Fatal Cure by Robin Cook review: 'The fear will never leave you'

Reader reviews ‘Fatal Cure’ by Robin Cook

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Gulf News

After having read two of his works — ‘Fatal Cure’ and ‘Coma’ — this is what I learnt about the author: Robin Cook graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and finished his postgraduate medical training at Harvard. This means that he is a qualified doctor. It is his medical background that comes out so well in all his stories.

He’s written a bunch of books and all are medical thrillers. Having read two of these, I can tell you this, what he writes is scary, very scary. You will forget the disclaimer in his books, which starts as “This is a work of fiction...” One may even become paranoid and start developing a fear of going to hospitals and start to believe that all doctors are killers who are more interested in saving money rather than your life. And as mentioned in the last line of the summary on the back cover, “the fear will never leave you”.

‘Fatal Cure’ is well written and based on good research and the writers’ medical background has helped him to describe so many medical procedures and practices in such great detail.

The story is about a young couple, both medical graduates, currently living and working in Boston, US. Crime, traffic, pollution, cramped spaces, smaller houses, the works.

Both the husband and wife have been offered good positions in Bartlet, which is a small countryside town with open spaces and palatial houses. When the couple first visits Bartlet they just fall in love with the place. The salaries that they are offered are also quite comfortable. (Out of context: The wife, who is a pathologist was offered twice the salary of the husband, a medical examiner.)

This young couple also has a nine-year-old daughter with special medical needs. She has a certain respiratory disease, incurable one at that, which becomes more acute when the pollution levels increase. The fresh crisp air of the countryside would do her good. (And she will be able to get a dog.)

Based on such considerations they decide not to continue further studies in Boston and also spurn the fellowship offers from New York and head towards Bartlet looking for a new life away from the pressures of the city. Little did they realise that beneath the charming and pleasant paradise lay a more sinister secret.

I would not like to go into the details of the story but suffice to say that Angela, the wife, had to face sexual harassment from the head of the pathology department. Whereas David, the husband, had the predicament of having to see many of his patients dying with the same mysterious disease, which neither he nor the consults that he called in could diagnose. Finally it turned out that the …………. NO, I am not going to tell you that. Go out and read the book. It is gripping and you won’t be able to put it down till you finish it.

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