A terrifying near-future medical thriller debut from a prominent doctor.
Ali O’ Day, a dedicated young neurosurgeon, might have a Nobel Prize in her future—if she can survive the next eleven hours.
Under the glare of live television cameras—and with her lover, Dr. Richard Helvelius, and her estranged husband, Kevin, both looking on—Ali is about to implant a revolutionary minicomputer into the brain of a blind boy. If it works, he will see again. But someone wants to stop her triumph. No sooner has she begun to operate than the hospital pagers crackle with the chilling announcement, “Code White.” A bomb has been found in the medical center.
But this is no ordinary bomb—and no ordinary bomber. As minutes tick off toward the deadline, Ali suspects that a vast, inhuman intellect lies behind the plot—and that she herself may be the true ransom demand.
©2013 Scott Britz-Cunningham (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Scott Britz-Cunningham has crafted a sharp, engaging thriller that captures the heart of hospital medicine and absolutely nails the frenetic energy that comes with trying to care for severely ill patients without killing them. Code White is great stuff—one of the most original medical thrillers I’ve read in a long time.” (Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author)
“Talk about a ticking clock propelling a story—this one’s in overdrive…What a heart-thumping ride. Scott Britz-Cunningham is a welcome addition to the thriller genre.” (Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author)
“In Britz-Cunningham’s entertaining debut, the media spotlight is on Chicago’s Fletcher Memorial Medical Center…In the middle of [a] delicate procedure, a Code White indicates that there’s a bomb in the hospital. The author, a staff radiologist at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, nicely combines the effort to insure the operation’s success and the patient’s recovery with the race to find and defuse the bomb.” (Publishers Weekly)
Compared to the way AI is written about by Daniel Suarez in Daemon and Freedom (tm), or the WWW trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer, this rendering is a disappointment, falling into the trap of the hum-drum Pinocchio trope.
If you aren't so spoiled by other, similar stories then you might find this novel more compelling.
As a "medical thriller" I didn't find the medical science very interesting, when, in more expert hands it probably could have been.
In writing, the dialog was plastic and clumsy, and the characters failed to manifest character. The minor characters, especially, were bland, robotic and treated like furniture, which when made to speak in the aforementioned clumsy dialogue, was uncanny and distracting.
This was not helped by the fact that any nuance the characters may have possessed on the page was paved over by the narrator. The main protagonist, whose Raison d'être is an inability to express emotion, is played in a constantly tormented and overly dramatic voice. The narrator missed the point and tried to infuse the character with emotion and wound up making her seem to be in a constant state of histrionics.
I did finish it, which is more than I can say of more than a few books I've listened to. I didn't regret listening to it through to the end, though I have regretted finishing some I should have abandoned. I think that speaks to the strength of the underlying story, and the execution is simply inoffensive enough to keep me from turning it off.
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