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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author and master of the medical thriller returns with another crackling tale of unchecked greed and medical malfeasance.

Behind the prim gates of the Greenwich, Connecticut, McMansions, Wall Street whizzes turn their attentions from mortgages to another possible profit source: the $25 trillion life-insurance industry. By securitizing the policies of the old and sick, they hope to make another financial killing.

At the same time, Natalie Savondnik and Ronald Goodall - two exceptional yet aloof medical residents - are working closely with their medical center's premier scientist on cutting-edge diabetes research. When their mentor dies suddenly, they launch a quiet investigation. As they dig deeper, it becomes clear that the scientist's death was not from natural causes. Is it possible someone is manipulating private life insurance information to allow investors to benefit from the deaths of others?

©2011 Robin Cook (P)2011 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"[A] fascinating tale that never slows down." ( Library Journal)
"Cook provides an interesting study of the strange bedfellows the biotech business and the mob might make." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    132
  • 3 Stars
    60
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    147
  • 4 Stars
    88
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    121
  • 4 Stars
    106
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Abrupt ending

What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

Mr. Guidall always differentiates his characters so well that you know who is speaking without the tags. His delivery is relaxed, unaffected, and very intelligible. He is my favorite narrator.

Any additional comments?

The story is very engaging until it ends, very abruptly. It is so bad that it spoils the book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • Asheville, NC
  • 12-25-12

great story, extremely poor engineering

What disappointed you about Death Benefit?

The story and performance by George Guidall were wonderful! The engineering quality on this one is pretty bad (see the additional comments section below).

What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brought life to the characters in a way I hadn't imagined when I originally read the novel.

Any additional comments?

I read other reviews and saw the comments about the engineering quality on this and figured it might not be as bad as described. It was sadly, worse. Chapters would end mid-word and a new one begin, not once but nearly two dozen times. I often wondered if I'd missed something as the new chapter began. I'm not sure where the quality control went on this one.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • Surfside, FL, United States
  • 07-12-12

Great author, reader, book; POOR ENGINEERING

Any additional comments?

Engineering disaster. Many chapters ended abruptly and ran into the beginning of the next chapter - very annoying.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Characters in posted synopsis are mis-named

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Story was pretty good, but ends abruptly. George Guidall is wonderful as usual, but the engineering is awful.I liked the way the author wove in the interesting medical examiners, Jack and Lori, from previous novels. I would love for these characters to appear together in a future novel.

Weird that the synopsis on Audible names the characters as Natalie and Ronald when the characters are Pia and George. In addition, George does not work on the diabetes project as described.......

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tiffany
  • Oakland, CA, United States
  • 11-04-12

Production Quality

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Huge fan of Robin Cook and LUV George Guidall. The story premise somewhat reminded me of Chromosone 6 with genegically enginered organs, the mob and headstrong young scientist ready to crack open the vault and expose the entire endgame. Whilke I enjoyed the story, the productions issues were continious.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Average Robin Cook Novel

Robin Cook is one of those authors that was a better early on. Now it seems like it he just wants to keep cranking out books, without as much concern for their quality. Coma and Silent Treatment were far superior. Also, I find the narration by George Guidall to be especially poor. His voice has an irritating quality, and he is unable to change the tone of his voice adequately to denote the different characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • sharon
  • SACRAMENTO, CA, United States
  • 12-06-12

great story line, not so good narrator

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

yes and no. Love Robin Cook books but it was hard to continue listening due to the narrators delivery. He finishes his sentences at warp speed which gives an impression that he is just trying to get through the job

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator. this one is sorely lacking in delivery

Did Death Benefit inspire you to do anything?

no

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Years after original release book is still great

Read the book when it came out. Cook is fantastic. He has real medical knowledge which lends authenticity to his work. Although medicine has changed greatly since the books original release and subsequent Nano .. they still hold up. Only problem I have is the narrator.. he is literally the most monotone, lack luster and just plain boring "audio performer" ? I have heard.. honestly had I of not read the book this narration may caused me to return it. Book content is excellent.. I would recommend you read vs. listen to these two books both preformed by George Guidall.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, terrible editing of audio

Robin Cook is a terrific author and the story has you on edge throughout. The audio editing on this book was terrible with no pauses between chapters and a few jumps in the story making it frustrating to listen at times. The narrator was great with clear distinction between characters.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Who’ll Collect this Death Benefit?

If you’re a fan of Robin Cook then you’re most likely a fan of the medical mystery/drama genre. And Death Benefit should thoroughly fill your prescription as it leads along the corridors of a prestigious medical center with fourth-year med students, most of whom have things in common such as sleep deprivation, anxiety about where they’ll do their internship, what specialty to settle on, and whether the mob is after them or not. WAIT!! No, every student gets “mob-aphobia” but you never know what might be lurking behind your dorm room door or just around the next corner in a Robin Cook novel.