THE MAGIC BULLET by Harry Stein

THE MAGIC BULLET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Stein (Hoopla, 1983) has himself a potential Big Book in his second novel, an engrossing and revealing medical thriller centering on breast cancer cure and the ruthless maneuvering to claim credit for the achievement. When Dr. Daniel Logan accepts a research fellowship at the prestigious American Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C., he quickly learns that the best, perhaps only, way to get along is to go along: to settle into the orbit of one of the Institute's powerful research warlords. ACI is, at its heart, soulless. Logan would rather not play the game, but the process is inevitable in order to survive professionally. Which powerful member of the corporate bureaucracy should he choose? The imperious, autocratic chief of medicine, Raymond Larsen? The nonconformist, sometimes mercurial head of oncology, Seth Stein, who lets it be known that he treasures loyalty above all? Or perhaps renowned breast cancer specialist Gregory Stillman, Stein's most hated rival? Since Logan is the best of the ACI's new young associates, he manages to settle in comfortably. He also forms a liaison with his beautiful Italian associate, Sabrina Como. When they, together with another fellow, John Reston, develop a treatment protocol for breast cancer based upon the AIDS drug Compound Q, they find themselves thrust into a maze of medical espionage and conspiracy. Reputations and personal advancement take precedence over patient needs, and betrayal becomes the order of the day. Compound Q is apparently discredited, but Logan's and Como's salvation may lie in research done more than half a century earlier in pre-Nazi Germany. Events come to a somewhat melodramatic climax when a Very Important Woman lies near death from metastasized breast cancer. Truly a page-turner, with fascinating insights into the ethics of big medicine.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-385-31286-5
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1994




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