I bought Marker because I really really want Robin Cook to write another winner. Coma is one of my all time favorite in the thriller genre. Alas, however, Marker isn't Coma - unless you consider that's the state of consciousness to which it renders the reader.
Cook can still come up with a passably credible plot, but he can't write believeable dialogue. Someone's got to tell him (editor, pay attention here) that all characters don't talk in the same idioms and same speech patterns. I sit (stand, walk, run, ride) appalled at his immature attempt at dialogue.
But I won't give up on him! I won't ... I won't ... I won't! However, I think I'll borrow his next from the library and save my $'s for a sure thing audible.com dowload.
Fastforward to 2 hours 54 minutes and the story begins. It crawls at times and at other times just darn silly. The whole plot, some HMO wanting to OFF patients, was rather old. The only prophetic portion is that the human genome will change our future. Leave this on the shelf.
Robin Cook can write a nice page turner, but it's hard to swallow some of the events of this book. Number one: the protagonists, two MD lovers, both forensic pathologists. She finds out she's pregnant and is quite surpised, even though she and he have been using the rhythm method, notorious for its unreliability - hard to accept that two MDs wouldn't know better. Right at the outset the author lets you know there's a serial killer in the hospital exterminating sleeping patients with IV potassium chloride. We wait while our two somewhat slow-witted (remember the rhythm method)pathologists struggle through endless toxicology tests trying to find the poison in the dead patients. When they turn up nothing, you wonder why they don't think of potassium, a compound that injected in this way would disappear from the blood after death (common knowledge), but these are the guys who still think the rhythm method is a great form of birth control. Other plot elements like managed care as a sinister force and a glaring paper trail of criminal activity are also hard to swallow. But I have to admit I turned all the pages and enjoyed the story.
I LOVE Robin Cook books. Unfortunatly there is no way I can finish listening to this one. I can't tell if the story is good or not because the narrator puts me to sleep. I have learned a good lesson. I will always listen to the sample before I buy another one.
since narrator was male, it was sometimes hard to differentiate female characters. it was only slightly exciting near the last 2 chapters.
Having been in the medical profession for over thirty years, I always find Robin Cook's books very well done. This one was no exception.
My only comment would be that the manner of the murders should have become more apparent to the physicians earlier on. It was still a good read and I would recommend this series about Jack and Laurie to everyone enjoying Cook's novels.
Gaudall was remarkable. His impersonation of female diction missed the mark somewhat, but not distracting. Characters were authentic and in Cook style, were interesting. You can't go wrong with "Marker".
1. A plot that a) didn't give away the ending at the beginning; b) was plausible; c) where the only issues that created any possibility of suspense weren't resolved within the plot, but thrown into the denouement--almost as an afterthought.
2. At least ONE character I actually cared about.
I'm starting Harlen Coben's latest, Six Years.
He does a terrible job portraying female characters.
I would start by cutting the author. And if we cut the cop, then we'd be spared the pathetic denouement/epilogue.
I believe the last Robin Cook book I read was Coma, and perhaps one more about the same time (long ago). I liked it. But it looks like Cook has kept the formula, but hasn't improved his character or plot development. The vast conspiracy between the health insurance company and the plaintiffs' lawyers is ridiculous enough, even if the reader/listener isn't a fan of either group. But serial murders based on THAT ridiculous conspiracy? It would be laughable on its own, but it's even more ridiculous, given that it doesn't even make economic sense, let alone simplistic page-turner-thriller sense. We knock off long-term high-risk consumers to keep our rates low. Why? Because it'll cost more to cover them in the long term. Why? Because they're at risk of dying from a sudden heart attack. Uh, wouldn't that cause them to drop dead, and cost LESS? Besides, who signs up for health insurance for LIFE? It's a year-to-year proposition for most people. As long as they're young and healthy now, why would an insurance company care if they're at risk of dropping dead 20-30 years from now? They'll probably be someone else's problem by then. The central idea of the entire story is simply so preposterous on so many levels, it's hard to know where to begin.