Books by Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer, M.D., is the author of The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five langu

RESISTANT by Michael Palmer
Released: May 20, 2014

"Palmer (Political Suicide, 2012, etc.) doesn't spend much time developing female characters. But in the doctor hero's latest adventure, he's tender as well as tough, and you have to cheer him on in his fight to save the friend who helped save him."
A physician races the clock and a ferocious disease to save a friend's life. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 8, 2013

"A competent entertainment; nothing to think about overmuch, but with plenty of chills and spills."
Political, legal, military and medical mayhem all rolled up into a bite-size package—well, for those who take big bites, anyway. Read full book review >
OATH OF OFFICE by Michael Palmer
Released: Feb. 14, 2012

"This thriller raises compelling issues and features a likable hero, but the plot is dragged out and undercooked and the White House scenes ring false."
Is there something in the water making people around the nation's capital commit crazy, unhinged acts? Read full book review >
THE LAST SURGEON by Michael Palmer
Released: Feb. 16, 2010

"As predictable as an IV drip."
Another medical thriller from prolific Palmer (The First Patient, 2008, etc.). Read full book review >
THE FIRST PATIENT by Michael Palmer
Released: Feb. 19, 2008

"A derivative, low-tension ride."
A predictable and anticlimactic medical thriller featuring physician Gabe Singleton, a recovering alcoholic and ex-con who's summoned to Washington D.C. Read full book review >
THE FIFTH VIAL by Michael Palmer
Released: Feb. 20, 2007

"Nothing creepier than a bad doctor."
M.D.s hurry the organ transplant along a little faster than would naturally be the case. Read full book review >
THE SOCIETY by Michael Palmer
Released: Aug. 10, 2004

"Above par, even though its principals are too righteously perfect for believability."
From yeoman of the genre Palmer (The Patient, 2000, etc.): a bracingly earnest albeit credulity-stretching medical thriller about the serial killing of HMO honchos. Read full book review >
THE PATIENT by Michael Palmer
Released: April 4, 2000

"about medical science, most of them blissfully ignored. This is not brain surgery."
Another deathless medical woman-in-periler from Palmer (Critical Judgement, 1996, etc.), this time pitting a young, plucky Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1996

Realistically portrayed medical procedures and more than you'd care to know about toxic poisoning—both pump up a relentlessly predictable emergency-room melodrama. In his seventh medical thriller, Massachusetts-based Palmer (Silent Treatment, 1995, etc.), a former ER physician, goes west to the excessively scenic, ironically named northern California mountain town of Patience, where Dr. Abby Dolan, lately of San Francisco, has just joined the Patience Regional Hospital emergency room team. Everyone seems to know everyone else too well in this small, former gold-rush mining town, now the headquarters of Colstar International, a giant manufacturing concern specializing in exotic batteries, many containing the metal cadmium. It doesn't take many pages before our spunky, dedicated, fearlessly competent heroine suspects that the inexplicable ailments dragging a parade of fuzzy-warm small-town types through her emergency room might have something to do with environmental contamination at Colstar, even if blood tests and other procedures reveal nothing unusual. Palmer tries to complicate his basic Enemy of the People plot by having Dr. Dolan's boyfriend, Josh Wyler, a Colstar company man, mutate into a gun-toting crazy, so that Dr. Dolan can seek solace in the strong arms of Dr. Lew Alvarez, an impeccably handsome emergency-room physician and leader of the Alliance, a paltry group of eco-activists who want to shut down Colstar. Between passionate kisses, Dr. Alvarez suggests to Dr. Dolan that cadmium, an element used in batteries, could be causing some of Patience's residents, including Dr. Dolan's erstwhile boyfriend, to go suddenly berserk. Dr. Dolan finds herself dodging rifle fire, pickup trucks, and, even worse, bureaucratic snafus. Warmed-over Robin Cook-esque hospital paranoia, though saved by an earnest appreciation of emergency room heroics. Read full book review >
SILENT TREATMENT by Michael Palmer
Released: March 15, 1995

Palmer (Natural Causes, 1994, etc.) scores with an ambitious thriller that pits a schlubby Manhattan physician against his vicious counterpart in a Marathon Manstyle plot loaded with innovative twists. Dr. Harry Corbett is one of a dying breed in the medical community: a general practitioner (and decorated Vietnam vet) fighting for his professional life in a world of flashy specialists. Soon enough, however, his battle to stay alive takes a literal turn when he crosses paths with Anton Perchek, a hired syringe whose specialty is interrogation for the highest bidder. Following his wife Evie's suspicious death, Harry learns that the woman he had been disappointingly married to was leading a shadow existence as an investigative writer. While researching a book about escort services, she inadvertently stumbled across a health- insurance conspiracy known as the Roundtable, whose members sent Perchek to eliminate her (in between murdering big-ticket insurance-policy claimants). Appalled, Harry receives little sympathy as a new widower: He's promptly accused of murder by a rival physician who had been having an affair with Evie. The only person who can clear Harry's name—by proving that Perchek visited Evie's hospital room the night before she was scheduled to undergo brain surgery—is Maura Hughes, an alcoholic whose recollection of events is clouded by the DTs. Gradually, Harry falls in love with Maura (and she sobers up), but he has to balance his new affections against the appearance of a malevolent police detective bent on jailing him and a loose-canon former DEA agent carrying his own vendetta against Dr. Perchek. The DEA man, Ray Santana, becomes important late in the novel, once Harry begins to close in on Perchek and the leader of the Roundtable. Maura is kidnapped, and the stakes increase dramatically even as matters are complicated by Harry's fear that he's about to suffer a heart attack. Extremely vivid characters in souped-up situations. Not brilliant, but never boring. Read full book review >
NATURAL CAUSES by Michael Palmer
Released: March 14, 1994

A by-the-charts medical thriller Ö la Robin Cook by Palmer (Extreme Measures, 1991, etc.), who is also a physician. Here, a New Age OB/GYN's prenatal herbal supplement appears to cause laboring patients to bleed to death. Dr. Sarah Baldwin, a third-year resident at the Medical Center of Boston (``Crunchy Granola General''), studied acupuncture and herbal medicine while in Thailand with the Peace Corps. Now, she wants to reconcile Eastern healing methods with the hardware- oriented Western approach to medicine. When all else fails to stop a pregnant patient's bleeding, Sarah tries acupuncture and ``visualization,'' asking the woman to ``see'' her blood cells, arteries, heart. It works, and the young woman lives, even though two of Sarah's previous patients (who also lost their babies) had died. Given to all three was Sarah's herbal supplement, brewed from bloodroot, elephant sleeper, moondragon leaves, and other nontraditional curatives. But the true link isn't the supplement, of course. Palmer offers up a dozen suspects—among them an oily attorney representing an HMO group maneuvering a hostile takeover of the teetering MCB; the glad-handing president of MCB, whose fund-raising schemes include raffles for nose-jobs; Sarah's embittered ex-boyfriend, who now operates a holistic community called Xanadu and hypes a diet powder on infomercials; a dissatisfied Australian surgeon with no qualms about leaking hospital secrets to the press or boffing nurses in the break room; and the ill-fated Pramod Singh, an ayurvedic physician who once worked at MCB but now produces Peter's diet powder. An interesting group in an intriguing story, but their dialogue reads like speechmaking and they impart medical information as if reading from a textbook. Mildly entertaining, but without much verve or suspense. Read full book review >