school where he substitute-teaches as a cover. He makes winsome Belle Coates' death look like a suicide, but her sister Jillian, a psychiatric nurse, suspects murder. Looking through Belle's condo, Jillian finds a collection of Nick Fury comics with "Dr." written into the title; they put her on the trail of Dr. Nick Garrity. He's been trying to track down a couple of war buddies who mysteriously disappeared four years before, but he finds only one, hideously disfigured and working in the washroom of a "gentleman's club" in D.C.'s Chinatown. Nick and Jillian join forces to uncover the nefarious secrets of a snazzy plastic-surgery clinic in suburban Virginia. Four years earlier, a terrorist supposedly died before he could be operated on for a heart condition, but the plastic surgeon colluded with the CIA to pull a bait-and-switch. Will ultra-professionalassassin Koller survive? Will Nick and Jillian get together? Let's just say that Palmer knows which side his bread is buttered on. As predictable as an IV drip. First printing of 250,000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312587505
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2010
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 544,262
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer (1942-2013) wrote internationally bestselling novels of medical suspense, including The First Patient, The Second Opinion, The Last Surgeon, A Heartbeat Away, Oath of Office and Political Suicide. His book Extreme Measures was adapted into a movie starring Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. Palmer earned his bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan University, and he attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University. He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals. He spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine. In addition to his writing, Palmer was an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, devoted to helping physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues, and chemical dependency.  He lived in eastern Massachusetts. 

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Read an Excerpt

THE LAST SURGEON (Chapter One)

"Nick, Nick, throw it here! Come on, let it go!"

Nick Garrity cocked his right arm and lofted a perfect spiral to the gangly youth waiting across the yard. The boy, who would have been happy to keep playing until midnight, gathered in the pass effortlessly and immediately threw it back.

"Okay, that's it, Reggie. I gotta take Chance for a run and then get ready for work."

"One more pass. Just one more. After dinner I'll go over to your place and take Chance out. Promise."

Through the gloom of what was going to be a stormy evening, Nick could feel the boy's energy and see his enthusiasm. A drug-addicted mother, a long-gone father, time in juvenile detention for a crime no one seemed willing to talk about, seven years in a sequence of foster homes, and the kid was still upbeat and great to be around.

How in the hell do you do it? Nick wondered.

For most of the week, Nick's mood had been as somber as the prestorm sky. And as usual, there was no reason—at least not on the surface—to explain it. A night in the Helping Hands RV would improve his flagging morale. It usually did.

He made a final throw, handled as easily as most of the others, and then motioned for Reggie to come in.

"Come on, big guy. I've got to leave soon."

"So, where're you goin' tonight, Nick? D.C.?"

"I think so. Junie keeps track of that."

"Can I come?"

"It's a school night, and you promised to deal with Second Chance. Remember, don't let him off the leash or he'll see a squirrel and chase it to the moon. Greyhounds are bred to chase little furry animals. Use the long leash if you're going to throw him his Frisbee."

"How about I go with you tomorrow?"

"We'll see."

"I never get to do anything exciting."

"Yes, you do. Staying out of trouble is exciting."

Reggie punched Nick playfully in the side.

Nick put his arm around the youth's shoulders and walked with him to the back door. The modest one-family, with three bedrooms and a finished basement, was located in the Carroll Park section of Baltimore. Nick had lived there with June Wright and her husband, Sam, for a few months before renting the first floor of a refurbished two-family down the street, close to the park. Not long after the move, Reggie Smith, now fourteen, had taken over the basement bedroom.

A sequence of kids were constantly coming and going through the Wright household, including the six-year-old Levishefsky twins, Celeste and Bethany, who had been there for almost a year now. If one looked up "saint" in any encyclopedia, pictures of Junie, a sixty-year-old nurse, and Sam, a DPW worker, might well be there.

Since Junie would be working the RV tonight with Nick, her husband would be doing the cooking. The couple had children of their own, and grandchildren as well, but at every stage of their lives together, they had added foster children to the mix.

The Helping Hands RV was parked on the street by the Wrights' house. It was an aging thirty-four-foot mobile home converted into a general medical clinic. Nick loped past it on the way to his apartment. At six-foot-one, with broad shoulders and a solid chest, he still moved like the running back he had been in college before an illegal block had taken out most of his anterior cruciate ligament. Now the repaired knee was serviceable, but hardly ready to absorb a major hit.

Nick's father, once a football player himself, was a retired GP. The option of moving to the family home in Oregon was always available to Nick, but had never been one he had considered seriously. In general, his parents were decent, understanding people, though not about their only son. There was no reason to expect they would be. In that same encyclopedia, at least in their library, his picture might have been inserted next to the word "disappointment."

"This is our son, trauma surgeon Dr. Nick Garrity," they had introduced him on more than one occasion during the years when he was their golden child, "and this is his sister."

Nearing his apartment, Nick heard the low rumble of thunder in the distance, sounding like a truck engine slowly coming to life.

He tensed at the sound.

He always would.

Nick's duplex would never be featured in Architectural Digest, but that was fine by him. Oak floors, a variety of posters from the local art store, plus curtains and a few plants gave the place an airy, comfortable feel. He was bent over beside the mail slot, scooping up circulars and bills from the floor, when he was hit from behind hard enough to drive his forehead into the door. He turned, knowing what to expect. Second Chance sat, head cocked, panting around the red Frisbee in his mouth.

"I'm running behind," Nick said, rubbing at his forehead, half expecting blood. "Reggie's going to take you out."

The dog pointed his snout toward the door and shifted his behind.

"No go, pal. Gotta shower."

They had been a team for almost two years, dating back to the first and only time Nick had ever been to a dog track. Lost in thoughts about Sarah, he had been on an aimless drive that ended at a casino in West Virginia. After an hour losing at the slots, he wandered over to the adjacent Tri-State track. He was in the midst of a particularly difficult time, when self-destructive thoughts had once again been seeping into his mind.

Damn PTSD.

Second Chance, a long shot in the fifth race and a natural bet for Nick, had been well in the lead when he suddenly slowed dramatically. Twenty yards from the finish, he was trampled by seven dogs as they passed over and around him, and was left nearly motionless in the dust.

An hour later, Nick and the greyhound had claimed one another at the adoption tent, where the dog's sleazy trainer tried to convince the Army trauma surgeon that Chance's uneven, lurching gait was due to nothing more than a minor concussion. Back home, the "concussion" responded dramatically when Nick, assisted by Reggie, Sam, and two Army buddies, cleaned densely packed dirt from each of the greyhound's ear canals.

Of all the therapies Nick had tried in his battle against post-traumatic stress disorder, Second Chance's presence in his life was the most consistently effective.

There were days when Nick was able to fit in some calisthenics and weights before going out on the road, but tonight, after playing catch with Reggie, there was just no time. He showered and was dressing in his usual work uniform, jeans and a faded work shirt, when he glanced over at a printout he had taped to the wall beside his bed listing the ten levels of SUDS—the Subjective Units of Disturbance Scale he used to estimate his mood at any given time. This evening seemed like a five: Moderately upset, uncomfortable. Unpleasant feelings are still manageable with some effort.

Progress, that's all he and Dr. Deems had decreed he should shoot for—just a little progress each day. Days like today, even after all these years, it was difficult to tell whether or not he was succeeding. He spent a minute patting and scratching Chance, and then pulled on a Windbreaker and headed out the door.

The thunder was louder now.

THE LAST SURGEON. Copyright 2010 by Michael Palmer.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 124 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(46)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(26)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 124 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A timely book, destined to be embraced by book clubs...

    "I know you can't believe this is happening, Ms. Coates, but I assure you it is. I have been paid, and paid very well, to kill you." - The Last Surgeon, Prologue, Page 1.

    From the very first sentence, New York Times Bestselling Author Michael Palmer captures the reader's attention with no intention of release. In fact, it is advisable to keep water and food nearby as it is tempting to read "one more chapter" rather than to prepare dinner.

    Palmer's latest medical thriller involves Dr. Nick Garrity, former trauma surgeon and victim of PTSD, searching for his missing friend, Lieutenant Umberto Vasquez, with whom he served in Afghanistan. Fate introduces him to psych nurse Jillian Coates, searching for the killer of her sister, Belle Coates, refusing to believe that Belle's death was a suicide. The combination of the two forces results in a story that stimulates the mind, challenges the emotions and satiates the imagination.

    Among other factors, Palmer makes us realize that it is not the government we should be concerned with - it is the people within. The reader also questions the value of human life - more importantly, who has the right to decide.

    A timely book destined to be embraced by book clubs, The Last Surgeon makes us question our loyalty - whether it be to our friends, to our patients or to our country.

    The ending is nothing less than explosive - an ending, that is, to a masterful performance.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Medical mystery mixed with lots of thrilling plots

    A killer that is contracted for non-kill killing? Sounds strange, but that is what someone is doing to seemingly unrelated people in different locations. Belle Coates is a beautiful top nurse and can't believe or realize that someone that has kept her mind working but refusing to allow her body to react has placed her in a dazed condition. "This can't be happening to me" goes through Belle's mind. The story is recreated in several more that also thought it couldn't be occurring to them; but it was. On the surface there seemed to be no connection to any of these deaths. The authorities didn't even connect any of them and the cause of death generally was termed to be suicide.

    Nick Gerrity is one of many veterans that came home with P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome) from war and was battling the bodily and mental disturbances it caused, usually when stress is involved but sometimes just on its own. Nick was an excellent surgeon but his life was not fulfilled just working in a hospital and, besides, his P.T.S.D. was telling him he needed to find a way to help others medically and other veterans attempt to regain a near normal life. Nick joined with a top nurse, Junie, who had been raised in the projects of Baltimore and wished to also help those less fortunate than she had been. They started a traveling RV when the foundation that Junie had worked for went under. She formed a corporation with Nick as CEO and Junie as Chair of the Board. She also arranged to purchase the RV for $1.00 so they could help unfortunates that needed medical attention. When Nick's best friend disappeared, his mind wondered and Junie did all she could to help Nick search for Umberto and still keep his mind on the traveling hospital.

    The first person that we know of that was killed, Belle Coates, had an older sister, Jillian, who was devastated by the death of her sister and questioned how Belle could ever commit suicide. Nick and Jillian eventually get together and fell for each other. They also work together trying to solve the increasing murders that now seem to be connected by a few threads. Thus lays the groundwork for Michael Palmer's "The Last Surgeon" that is a very riveting suspense story containing many facets of medical conditions, care, research, and all working on finding those affected with P.T.S. D. and helping them, along with the poor and still keep the traveling hospital above ground financially.

    If the minute description of this book above doesn't make you want to read this excellent story, nothing will move you to do much of anything! I have read several of Michael Palmer's books and enjoyed them very much but this one tops them all. He has put together so many subjects while keeping the reader informed so they do not get lost. Thank you Michael Palmer.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2010

    Deja PU

    Nothing original, borrowed worn out story-line. Fast-paced, yeah, but so rehashed, literary cud. Save your money for a thriller with some intellectual appeal.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Last Surgeon

    "The Last Surgeon" by Michael Palmer is one fast-paced, action-packed thriller that had me not wanting to put the book down. Dr. Nick Garrity has been searching for a long lost war buddy when he meets Gillian Coates, whose sister Belle seemingly committed suicide, but Gillian thinks otherwise. A comic book clue "Nick Fury", led Gillian to Nick and together they find clues of a much bigger conspiracy. Soon they are on the hit-list and must not only find out who is behind it all, but keep themselves and others around them alive. Mr. Palmer has written a novel that kept me up into the middle of the night because it was that entertaining.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    enthralling conspiracy medical thriller

    Former battlefield trauma surgeon Dr. Nick Garrity suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following a suicide attack on his field hospital in Afghanistan. Back home in Baltimore, Nick runs the Helping Hands RV mobile clinic that provides medical care to the homeless while struggling to contain his PTSD symptoms.

    At the same time Nick drives the streets of the city, someone kills Central Charlotte Medical Center Cardiac Surgery ICU nurse Belle Coates in Charlotte, North Carolina. Belle's sister Jillian leaves her home in Virginia to uncover the identity of the person who killed her sibling. She soon finds a tie to Nick and his homeless clients; several of whom have abruptly vanished from the streets as if swept away; neither realizes who is spying on them.

    The Last Surgeon is a fast-paced enthralling conspiracy medical thriller that grips the audience with a need to know why the homeless are vanishing and the professional hit man killed Belle. Nick is a fascinating protagonist who suffers from PTSD while Jill is a kick butt heroine. Fans will enjoy Michael Palmer's latest action-packed tale as the CIA secretly operates.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    Gret Read!

    Micheal Palmer has always been one of my favorite authors! This book captures your attention through the whole story and keeps you wanting to know more. While some of the plot was unrealistic it was still a great read! I could not put this book down and I think that anyone else that likes this kind of story will LOVE it because I know I did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2010

    Reasonably good read. Probably lmited interest to anyone outside of fans of medical-related fiction.

    A skilled surgeon experiences a traumatic experience while serving as a combat surgeon when his fiance is killed by a suicide bomber attack on their medical facility. The surgeon is left with PTSD and decides to use his medical skills to treat the downtroden in the Nation's capitol, while battling his own PTSD, rather than enter a lucritive practice in surgery. As he pursues his practice from a mobile home-type vehicle with is creative and supportive nurse, he also devotes consideable effort to assisting military veterans suffering from PTSD in obtaining medical benefits. Meanwhile, the fellow soldier (who also suffered from PTSD, who saved the surgeon's life during the suicide bombing attack, disappears. The surgeon, along with a couple of nurses, uncover a sinister plot while trying to determine what happened to the fellow soldier. The search endangers the key players while holding readers' interest in a series of sub-plots throughout the book. Readers who enjoy a mixture of drama and quick-paced action, will find this book an enjoyable diversion.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    Good

    Enjoyable to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Anyone from 2013?

    Hello? Alone forever :()

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not one of Michael's best

    I was excited when I saw that Michael had come out with a new book. I always enjoy the topic of medical science combined with suspsense and intrique. But this one just did not cut the mustard. Weak plot, unrealistic characters and just too long to get to the end of the book. I would strongly suggest some of Palmer's earlier novels where he is able to combine strong storylines with characters that you care about. Take a pass on this one.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Awesome!

    This book kept me guessing until the end. It was current and relevant. I will read more by this author.

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  • Posted March 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Last Surgeon

    The Last Surgeon is Michael Palmer's best book to date. I have followed his books from the beginning; they have all been very good. This book is exceptional; it is a real page turner. I was sorry to see it end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    Another Great Read From Michael Palmer

    I have read all of Michael Palmer's books and must say that each one brings another medical mystery twist. When you read the title, "The Last Surgeon", it leaves little or no clues as to what the book is about. That is until you start reading it. Palmer is a master at telling medical mysteries and involving the reader in the actual solving of the mystery. I was completely absorbed and found it difficult to put this book down. My compliments to Michael Palmer, he has done another fine job and I look forward to his next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    The Last Surgeon

    My husband and I love Michael Palmer. this book was somewhat disappointing and didn't hold oour interest like his other books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    Medical cloak and dagger

    Not one of his best books but still worth reading.

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  • Posted March 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Please, A Doctor Is Needed

    A re-write book doctor, I mean. Palmer has written several novels now, and he has not improved with each of them. I know, as I have read them all. But here I find myself agreeing, in part, with the first reviewer:

    "This is a great read by an excellent writer. It deserves five stars. (And for those who might look askance at my consistently high ratings, I'll confess--I just don't review books that deserve less. Matter of fact, I rarely even finish reading them. Life's too short.)"

    Yes, life is too short to stick with a book that is not good, but why he thinks this book deserves five stars escapes me. The characters are not appealing to me, and I cringed when the substitute teacher fantasized about his students all falling dead. Yes, I know he is a bad guy in the book, but then he lusts for a young teen girl, and well, that kind of stuff isn't what I want to read.

    Five stars should be reserved for the best books. There are so many good writers out there producing top notch reading, that to give a second-rate novel like this a five star award leaves you nowhere do go when you actually come across one. And I hope that you do...

    So, I can see where one might have been entertained by this novel, but please do not confuse it with the best writing out there. Even measured against Palmer's earlier works, this is just not a very good book.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    What a ride

    What a great read. I sat down to read it in the afternoon when I had a few hours to spare, and THE LAST SURGEON ended up keeping me up well past my bedtime that same night. A terrifyingly plausible plot, compelling storyline, well-drawn characters...Palmer is the master of the thriller.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2010

    needed in ebook for the Nook.

    The best new releases such as this should be available to the NOOK.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Stellar Edge of Your Seat Thriller

    I have not read many medical thrillers. As much as I enjoy a good thriller or suspense book, I discovered that some medically themed books become tedious with so many medical terms and jargon, turning a relaxing pastime into a chore.

    Not so with Michael Palmer's The Last Surgeon. I found Mr. Palmer's tale of a surgeon suffering from PTSD, intertwined with missing men, accidental deaths that may be murders and a character that has rightfully been compared with the ultimate literary sociopath, Hannibal Lecter, to be utterly engrossing and suspenseful.

    Nick Garrity was a wonderful central character - - traumatized, yes, but strong, determined and most definitely worth rooting for. So well written and rounded was the character of Nick that I could easily visualize him in my mind and hear his voice throughout the story. (In fact, I continued reflecting throughout the story what a fantastic movie The Last Surgeon would make.)

    Jillian Coates was a very good match for Nick, both in spirit and intelligence. In my reading experience I have found that some books that are primarily thrillers force feed the romance, causing it to feel overly scripted rather than a natural progression. Nick and Jillian, however, feel like a natural match and their relationship doesn't detract from the main story.

    I also loved the character of Junie and found her to be a wonderful compliment to Nick. She was descriptive and fleshed out and other than the character of Franz Koller, possibly my favorite supporting character.

    It may seem strange to feel that someone like Franz Koller would be a favorite character but Mr. Palmer has made such a vivid, frightening , fearful and fearless individual that surely deserves a place in literary infamy along with the aforementioned Hannibal Lector, Dracula and even Harry Potter's Voldemort, to name but a few. Franz is evil and he is completely free of conscious and yet he's a fascinating and complex character that steals the show from anyone else on the page. He brings to light our worst fears - - another human walking among us that is completely devoid of normal, human behaviors and makes certain scenes of The Last Surgeon a scary read.

    This was my first book by Mr. Palmer and my first exposure to his writing. Despite the medical aspects of the writing and the intense scenes of war and violence, the writing flowed as easily as good wine. And like good wine, I thought The Last Surgeon was worth savoring.

    I would highly recommend The Last Surgeon to anyone who enjoys a thriller or suspense novel and, most especially, an excellent read.

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  • Posted February 19, 2010

    Suspenseful Psychological Thriller

    A good plot, fast paced action through quick dialogue, and an entertaining and suspenseful read throughout.

    A doctor with a heart of gold is pitted against a ruthless psychopath who has been hired as a contract killer by an unknown group. The killer thinks he is being humane by using bloodless and painless methods of dispatching his victims, but uses psychological terror nonetheless. Dr. Nick Garrity, in contrast, uses his talents to give medical care to the homeless and to war veterans. How their paths will cross, what far-reaching plot is behind the contract killings, and who will come out the winner are questions that kept me reading. Definitely an adults-only thriller, which builds suspense through psychological threats. Certainly not for the squeamish.

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