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Critical | [Robin Cook]

Critical

Angela Dawson, M.D., the well-heeled owner of three New York City specialty hospitals, is devastated when a a surge of drug-resistant staph infections threatens her empire.
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Publisher's Summary

Angela Dawson, M.D., appears to have it all: at the age of 37, she owns a fabulous New York City apartment, a stunning seaside house on Nantucket, and enjoys the perks of her prosperous lifestyle. But her climb to the top was rough, marked by a troubled childhood, a failed marriage, and the devastating blow of bankruptcy as a primary-care internist.

Painfully aware of the role of economics in modern life, particularly in the health-care field, Angela returned to school to earn an MBA. Armed with a shiny new degree and blessed with determination, intelligence, and impeccable timing, Angela founded a start-up company, Angels Healthcare, then took it public. With her controlling interest in three busy specialty hospitals in New York City and plans for others in Miami and Los Angeles, Angela's future looks very bright.

Then a surge of drug-resistant staph infections in all three hospitals devastates Angela's carefully constructed world. Not only do the infections result in patient deaths, but the fatalities also cause stock prices to tumble, leaving market analysts wondering if Angela will be able to hold her empire together.

New York City medical examiners Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton are naturally intrigued by the uptick in staph-related post-procedure deaths. Aside from their own professional curiosity, there's a personal stake as well: Laurie and Jack are newly married, and Jack is facing surgery to repair a torn ligament at Angels Orthopedic Hospital. Despite Jack's protests, Laurie can't help investigating - opening a Pandora's box of corporate intrigue that threatens not just her livelihood, but her life with Jack as well.

©2007 Robin Cook; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. and Books on Tape. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"An entertaining mix of suspense, action, and education about medical issues." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (401 )
5 star
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4.0 (90 )
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4.0 (85 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Patricia Gig Harbor, WA, USA 11-26-07
    Patricia Gig Harbor, WA, USA 11-26-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    "Critical"

    This was the first time I had listen to an audible book. I really enjoyed this book, because I like medical mysteries. It sure kept you on the edge of your seat. Good listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Manassas, VA, USA 11-20-07
    Debbie Manassas, VA, USA 11-20-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    4
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    Overall
    "Loved This"

    After reading prior reviews I was not sure if I would really like this book or not. I am so glad I decided to stick with it. There was a lot of action and continued twists to keep the mind going.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Atlanta, GA, United States 12-07-07
    James Atlanta, GA, United States 12-07-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    101
    8
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    Overall
    "MRSA crazy"

    The book was intriguing but not all that different than his other books. Familiarity breeds repetitiveness. Good writing but not significantly different than his other books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne menlo park, CA, USA 08-22-07
    Suzanne menlo park, CA, USA 08-22-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Okay, not great"

    I much prefer Robin Cook's early books. Over the last several years his books are just okay. It is a decent story line, but it is bogged down by a lot of slow reading. Too much explanation on HVAC systems, engineering of a hospital, and boring conversation. In addition, the mafia guys were more comedic than serious.
    That said, it was not bad and I did keep listening until the book was finished instead of getting a new book. There are a lot of better books out there, but also a lot worse too.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raylene San Diego, CA, United States 01-03-09
    Raylene San Diego, CA, United States 01-03-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrible narration, boring story"

    I am a Cook fan, but this book was a disappointment! The narration definitely detracted from the story, but I don't think it would have been much better if I had read it myself. The characters were not very interesting, the story did not hold my interest . . . can't think of anything positive to say.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Hermon, NY, USA 10-28-07
    Victoria Hermon, NY, USA 10-28-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    103
    5
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    "Scary"

    Okay, have to say this one scared the crap out of me, since I am a building principal of a school and the situation and the media scare hype of MRSA in schools. The narrator is great and has me in the seat, but I would really like to focus more on what the medical staff is doing about this risk rather than the mob. Another good one that makes you think yeah, this can really happen in the medical field.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Lake Oswego, OR, USA 09-04-07
    Marc Lake Oswego, OR, USA 09-04-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Critical"

    A typical Robin Cook thriller, complete with all the usual medical villains. This particular novel adds a few twists and strange bedfellows to become a particularly vicious critique of boutique medical centers. Nicely paced and well read. The ending was anticlimactic. Only the postscript was helpful in wrapping up the plot loose ends. All in all, a fully enjoyable listen. The plot line was well-researched and Cook knows his stuff. How plausible the scenario outline in Critical really is remains to be demonstrated. Neverless, the novel is thought provoking and should cause readers to seriously consider whether the medical establishment should be allowed to set up these for profit, publicly-held medical centers.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    10-12-07
    10-12-07 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
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    99
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    Overall
    "Laughable"

    Although Cook did a lot of research and included vast amounts of little known medical info, his character development was very poor. The cast of hoodlums would have been better used in a comedy routine. His lame use of just about every mafia stereotype known to man became old and bordered on ethnic insult.

    The book has a potentially good plot. However, I feel that the storyline was not well developed. It seemed as if I were sailing through a medical text with a little bit of fiction thrown in here and there. The epilogue managed to tie the loose threads together, but failed to weave a good book.

    This is definitely RC's worst book to date.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lexington, United States Minor Outlying Islands 08-22-07
    Linda Lexington, United States Minor Outlying Islands 08-22-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    15
    2
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    "Dry, Uninteresting and Forgettable"

    I was disappointed by the quality of this story written by one of my favorite authors. I actually found it boring and forced myself through it. I kept waiting for the "plot to thicken". The overuse of acronyms was confusing and actually laughable at the end of the book. This is clearly not one of Cook's best works.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Columbus, IN, United States 02-10-08
    Tina Columbus, IN, United States 02-10-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    33
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    1
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    Overall
    "boring"

    What happened to the Robin Cook I knew and loved? Good premise - boring book.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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