Cook’s latest thriller (Nano, 2012, etc.).
The "cell" of the title refers to cellphones, which are being used to deliver the services of a virtual physician. That’s the business enterprise of George Wilson, the radiology resident that the author brings back and installs in a major medical center in Los Angeles. George, engaged to Kasey, awakens one morning to find she has died during the night. Since Kasey was diabetic, her death is linked to her disease, and although George mourns her, he doesn’t question how it happened. At least, until he attends a meeting at the invitation of an old flame who wants to show off a new app called iDoc, which integrates real physicians and medical treatment with technology in a way that helps keep patients out of the emergency rooms and doctors’ offices by offering them immediate, custom-tailored medical consultations over their cellphones. But when people that George knows start dropping dead and all of them are beta testers for iDoc, the fourth-year resident decides to probe deeper into the project. What he finds is the potential for enormous profits and, much scarier, the government’s heavy hand stirring the pot. Soon, George is involved in an attempt to expose a plan to kill off high-risk cases and finds himself unable to trust anyone, setting off a series of catastrophic events that could lead to George’s destruction. Cook, a physician, knows the world of medicine, but this book reads like it’s phoned in: heavy with clichés, lacking plausible plot progression and packed with characters who speak in exclamation points.
A disappointing attempt to link medicine and technology.