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Publisher's Summary

Boston, 1968

When one doctor is accused of murder, it takes another to set him free.

In the tightly knit world of Boston medicine, the Randall family reigns supreme. When heart surgeon J. D. Randall's teenage daughter dies during a botched abortion, the medical community threatens to explode. Was it malpractice? A violation of the Hippocratic Oath? Or was Karen Randall murdered in cold blood?

The natural suspect is Arthur Lee, a brilliant surgeon and known abortionist, who has been carrying out the illegal procedure with the help of pathologist John Berry. After Karen dies, Lee is thrown in jail on a murder charge, and only Berry can prove his friend wasn't the one who wielded the scalpel. Behind this gruesome death, Berry will uncover a secret that would shock even the most hardened pathologist.

A Case of Need was adapted to the screen as The Carey Treatment, directed by Blake Edwards and starring James Coburn.

©1968 Jeffery Hudson; Copyright renewed 1996 by CrichtonSun LLC (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 09-12-18

Not Mr Cricghton's Best Work

First, let me say I was a Michael Crichton fan and an avid listener of his later works. Second, I'm glad I never encountered this early work because it might have put me off reading his later and much better works. The constant use of footnotes explaining the medical jargon that permeated the first part of the book was jarring. The book was written in 1968 and is more about abortion than actual detective work. Most definitely not a thriller.

If you're not familiar with Crichton's works, don't let this one discourage you from reading his later works. You'll be missing out on a great writer if you do that.

Nick Podehi was excellent with the delivery of the story

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Classic

One of my very first Michael Crichton books. I've read it twice and really enjoyed listening to it. The narrator made it so vivid for me again like I was just reading it for the first time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Case Of Need

As a OB- GYN nurse for 33+ years, this book was right down my alley.
I found it very enthralling and interesting, I especially liked all of the appendix info at the end!!!!! Good job!!!! 💐

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Not too bad

I listened, and I did truly enjoy it. It wasn't a struggle to listen. It wasn't unputdownable. I was glad when it was over. Overall, a mediocre Crichton.
It's difficult to say why I didn't like it as much as I usually like a Crichton, but I'll try.
There's very little real action. It's all detective work. So it's a detective story, not truly a "thriller". (But okay, I can live with that. Higashino wrote pure detective work, without a character so much as running, and I rated Suspect X as perhaps the best book on Audible.)
Unfortunately, the detective work is done by a pathologist. Now if this detective work had been done in the path lab, it could have risen to the level of brilliant. Unfortunately, this was done on the streets, so it could only rise to the level of ordinary.
The plot was nice.
So while the book was interesting, it never became VERY interesting.
Still, I never felt like I'd wasted a credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Crichton, no need to say more

loved it. I'm a bjg fan. really appreciate the information he always gives at the end of hos sfories where be presents the science and data.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting in unexpected ways

This is one of the early Michael Crichton books he wrote as a med student, but it's clear that his talent for novel writing (the structure and language) is there already. His books zip along with interest and speed, without being too light and frivolous, and without being too heavy and ponderous. Good beach reads, and that's a talent of it's own.

The facts and social opinions of the day are dated and/or outmoded.....pre- Roe vs Wade and the national discussion on abortion, doctors' wives who keep homes, raise children, and gossip with each other, almost everyone smoked (including doctors), and doctors were referred to as almost exclusively male (as was the case in the late 60s, when med students were still 90% male). Still, I find that doesn't matter much to my enjoyment of the book.......none of those things really impact the narrative or the plot of the book except for the hesitancy of people to discuss abortions.

I found some unexpected things to be very interesting - the argument that the one of reason abortions were illegal was that they were relatively safe, and that if the morbidity and mortality rate were higher, there would be more pressure to allow them to be done (and obtained) legally. Also the depiction of how doctors truly do make the worst patients, and how doctors use language, knowledge, and a "one of the guys" code to protect themselves. Oh, and that it seemed everyone, including doctors, smoked.

Listen to the appendices - there's some interesting information and insight that Michael Crichton probably wanted to include but couldn't find a way -- but it's still very interesting.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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When abortion was illegal

The central crime, illegal abortion seemed ancient. Was good to be reminded what the medical community and patients had to go through. Crichton doe good and he does great. This gets a good. Enough science to make the medical mystery classification. Not enough to learn much while being entertained.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great story

First off -I’ve never seen the movie adaption but I enjoyed the book. You have to remember that the timeframe is old - like phone booths for a dime, .20 cent burgers. The story is well written in fact you would think Michael Crichton was a doctor. Imagine Quincey Jones and the Fugitive. John is a pathologist (autopsy doc) who investigates his fellow doctor and friend to find the truth and get him free from the crime he’s allegedly committed. There are some racial remarks but again it’s the timeline. Well worth reading/listening to.

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an early chitin newly found

never knew this book existed until I found it on Audible very intriguing to see a medical preview before the current Healthcare scenarios

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I could not get into this one .

Have read many Michael Crichton books and loved them . This book was not a favorite . glad I didn't start with this one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-18-18

Sleep inducing

Sleep inducing - I have persevered with - certainly not my choice of book - story was very dated

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Vicki Caesar
  • 06-05-17

Pros and cons of abortion

This was the most boring book I have had the misfortune to read (or listen to). No surprises, no I have to keep reading to find out what happens. It was like listening to a medical text book about whether abortion should be legalised or not. Main character also boring and annoying. He was not sure if he was a doctor or a lawyer. Don' t waste your money.
Vicki C.