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Publisher's Summary

Straight out of today's hospitals and labs, and tomorrow's headlines, comes a frightening, scalpel-sharp thriller from medical insider Joshua Spanogle. In an astounding debut, Spanogle takes us on an all-too-real race against time as a young doctor enters the dark side of scientific research, desperate to stop a terrifying epidemic before it is too late.

In Baltimore's St. Raphael's Hospital, three newly admitted patients are among society's most helpless citizens: female residents of Baltimore's group homes for the mentally impaired, their bodies racked by a virus the likes of which no one at St. Raphael's has ever seen.

Dr. Nathaniel McCormick is one of the first on the scene. A young investigator from the Centers for Disease Control, Nate is paid to explore the bizarre, the exotic, and the baffling, from superviruses to bioterrorism. But as soon as Nate begins to investigate the lives and habits of the victims, he knows something is terribly wrong. Using all his skills as a medical detective, Nate soon zeroes in on the "vector", the one person who had sexual contact with the first victims. And when that suspect is found murdered, Nate fears that the disease he's chasing may not be an act of nature, but of man.

With his brash style angering his superiors and fellow investigators alike, Nate turns to an old colleague and former lover, Dr. Brooke Michaels, for help. Together the two investigators follow a twisting trail of clues to a discovery that is at once groundbreaking and unspeakable. And as a circle of treachery tightens around him, Nate is about to confront the most chilling revelation of all, and a past Nate himself has been trying to escape.

At once a taut medical thriller and a riveting psychological portrait of a young doctor on the edge, Isolation Ward is a tale of runaway tension, with a brilliant "what-if" premise that is harrowing, heartbreaking, and impossible to wrench from your imagination.

©2006 Joshua Spanogle; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[A] tightly woven debut thriller....Engrossing and intellectually wrought." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Spanogle is a funny, smart, and skilled writer at the beginning of what readers will hope is a long and prolific career." (Publishers Weekly)
"Combines a wonderfully flawed yet stereotypically smart-ass hero with a plot that moves as rapidly as a lethal virus." (Entertainment Weekly)

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  • Overall
  • Jacqui
  • TUSTIN, CA, United States
  • 12-22-10

Wish I Hadn't Wasted A Credit

Not only was this an extremely boring story but Christian Rummel's narration was positively painful to listen to. What a waste of a credit.

  • Overall
  • John
  • Roswell, GA, United States
  • 08-15-06

Abridgement is a Hack Job

I generally prefer my audiobooks in their unabridged versions. This abridgement of "Isolation Ward' strongly reinforces my bias. A book is well abridged when one is unaware that it has been shortened. In this case, one is all too painfully aware of its abridged nature. It is a choppy and sloppy job. I wish I had opted for the unabridged version because the plot is interesting and the characters may well be, but you wouldn't know it from listening to this hack job.

  • Overall
  • E
  • Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
  • 06-23-06

Quick and Exciting Summer Read

A great way to get out and do the gardening and enjoy a book at the same time. I never once felt like pushing fast forward. The plot and characters were an easy summer 'read'.