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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Robin Cook takes on the cutting-edge world of gene modification in this pulse-pounding new medical thriller.

When an unidentified, seemingly healthy young woman collapses suddenly on the New York City subway and dies upon reaching the hospital, her case is an eerie reminder for veteran medical examiner Jack Stapleton of the 1918 flu pandemic. Fearful of a repeat on the 100th anniversary of the nightmarish contagion, Jack autopsies the woman within hours of her demise and discovers some striking anomalies: first, that she has had a heart transplant, and second, that, against all odds, her DNA matches that of the transplanted heart.

 Although the facts don't add up to influenza, Jack must race against the clock to identify the woman and determine what kind of virus could wreak such havoc - a task made more urgent when two other victims succumb to a similar rapid death. But nothing makes sense until his investigation leads him into the fascinating realm of CRISPR/CAS9, a gene-editing biotechnology that's captured the imagination of the medical community...and the attention of its most unethical members. Drawn into the dark underbelly of the organ transplant market, Jack will come face to face with a megalomaniacal businessman willing to risk human lives in order to conquer a lucrative new frontier in medicine - and if Jack's not careful, the next life lost might be his own.

©2018 Robin Cook (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about Pandemic

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

Misleading Title & Disappointing Plot

As an advanced public health professional who is very aware of the correct terminology, I found myself repeatedly correcting Cook’s use of terms including “pandemic.” Those looking for an epidemiological thriller should look elsewhere because that is only at the very end & not comparable to others.
Also, I’m not sure why Cook named his protagonist “Jack”; every time the narrator says “Jack asked...” it sounds like jackass.
I wish I had spent my credit on a different book!

20 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not enthralling

Lost interest in the story line pretty quickly. Perhaps a new narrAtor would help. I have enjoyed some of his work in the past, but this book

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book - Bad Narration

I love Robin Cook but the narration of George Guidall is distracting. He reads like he is always trying to catch his breath which causes unnecessary pauses in the wrong places. I may have to go back to reading my Robin Cook novels.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Big Disappointment

Not what I was expecting - - the title is very misleading.

I wanted some suspense and tense moments, but had to settle for a rather boring and mild story. Even the bad guys aren’t that bad. Ending was a let down as well -

Just felt irritated when I was done that I wasted a credit - may ask to return this one.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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bad

very disappointed with Robin Cook and his first Jack Stapleton book in a few years . He has turned a favorite character Lori Montgomery and made her unlikable, boring story, quite possibly the worst book of his that I've read

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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GET TO THE POINT ALREADY!

Interesting story but OMG!! … Did Jack ever have an unexpressed thought?

It became excruciating!

2 people found this helpful

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

Aggravating main character hurt story line

I do not want to provide a spoiler so I will not say what made the main character so annoying. Some folks may even enjoy this kind of main character. For me, however, a main character who is unendurable after just a few exposures can ruin a book. I found the character to detract from, rather than contribute to, the plot line and the story line. And, at least to me, the personality of the character was not needed for the plot line to play out as it did. Otherwise, it would be possible to tolerate the person's presences in the novel more easily. Literally nothing which happened in the novel that was important to the story required the unbearable nature of the protagonist.

Otherwise it was a very good story. The ending was injured a bit by some questionable, "out of character actions" by the main antagonist which did not seem to fit his/her motives or plans. This is less important to the quality of the story because it was less affected by that character. Otherwise, it as a solid ending.

I would say Cook has this problem with developing characters overall based upon this book and a couple of others I read years ago. However, the rest of the characters were developed well and the interplay between them was well constructed. Same was true in those other books. Cook just may have a weakness for annoying protagonists.

Usually I give a lot of stars even for books that I didn't really like all that much because the issues that arose were more intrinsic to the setting or story line or types of characters that could be expected or are needed for such a book. But here, it did cost some stars because the protagonist's petulance seemed ancillary, unnecessary, and even contradictory to the nature of the story.

I will not say the main character fits a role like an anti-hero. It is not a character one may hate or one may call "flawed." I just found the main character aggravating just reading about them. It hurt the book and the story because the person became a kind of pain to deal with when trying while following the story.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Nothing happens!

I was so looking forward to this book and pre-bought it. Literally nothing happens in this book. Everything is loose ends - jumps around. Quite disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

It’s been awhile since I’ve read one of Robin Cook’s books, and I found this tale completely lacking. I actually found the "hero" Jack quite irritating and to self important. Though I’m sure that’s what Cook intended.
I did expect more of an ending instead of a brief summation. Don’t know if I’ll attempt future Cook books, but will instead reread some of his past books when he was in his prime.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

disapointed

Reading the description, I had high Hope's for this book. Great idea , very poorly executed.

3 people found this helpful