This is the Putnam $10,000 Award (a house Sales Department annual choice) and it is splashy, some will say trashy, but certainly readable. It deals with a large L.A. hospital where a brilliant surgeon, Phillip Burnett, proves not only human (he is having an affair with his O.R. nurse, Laura) but mortal (he has a glioma growing in his head) and fallible (he ties off a ureter mistaken for a bleeder). Will that brotherhood of silence- his confreres at Gresham Memorial- protect or expose him, and this is where professional hush-hushism passes for medical ethics. Some weeks later Burnett fouls up another operation and a third casualty will be the wife of an interne. Pain drives him to the needle, but concern for his innocent ctims drives his chief resident, and Laura, to attempt to stay the hand which now instead of cures.... What else? Lots of minor transfusions (the nurse who becomes an addict; another- an unwed mother; etc.) and Miss Martin's first hardcover appearance is full of shoptalk, many table procedures, and of course a little sex. ""Sex isn't a problem when you work in a hospital"" and it's not a problem here.... By now everyone knows the Monday night Nunc Dimittis- ""Life, death, infinity"". This is the publisher's hope and it's just that kind of scrub-sink soap opera.