Miracle Cure

( 17 )

Overview

The master of medical suspense takes you to prestigious Boston Heart Institute, where some patients are dying to get well....

After a troubled past, Dr.  Brian Holbrook has been given a second chance to prove himself.  At state-of-the-art Boston Heart Institute, he's been chosen to join the medical team testing a new miracle drug.  The initial results are so promising that Brian pushes to get his father--who ...

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Overview

The master of medical suspense takes you to prestigious Boston Heart Institute, where some patients are dying to get well....

After a troubled past, Dr.  Brian Holbrook has been given a second chance to prove himself.  At state-of-the-art Boston Heart Institute, he's been chosen to join the medical team testing a new miracle drug.  The initial results are so promising that Brian pushes to get his father--who suffers from a dangerous heart condition--accepted into the study.

But Brian is beginning to suspect his superiors are hiding something.  Why are crucial records disappearing? Why did a patient making startling progress suddenly die? Is the miracle drug a prescription for death? The answers could cost Brian more than his career.  For at Boston Heart Institute, knowing too much is the quickest way to the morgue.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A highly entertaining tale of greed and medicine run amok."
--Chicago Tribune

"Packs plenty of heart-stopping action."
--Associated Press

"A fast-paced lively thriller."
--Boston Sunday Herald

Journal of the American Medical Association
Doctors as authors are able to achieve medical plausibility and avoid errors that many readers, especially the medically oriented, will spot. In Palmer's Miracle Cure, the Boston hospital complexes, down to their staff politics, finances, and architecture, have an authentic ring, which makes the thriller believable and all the more frightening.
Chicago Tribune
A highly entertaining tale of greed and medicine run amok.
Associated Press
Packs plenty of heart-stopping action.
Boston Sunday Herald
A fast-paced lively thriller.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this flawed medical thriller about the marketing of a new drug by veteran writer Palmer (The Sisterhood), one plot twist too many turns a frightening vision of corporate greed into an excuse for prefab heroics. The drug is called Vasclear, a heart medication being developed at the Boston Heart Institute by Newbury Pharmaceuticals. The FDA is being pressured by a Massachusetts senator (who, it turns out, is secretly taking Vasclear himself) to approve the release of the drug. And Vasclear may be the magic wand that can save the life of Jack "Coach" Holbrook, whose health is declining after a quintuple bypass. Coach's son, Brian (an M.D. living at home and working as a rental-car gofer while he recovers from an addiction to painkillers), not only faces the ethical dilemma of stealing the drug if he can't place his father as a test patient but also finds evidence of potentially dangerous side effectsevidence that could derail the drug's release to the public. The characters are sitcom thin, the moral dilemma is barely raised before it's resolved and the inclusion of a Chechen Mafia subplot only serves to transport the story further into an unlikely realm, where otherwise efficient killers do nothing more dangerous than send the hero a threat in the mail and members of drug and alcohol recovery groups know more about pharmaceutical companies than the FDA. Palmer's thriller-friendly prose, pacing and plotting draw readers on here, but, like Vasclear, his novel should have spent more time in development before it hit the shelves.
Library Journal
A disgraced doctor finds himself working in an experimental program where patients are dying mysteriously.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553576627
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/5/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 299,015
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Palmer
Michael Palmer, M.D., is the author of Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood.  His books have been translated into thirty languages.  He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals, spent twenty years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine, and is now an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society's physician health program
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Read an Excerpt

"Nellie's treadmill stress test was positive," Dr. Carolyn Jessup explained, "and a subsequent cath showed fairly severe coronary artery disease.  She was a perfect candidate for randomization into the Vasclear study.  Right, Nellie?"

Nellie Hennessey, eyes closed, was breathing deeply and regularly.

"Jennifer," Jessup went on, "maybe we should be giving her a tad less pre-op medication.  If I have to stay awake for this, everyone does."  She glanced over at the nurse, her eyes smiling.  "Seriously, nice job.  She's perfect....  Anyhow, Brian, Nellie's symptoms disappeared almost immediately and haven't returned.  This is her third and last follow-up cath.  Then she becomes an alumna."

"What Vasclear group is she in?" Brian Holbrook asked, already knowing the answer.

"Beta.  Okay, Doc, you're on.  Let's switch sides.  You do the right heart and afterward I'll switch back and do the coronary-artery shots.  Nellie's asleep so you're not being graded on this.  Just relax and have fun."

"Thank you."

Surprised and pleased at being asked to do anything other than observe, Brian moved behind Carolyn to take her place at the table.

"Everything on the Ward-Dunlop works pretty much like the one you're used to," she said, "except the controls are much more responsive, and the connections on the ports just click and lock."

"Impressive," Brian said, proceeding with the pressure studies and dye injections.

The nurse, Jennifer, was working beside him now, keeping a careful watch on Nellie, checking her blood pressure and IV.

"Everything okay?" Brian asked her.

"All systems are go," she replied.

Brian took some pressure measurements through the catheter, then injected some dye to check the tricuspid and pulmonic valves.  The moment he had thought might never come was here.  He was back in the cath lab, regaining control, piece by piece, of his own destiny.

"You seem pretty comfortable there, pardner," Jessup said, returning to her position to do the left heart and coronary-artery exam.

"Just like riding a bike.  She's got a pretty healthy-looking heart."

"Wait till you see her coronary arteries.  These pictures we're about to shoot are going to be the eighteen-month-afters.  The befores are in the cine-library through the door just past the women's changing room.  Did security give you a code for the keypad?"

"They did."

"Great.  Sometime soon, go and take a look at Nellie's pre-Vasclear films.  We've got two Vangard viewers in there.  One for backup."

"I'm impressed," Brian said.  The viewers, from what he remembered, cost around twenty thousand dollars apiece.

"You'll be even more impressed when you review her films," Carolyn said.  "Now, let's take a look at her left heart and coronaries."

The experimental Ward-Dunlop catheter was exceptionally easy to manipulate, and certainly showed up well on X ray.

"Left anterior oblique cranial...right anterior oblique caudal..."

Jessup called out each angle, waited for Andrew to position the X-ray camera, then injected some dye and activated the camera with her foot pedal.  Overhead, one screen showed the bright white of the X-ray-opaque dye as it briefly filled Nellie's coronary arteries before being washed away, and another traced her heartbeat, oxygenation, and other vital signs.  In the glassed-in control room to their right, the other nurse, Lauren, monitored duplicate screens, and kept watch over the machine that was recording the injections on videotape.  Later, the tape would be reviewed by Jessup, and a report dictated.  The width of every significant artery and every blockage would be carefully measured by computer and recorded.

"...Right anterior oblique cranial," Carolyn said, completing the last of the five left coronary-artery views.  "Okay, everyone, if there is anyone with reasons why this woman and this catheter should remain in holy matrimony, let him speak now or forever hold his peace....  There being no objections to removal of this line, I hereby do so."

Carolyn withdrew the catheter with the same smoothness, the same confidence, as she had displayed throughout the procedure.  But quite suddenly, a brief flurry of extra heartbeats appeared on the screen.  Then another burst.

A few moments later, Nellie Hennessey moaned.

Then she opened her eyes.

Then she began screaming.

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First Chapter

CHAPTER ONE

THE BOSTON GLOBE

Jungle Drug Holds Promise for Heart Disease

Researchers at Boston-based Newbury Pharmaceuticals are heralding what they say may be a major breakthrough in the treatment of heart disease, now America's number one killer. . . .

"YOU CAN'T THROW THE SEVEN OF HEARTS, BRIAN. I just picked up the eight of hearts three cards ago."

"I'm betting you've got eights."

"Okay. . . . Bad bet. . . . Gin."

Brian Holbrook watched his father score up gin plus nineteen and sweep the cards together with practiced ease. The hands that had once been thick and strong enough to crush walnuts were spotted from sixty-three years in the sun and bony from almost a decade of infirmity. But they could still handle cards.

Jack Holbrook--Black Jack Holbrook to many for as long as Brian could remember--wasn't a professional gambler. But he dearly loved to bet. He called it wagering, and he would do it on anything from the Super Bowl to whether the next car coming around the corner would be foreign-made or domestic. Two bucks, ten, a hundred--it really didn't matter to Jack. The game was the thing. He was, and always had been, the most fiercely competitive man Brian had ever known.

Careful not to let his father see, Brian glanced at his watch. Three o'clock. They had been playing gin for almost two hours. At a penny a point, they kept a running score until one of them, invariably Jack, reached ten thousand. Brian was currently down over seventy dollars.

"How about we quit and watch the ball game?" he suggested.

"How about we ride into Boston, have an early dinner, and see that new Van Damme movie?"

"I've got to be at the club at nine."

"There's plenty of time. I don't remember the last time we spent a whole day together like this."

Jack was right about that. With two jobs and his weekly supervised visitations with the girls, Brian was usually either on the move or dead asleep, facedown on the bedspread. The club was Aphrodite, one of the Day-Glo rock spots on Lansdowne Street, across from Fenway Park. Brian was a bouncer. At six three, 215, he fit the part well, though at thirty-eight he was a bit long in the tooth for the work. Then, of course, there was the matter of his education. An M.D. degree with board certification in internal medicine and cardiology made him an oddity among the bouncers. But without a license from the Board of Registration and Discipline in Medicine, those certifications were useful only for the bottom of a birdcage.

It was a rare totally free Sunday afternoon for him. Becky and Caitlin were away for the weekend at Phoebe's parents' place, so his weekly visitation was postponed until Tuesday. And for some reason, his boss at Speedy Rent-A-Car hadn't noticed that he failed to slot Brian for yet another Sunday in the office. A career man at Speedy, Darryl loved exercising power over people--particularly the new college grads who used the agency as their entry into the job market. He hadn't found out until well after Brian started work at the place that he was an M.D., but since then, Darryl had done his best to make up for the lost time.

Bouncer . . . car-rental gofer . . . supervised visitations with his daughters . . . living with Dad . . . Brian knew that after eighteen months of hard work--counseling, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and endless hours with his NA sponsor, Freeman Sharpe, a building maintenance man with twenty years of recovery from heroin addiction--his internal demons were pretty much under control. But his external life still left a lot to be desired.

Brian's Saturday-night stint at Aphrodite had ended after three, so it wasn't until ten that he had gotten up. He had planned to go for a run, and then maybe hook up with some of the kids playing touch football in the park. They loved having him in their game, especially when he sent one of them deep and threw a fifty- or sixty-yard bullet spiral to him. But one glance at Jack had changed his mind. The man who had been Brian's football coach from Pop Warner to high school and on to college was wrapped in an afghan in his favorite chair, where he had been sitting up for most of the night. On the table next to him were several cardiac medications and others for pain. He looked drawn and in need of a shave.

"Got any plans for the day, Coach?" Brian asked

"Yeah. The sultan of Brunei is supposed to stop by with his harem. I told him just three for me, though."

"How about I make you some breakfast?"

Jack's gray crew cut, chiseled features, and lingering summer tan helped him look younger, and healthier, than he was. But Brian knew that his cardiac condition was worsening. Portions of his six-year-old quintuple bypass were almost certainly closing. Brian picked up the small vial of nitroglycerin tablets and checked inside. More than half were gone.

"How many of these did you take yesterday?" he asked.

Jack snatched the vial away and put it into his shirt pocket.

"To tell you the truth, I don't remember taking any."

"Jack, come on."

"Look, I'm fine. You just tend to your business and let me tend to mine."

"You are my business, Jack. I'm your son and I'm a cardiologist, remember?"

"No. You're a bouncer in a bar. That and a car salesman."

Brian started to react to the barb, then caught himself. Jack was probably operating on even less sleep than he was.

"You're right, Coach," Brian responded, willing his jaw to unclench. "When I'm back to being a cardiologist again, then I can give advice. Not before. Let me toast you a bagel."

The living room of the first-story flat that Jack had owned for the ten years since his heart attack was, like the rest of the place, devoid of a woman's touch. There were sports photos on the walls and trophies on almost every surface that would hold one. Most of the awards had Brian's name on them. They were the trappings of a man who needed gleaming hardware and laminated certificates to pump up his self-esteem. When Brian had first moved in, being surrounded by all those trophies had been something of a problem for him. But Freeman Sharpe had helped him deal with his issues. Remember, your dad loves you and he always wanted more for you than he ever wanted for himself. And if he pushes your buttons, just tell yourself that he's a master at doing that because he's the one who installed them in the first place. And in the end, as with so many other things that had seemed like a big deal, the trophies meant nothing more than Brian chose to make them.

As he headed into the small kitchen, he glanced at one of the photographs on the wall by the doorway. It was the official photo of the UMass team taken just before the start of his fateful junior season. He was in the middle of the next-to-last row. Number 11. Then, for the first time that he could remember, his eyes were drawn to a face at the right-hand end of the very last row. Dr. Linus King, the team orthopedist. Brian had looked at the photo any number of times before--where it hung, he had no real choice. It was curious that he had never noticed the man until now. Over countless therapy sessions and countless recovery meetings, Brian had come to accept responsibility for his addiction to prescription painkillers. But if there was anyone else who bore accountability, it was King.

Brian repressed the sudden urge to slam his fist into the photo. Over the year following his reconstruction of Brian's knee, Linus King, a sports-medicine deity, was always too busy to conduct a thorough reevaluation of his work, to say nothing of sitting down to talk with his patient about persistent discomfort in the joint. Instead, he had preached patience and rehabilitation, and had prescribed hundreds of Percocets and other painkillers. Finally, a repeat MRI had disclosed a previously undiagnosed fracture. A cast and three months of rest took care of the cracked bone, but by then Brian had acquired a string of harried doctors, each willing to dash off a prescription in exchange for not having to listen. His addiction was full-blown and well-fed years before he violated the law and his own principles by writing the first prescription for himself.

"Jack, do you really think you're up for a trip into the city?" Brian asked now.

"I don't know. I think so. I'm going slightly stir-crazy, son. And beating you at gin isn't what I'd call the most challenging activity in the world."

"I'll tell you what. I'll cut cards with you. You win, it's Jean-Claude and the restaurant of your choice."

"And if I lose?"

Brian could tell his father knew what was coming.

"You lose and we still go into Boston. But you've got to promise me you'll go back and see Dr. Clarkin."

"I'm fine."

"You're not fine. It's been six years since your operation. Clarkin can revise those grafts or replace them."

"No more Clarkin, no more surgery. I've told you that a thousand times. I've had my last catheter and my last tube."

As often seemed to be the case with a physician or a physician's kin, everything that could have gone wrong postoperatively for Jack did. Heart failure, infection, graft revision, reinfection. A total of eight miserable weeks in the hospital which, in the era of managed care, spoke volumes as to how spectacularly ill he was. For many of those weeks, he literally begged to die. True, Black Jack was more stubborn than most. But having seen the man every one of those fifty-six days, Brian could hardly blame him for taking such a hard line against any return to the OR.

"All right," Brian said. "But I've never seen you chicken out of a friendly wager before."

"That's because I have a reputation for always paying up on my losses. And I know I'd end up welshing on this one. Tell you what. How about one cut: the seventy-one bucks you owe me versus you treating for dinner and the movies."

"Deal." Brian turned over the queen of clubs. "Hey, maybe my luck is changing."

Jack cut the three of diamonds. He stared at the card for a few protracted seconds.

"Maybe mine is, too," he said.

He pulled on his favorite sweater, a frayed orange cardigan Brian's mother had given him just before her death nearly thirteen years ago.

"You gonna be warm enough if I put the top down?" Brian asked.

"Sure. . . . Um . . . son, there's something I gotta get off my chest before we leave."

"Go ahead."

"I . . . I was out of line saying what I did this morning about you not being a cardiologist."

"Don't worry about it. Besides, I never paid any attention to anything you ever said before. Why should I start now?"

"I'm frustrated, that's all. And I don't understand how you could have let this happen."

"I know, Pop. I know. Sometimes we have to hit bottom before we figure out how to really enjoy life."

"I'm sure something will come along."

Brian looked away.

"I'm sure it will," he said.

Actually, he was reasonably certain it wouldn't. The Board of Registration in Medicine had determined six months ago that he was in good recovery and ready to resume practice, but it was their policy in drug and alcohol cases to insist on a physician having a work situation in place with tight on-the-job monitoring and random urine testing before a license would be issued. No job, no license. It was the board's immutable law. Brian had argued that in Boston, with three medical schools and a plethora of teaching hospitals, cardiologists were more plentiful than cod. Why would anyone take a chance on hiring someone without an active license?

Two children and Jack's shaky medical situation made a move too far away from eastern Massachusetts out of the question. So Brian had done what he could, responding to ads in the cardiology press and the New England Journal of Medicine and sending out at least two dozen resumes. He had networked until he had absorbed more than his quota of rejections, and had seen colleagues he thought were his friends turn away. He had even placed an ad himself.

Former chief of cardiology and cath-lab director at Boston-area hospital seeks group practice in eastern Mass, Rhode Island, southern New Hampshire.

No job, no license. No license, no job. Catch-22.

Now, for the past month, he had simply stopped trying. He had stepped back and begun to mull over other directions in which his life might be ready to go. The process hadn't been easy, but there was one saving grace. Rarely, in all these frustrating months of rejection and disappointment, had he thought about drinking or taking pills.

"You ready, Pop?"

"You go on and get that top down. I'll be right there."

Jack Holbrook headed slowly toward the bathroom. When he heard the front door open and close, he quickly braced himself against the wall, fighting to slow his breathing as a skewer of pain bored up to his jaws from beneath his breastbone. He fumbled the vial of nitroglycerin from his shirt pocket and dissolved one under his tongue. Half a minute later, the pain began to subside. He wiped beaded sweat from his upper lip and took a long, grateful breath.

"Jack, everything okay?" Brian called from the front steps.

"Yeah, fine, Brian. Everything's fine."

The Towne Deli was a trendy little place on Boylston with a fine salad bar and nine-dollar sandwiches. Brian dropped his father off in front and spent ten minutes finding a parking space. Jack's condo was in Reading, a working-class suburb that straddled Route 128 northwest of the city. The ride in, beneath brilliant late-afternoon sun, was as much of a joy on Sunday as it was a nightmare during the typical morning commute. And Brian's three-year-old red LeBaron, by far the best thing he retained after the divorce, was the perfect car for the day.

During the drive, Brian knew that Jack wanted information. Any job prospects? Any new word from the board? Any interesting women? But perhaps in honor of the warmth of the day and the peace between them, his dad kept his thoughts to himself. Brian, too, avoided the inflammatory topic of his father's health. Instead, they alternated between sports and silence.

Brian entered the Towne Deli and spotted his father at a small table in the corner. For a few seconds, he stood by the front door, studying what remained of the man who had so dominated the first two decades of his life. From almost the day Brian took his first step, Coach was there, monitoring his diet, social life, and workouts, creating what he believed would be one of the great quarterbacks. And save for one play, he might have succeeded.

Jack sat motionless, staring down at the menu. Then, almost subconsciously, he began rubbing at his chest and up toward his neck. Brian hurried across to him. Beneath his tan, Jack was ashen. His eyes were glazed.

"Jack, what's going on? Are you having pain?"

Jack Holbrook took a breath through his nose and nodded.

"Some," he managed in a half-grunt.

Brian checked the carotid pulses on either side of Jack's neck. They were regular, but thready. A sheen of sweat had formed across his forehead.

"Jesus," Brian whispered. "Jack, do you have your nitro?"

Jack produced the bottle from his shirt pocket.

"Shouldn't have come into Boston," he said hoarsely.

"Nonsense," Brian said, sensing the strange, paradoxical calmness that for many years now had been his response to a medical crisis. "It wouldn't have made any difference. Come on, Pop. I'm going to sit you over here on the floor and give you one of your nitros. Do you still have that aspirin I put in your wallet? Good. Let me get it out."

Either Jack was having a bad angina attack--not enough blood flow to a portion of his heart--or he was having a full-blown coronary: a myocardial infarction in which the heart segment was getting no blood at all. If the problem was an artery obstructed by a clot, the extra aspirin might help dissolve the blockage before there was permanent damage.

"Is there a problem, sir?"

Brian looked up at the balding restaurant manager. Of course not, I always put my father on the floor in restaurants.

"He's a heart patient and he's having chest pain," Brian said instead.

"Should . . . should I call an ambulance? Ask if there's a doctor here?"

"I am a doctor," Brian said, for the first time in a year and a half. "And I think an ambulance would be an excellent idea."

Silently, Brian cursed himself for giving in to the Boston trip. Jack's internist, cardiologist, surgeon, and all his records were at Suburban Hospital, way on the other side of Route 128. It was an excellent hospital, well known for its orthopedics, rehabilitation medicine, and in some circles, for a former chief of cardiology named Brian Holbrook.

He checked Jack's pulses once again and mopped his brow.

"How's your pain, Jack? One to ten."

"Six. The nitro's helping. What are the odds it's a coronary?"

"Fifty-fifty."

"Bad odds."

"Just hang in there. The EMTs'll get a little oxygen going and give you some pain medicine, and you'll feel much better."

"Ten bucks says one of the EMTs in the ambulance is a woman. Deal?"

"Deal. Just stay cool. Do you want to lie down flat?"

"I couldn't."

In the distance, they could hear an approaching siren. Brian kept a constant check of the pulse at Jack's wrist. The perspiration, so typical of a cardiac event, seemed less heavy.

"Everything's fine, Pop. How's the pain now?"

"Ten."

"The pain is up to a ten?"

"No, you owe me ten."

Jack nodded toward the door, where a young brunette in blue EMT coveralls was on the pulling end of a stretcher. Brian introduced his father and gave a capsule summary of the situation and the limited treatment he had instituted.

"You a doctor?" The young woman asked immediately.

"A cardiologist. Brian Holbrook."

"Well, we got no pride on this team, Dr. Holbrook," she said, doing, it seemed, a dozen things at once, and doing them all well. "If there's anything we overlook, just call it out."

"Thanks. Jack's a patient at Suburban Hospital."

"Well, in a few minutes he's going to be a patient at White Memorial. That okay with you?"

White Memorial was not only the best hospital in the city, it was the home of Boston Heart Institute, one of the foremost centers of its kind. Brian flashed on the interview he had blown when applying for cardiology training there. The subsequent rejection letter was hardly a surprise. Given all that had happened to him since then, he mused, it seemed the interviewer had shown pretty good judgment.

Brian noted Jack's immediate improvement with a bit of IV morphine and some oxygen.

"Actually," he said to the young EMT, "Boston Heart is precisely where I was going to ask to have him taken."

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Interviews & Essays

From a barnesandnoble.com e-nnouncement

Michael Palmer, the bestselling author of EXTREME MEASURES, is back with another breathtaking tale of medical horror and suspense—and a recent debut on the New York Times bestseller list—with his latest, MIRACLE CURE! You'd think that his harrowing tale must come from a devilish mind—but do you ever wonder what haunts the minds of the authors who haunt yours? Well, Michael Palmer is giving you a glimpse inside, and you might be surprised at what thoughts are lurking there! In this barnesandnoble.com exclusive, Michael Palmer gives you a peek at his everyday self and talks about his work in medicine, his sons, his life, and his writing, in a fan letter to his readers....

Dissecting a Medical Thriller Writer

by Michael Palmer

dear thriller reader....greetings from the coast of massachusetts....I'm writing this letter the way I write all my friends—relaxed and without worrying about syntax, punctuation etc....a stream of my consciousness, which now that I think about it, anyone who knows me would find rather frightening....but here it is anyhow....

one of the most enjoyable parts of being a writer is getting letters from "fans" who have enjoyed my stuff....I try to answer them all....but I've never had the chance I've got here to write a fan letter to readers—a thank you for eschewing tv and videos and every other diversion long enough to settle in with a book and escape....and by so doing, keeping me and others like me in business....

right now, I'm hard at work on my 10th medical thriller, tentatively to be called SURGICAL SEVEN....the title refers to the floor housing theneurosurgical service at Eastern Mass Medical Center....I've been at it with this neurosurgical spine-tingler (ugh!) since last may, and am about six weeks from the end of a first draft....I'm poking along at about 4-5 pages a day, which is fine....more than that, and much of the time my writing begins to feel stale....less and I don't get enough done....so I sit here, drinking decaf (if I drink hi-test I can't stay in the chair long enough to get anything down), looking out more than I should at the ocean and the skyline of Boston about 10 miles across the water to the south, and shoo-ing my cat, Emily, off my computer....she's 12, and loves to camp out on the heat from the grate over my monitor....on the way up there, she uses my keyboard as a springboard, and has actually written some pretty decent prose from time to time....

in addition to my writing, I spend as much time as I can with my #1 love, my eight-year-old son, Luke....he's just learned how to ski this week, and that's been a hoot....add to that learning how to ride a 2-wheeler and play chess, and this has been a great few months for him....and vicariously, for me....I have two (much) older sons, born when I was a med student and an intern....I missed a lot with them that I am determined not to miss this time....so no matter what, Luke comes first....

it's five in the afternoon here....a balmy 40 degrees outside...in a few minutes, I'm going to go work out for an hour, then head out to play in a bridge tournament for the evening....I get to do that every couple of weeks....

the reason I've been asked to write you all is to plug my new paperback, MIRACLE CURE, so that's what I'm going to do now....despite the success of my books, I've been reluctant to give up working as a doc....but to make things jibe with Luke and the writing, I've had to give up the emergency room job I had for twenty years....instead, I work part time as an associate director of the physician health program in Massachusetts, caring for doctors with mental illness, physical illness, and especially drug and alcohol abuse....I really love the work and the many good outcomes we have....and for a long time I've wanted to write about the sort of docs we take care of....enter Brian Holbrook, the protagonist of MIRACLE CURE....Brian's a fine cardiologist, recovering from a prescription pill addiction....he stumbles onto a job at the Boston Heart Institute, and knows it's a chance of a lifetime to get back into medicine—especially since the institute has developed vasclear, a wonder drug that cures hardening of the arteries....the problem is, Brian begins to suspect there's trouble with the drug....and there's nothing he can do about it without risking his career....

people often ask me which of my books is my favorite....I usually reply that it's like having lots of children—each is special for a different reason....but I want to say here and now, that I really love this book, and relate to Brian more than any other lead character I've written....so if you want to get a flavor of what I'm like, read about him....

so, enough....thanks for reading this....thanks for reading MIRACLE CURE....let's keep in touch....

Michael Palmer

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2008

    a breath taker

    This was the first Michael Palmer book that I had read. What a treat it was. Despite the deliberate beginning, you find there's a reason for that as the story takes place. As I neared the end, I felt the author was double parked. A high speed, low drag thriller that is well worth the read, virtually to the last page. Good stuff.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2000

    An excellent page turner

    the story starts rather slow and uneventfull, but after the basics have been layed out the actaion begins to take off. I couldn't put the book down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2000

    Once Again

    One of his best, has all the makings of a great movie.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Grrat Read

    This is a wonderful medical thriller. Lots of medical terms and accounts, comes from the author that is a doctor!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    Excellent book. This was my first medical thriller and the stor

    Excellent book. This was my first medical thriller and the story kept me interested.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    Another good Michael Palmer book

    Kept me guessing and much better end then his typical book. Kept me interested with the mcguffin!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    One of his best. Kept me interested and guessin.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

    Good but not great!

    I enjoyed this book but I liked The Fifth Vial much better. I found this book easy to put down, however I was curious as to what was going to happen. This is a one time read but I still want to read other books by Michael Palmer. --K--

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    To fern

    Hi im dr.robert x i made a clinic for rp people i was wondering if you will be a nurse ts at docter result 4 to ask

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

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    Posted March 14, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2011

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews

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