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Fatal | [Michael Palmer]

Fatal

The master of medical suspense brings us another novel of controversy, biology, and human greed. Internist Matt Rutledge has spent the last five years trying to find links between the deaths of his wife and his father. He suspects the Belinda Coke and Coal Company has released toxic chemicals into the environment that have caused the "Belinda Syndrome," a miasma of symptoms that include violent and deadly paranoia in some, Ebola-like hemorrhaging in others. But he lacks proof.
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Publisher's Summary

The master of medical suspense brings us yet another novel of controversy, biology, and human greed. Internist and emergency specialist Matt Rutledge has spent the last five years of his life in Belinda, West Virginia, trying to find the links between the deaths of his father and his (Matt's) wife. He suspects the Belinda Coke and Coal Company has released toxic chemicals into the environment that have caused the "Belinda Syndrome," a miasma of symptoms that include violent and deadly paranoia in some, Ebola-like hemorrhaging in others. But he lacks proof. Meanwhile, two women come to Belinda, each pursued by violent death. Together with Matt Rutledge, they must get to the bottom of the "Belinda Syndrome" and avert a potential plague, while under mortal threat themselves.

© 2002 Michael Palmer; (P) 2002 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[Palmer's] most riveting book yet, leaving hardly enough time to take a breath." (Denver Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (190 )
5 star
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4.0 (67 )
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4.0 (68 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Barry Katy, TX, United States 01-19-08
    Barry Katy, TX, United States 01-19-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    383
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    "A great audiobook by my favortie medical author!"

    Palmer has long been my favorite author in the medical thriller genre. "Fatal" was one of the few books I had not yet read. I was happy to find the unabridged version on Audible (I hate abridged audiobooks).
    "Fatal" did not disappoint. The interplay between the characters, the medical and political corruption, and the seemingly insurmountable challenge faced by the hero... this is classic Palmer. I've read most of his other books (paperbacks), and this is my first audiobook by Palmer I've listened to. The narrator did a very good job, I have no complaints. He carried the story along very nicely.
    It's a great story, about a corrupt coal mine and a killer vaccine. Sort of two sub-plots that play along side by side. The author keeps both stories moving nicely till they intersect at the end.
    I loved this audiobook, but I'm disappointed that his other audiobooks available are all abridged versions.
    The "Extreme Measures" audiobook is only 3 hours? Give me a break!
    Please audible, release more unabridged Palmer books!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Raleigh, NC, USA 01-26-07
    Pamela Raleigh, NC, USA 01-26-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Excellant"

    I enjoyed this book by Michael Palmer,and give it a 10+ rating. It kept my interest with plenty of twists and turns in the plot. Anyone whom enjoys Medical related mysteries will enjoy this novel.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn McCullough-Tarr Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, CA 10-14-03
    Lyn McCullough-Tarr Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, CA 10-14-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    "Fast-Paced, Believable"

    This was a great book! I always listen to these books on the way back and forth to work. There were a number of times I sat in the van listening for just a couple more minutes before I could stand to turn it off. If this was a "regular" book, I'd say it was a real "page-turner"!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan PEARLAND, TX, United States 05-02-04
    Susan PEARLAND, TX, United States 05-02-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Far-fetched, but just try to put it down"

    Doctors, coroners, miners, moonshiners, bikers, a statistician, pharmaceutical companies, a grandmother involved in vaccination issues, and the president's wife -- these lives are bound to come together at some point, don't you think? And what in the world can toxic chemicals from a mining operation have to do with vaccinations and yet another virus with African origins? Michael Palmer does his usual masterful job of weaving all these threads into a fasicinating action thriller. So it's totally unrealistic: it's a great read/listen.

    And, for the record, the arguments for and against mandatory immunizations are thought-provoking and reasonably balanced.

    As for the recording, Palmer does a very nice job on the reading.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Austin, TX, USA 08-08-06
    Maria Austin, TX, USA 08-08-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Narrator"

    This was my first Michael Palmer book and I really enjoyed it a lot. I Liked the different stories that all come together in the end. The plot was great and the narrator did a fabulous job. I really enjoyed his narration. I've listened to books were the book was great but the narrator ruins it all. It was not the case with this one. A great book plus great narration.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim San Jose, Costa Rica 11-04-10
    Tim San Jose, Costa Rica 11-04-10 Member Since 2001

    Retired Ex-Pat living Near San Jose, Costa Rica.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wish I could UN-read this book"

    Book: I bought this because of the good reviews. BIG mistake. I have no idea what the others saw in this novel, but I think reading it caused me to lose brain cells. I wish I could UN-read this book.

    Our hero, Dr. Matt Rutledge (Harvard), is as about bright as a box of coal. He spends much time not paying a lick of attention to his newfound girlfriend Dr I forget her name, (Yale) who IS very bright, but, I suppose, because she is a mere female, does not warrant his serious attention (other than THAT attention).

    He thus does one dumb thing after the other until the reader wants to just grab him and slap him silly.

    The author attempts to weave multiple sub-plots which all come together toward the end... in a cave... where we find all these stray ends (characters) miraculously alive and waiting for the book to end. Umm... Not. They did not work as sub-plots and the way the author weaves them together at the end requires the reader to just set aside ALL logic and just "believe" that this could happen. If you just have to read this, at least turn off one hemisphere of your brain to make it more enjoyable. Contrived and believable only if you have never read a real medical thriller. Grade 1 STAR - only because ZERO was not available.

    READER: Average at best... couple of good characterizations... Makes no difference anyway as this book could not be made good regardless of reader. GRADE C

    \

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Lee Higgins Colo. Spgs 11-29-13
    Joyce Lee Higgins Colo. Spgs 11-29-13

    J. Higgins

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Took awhile to warm up to voice"
    Where does Fatal rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was good but almost quit at beginning because of reader's voice


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Fatal?

    As I tried to figure out who the "main evil boss" was I thought I was right and was sort of surprised and saddened that I was!


    Did Michael Palmer do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I really was grateful that his descriptions helped me to totally keep the characters straight.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Unknown


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Brooklyn, NY, United States 03-18-13
    Andrea Brooklyn, NY, United States 03-18-13
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    "Keeps you on your toes!"

    I love to read Michael Palmer's books. Just love the medical suspense he has to offer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Princeton, TX, USA 07-26-08
    Linda Princeton, TX, USA 07-26-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A gripping story- involved multiple storylines!"

    I am a big Michael Palmer fan, his stories are always believable and intriguing. His characters are real and always quite diverse. Very talented writer!

    I highly recommend!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce Swansboro, NC, United States 10-14-10
    Joyce Swansboro, NC, United States 10-14-10
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    22
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    "Slow read!"

    Sorry, for me, this was a long slow journey.Too many twists and turns, hard to follow at times, good thing for rewind.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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