A medical novel most likely to succeed with a wide popular public has been tapped by the Literary Guild to begin with and should go on from there. Arthur Hailey who has done some scripts for the home screen (part of this has been tele-viewed) tells a story of real speed (in spite of fuller explanations for those less informed lay medics), sets up some situations of life and death and catches all their urgency, and preps the reader with all kinds of clinical and operative procedures. Making a mid-line incision through Three Counties Hospital, in Burlington, Penna., an occasional patron, members of the board, and the staff (doctors, nurses, technicians, etc.) enter into the story here which deals primarily with the chief pathologist, Joe Pearson, a man of 66, obsolescent- along with his methods and equipment- in a field which has seen many changes. While Joe's intuitive knowledge is perhaps greater than that of the younger man who is brought in- against his will- to assist him- it is borne out on a split decision of whether or not a young student nurse's bone tumor is malignant. Since ""it is the pathologist who makes the final diagnosis""- the girl loses her leg- and the young doctor with whom she has fallen in love. But Pearson's fallibility and dereliction are shown up- by his refusal to use a newer type of sensitivity testing for an Rh factor which is responsible for the loss of an infant which could have been averted. There's a lot of other casework here; more than one romance; and all in all it's the kind of entertainment which is easy to read and hard to stop reading. This should give it the healthiest prognosis possible.