THE FIRST PATIENT by Michael Palmer


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A predictable and anticlimactic medical thriller featuring physician Gabe Singleton, a recovering alcoholic and ex-con who’s summoned to Washington D.C.

Gabe’s longtime friend Andrew Stoddard, now president of the United States, unexpectedly lands at Gabe’s Wyoming ranch, with Secret Service agents and his pit bull in tow, and asks Gabe to move to D.C. and serve as his personal physician. Gabe does, and, upon arrival, finds things amiss. For one, Gabe’s predecessor, Dr. Jim Ferendelli, has seemingly vanished into thin air. Worse, President Stoddard doesn’t seem all there. His mental soundness comes into question during Gabe’s welcome party, before the good doctor is nearly assassinated at a stoplight on his way home. Palmer (The Fifth Vial, 2007, etc.) offers a profusion of unnecessary scientific blabber that is lost amidst a sea of unrealistic and dreary dialogue. What are supposed to be harrowing twists with dire consequences are laughable at best.

A derivative, low-tension ride.

Pub Date: Feb. 19th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-34353-8
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2007


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