VITAL SIGNS by Robin Cook
Kirkus Star

VITAL SIGNS

By

KIRKUS REVIEW

Poor Marissa Blumenthal. Only four years after she escaped death at the hands of a nationwide cabal of diabolical docs (Outbreak), she's fighting for her life again--this time against a global cabal of diabolical docs, in one of Cook's wackiest, loosest thrillers to date. In the years since Marissa saved American health clinics from a planned infestation of Ebola virus, she's moved to Boston, established a pediatrics practice, and married obnoxious financier Robert. What she hasn't been able to do is get pregnant, the reason for her visits to Cambridge's Women's Clinic, where she's undergoing in-vitro procedures to overcome a strange blockade of her Fallopian tubes. Fans of Cook know, of course, that clinics are the last place anyone should visit; but Marissa doesn't catch on until a fellow patient swan-dives from the clinic's sixth floor, and she later learns that the suicide--or was it murder?--victim suffered from the same tubal blockage as Marissa and other clinic patients do, including old pat Wendy Wilson. Smelling a rat, Marissa and Wendy break into the clinic offices lot clues, only to be nearly shot by a mysterious Chinese assassin. All lifts is vintage Cook medical mayhem; but now the plot takes a wild hop as Marissa and Wendy fly to Australia--site of another rash of tubal blockages--and tumble into a cockeyed suspense thriller with scarcely a lab coat in sight. There, after Wendy is eaten by a great white shark (can't have two heroines in a Cook novel), Marissa joins forces with Tristan Williams, a Crocodile Dundee-like physician. Giddily following clues, the two fly to Hong Kong, tangle with Triads, stave off three assassins, sneak around mainland China, fall in love (no problem: as soon as husband Robert flies in unannounced, he's shot dead), and, along the way, even manage to solve the conspiracy and save 600,000 women from a barren fate. Far-fetched even by Cook standards, and lacking a proper villain; but with a delightfully careening storyline, nonstop action, lots of rare scenery, and a touch of trendy anti-Chinese sentiment, it's clear that the best-selling ophthalmologist still has bis vast readership in 20-20 Focus.

Pub Date: Jan. 3rd, 1990
ISBN: 399-13575-8
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:




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