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Marker

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With his signature blend of suspense and science, Robin Cook delivers an electrifying page-turner that delves into the murky ethics of developing genomic medicine and modern-day health care.


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With his signature blend of suspense and science, Robin Cook delivers an electrifying page-turner that delves into the murky ethics of developing genomic medicine and modern-day health care.

30 review for Marker

  1. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Robin Cook consistently, in my opinion, produces great medical thrillers. Whether it is eg regarding medical tourism or in this case the impact of the outcomes of our greater knowledge of the human genome. This book centers on learning the genetic markers for individuals and the future cost of these future medical conditions eg serious heart defects. Unputdownable, very readable and excellent characters.

  2. 4 out of 5

    D.K. Cherian

    Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery are back in another medical thriller. Robin Cook has outdone himself with this story. The characters were very much real and believeable right down to Jack's jealous streak and passive-aggressive behaviour which almost ruins his relationship with Laurie as her friend. While you don't expect Jack to behave in that manner, especially since he is one of the spotlight cast members of the novel, if you think about it, his reaction was only human and anyone of us wou Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery are back in another medical thriller. Robin Cook has outdone himself with this story. The characters were very much real and believeable right down to Jack's jealous streak and passive-aggressive behaviour which almost ruins his relationship with Laurie as her friend. While you don't expect Jack to behave in that manner, especially since he is one of the spotlight cast members of the novel, if you think about it, his reaction was only human and anyone of us would probably done the same thing. The main antagonist was a female who was obviously a psychopath. She had not formed any social ties with her workmates or with people in her gym and lead a solitary life. She scorned at following simple rules such as paying for her groceries and would have rather murdered the storeowner when he caught her than pay the tab, had it not been for a sudden and welcome diversion by way of her mobile phone. Cook wrote this character particularly well, or so I thought. I could not put this book down. The story was rivetting and the plot page turning. The begining of the story starts out as Cook describes the cellular and molecular activities of the beginnings of life in one person and the eventual death of another. The whole events are beautifully worded and equate to a symphony and dance at the microscopic level. The plot starts when Laurie suspects something strange after two seemingly healthy (apart from the minor surgery they underwent) individuals die from no apparent reason post-op. Her sluething for answers uncovers several more cases as well as similar cases in another hospital. Of course, the simple storyline about healthy patients in hospitals mysteriously dying (with suspicions pointing to a serial killer medical staff) has been done to death (no pun intended) both, in real life as well as in novels. But Cook knows how to make this into a page turning, edge-of-the-seat, spine-tingling thriller. The crux of the story dealth with the human genome and its implication to health insurance. Insurance is basically a gamble. But if we unlock our genes and know in advance what ailments we are prone to, then the gamble becomes almost a sure thing. And it was the way in which higher-ups in the medical field and health insurance were takling this problem that rounds up the storyline.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Linda Hart

    This is a great medical thriller with a reasonable extrapolation on the possible future weakness of health insurance if major diseases carry genetic testing markers. I haven't read any Robin Cook mysteries for years and am glad I picked up this page turner. It is #5 in a series, but stands alone. Good characterization and no smut. This is a great medical thriller with a reasonable extrapolation on the possible future weakness of health insurance if major diseases carry genetic testing markers. I haven't read any Robin Cook mysteries for years and am glad I picked up this page turner. It is #5 in a series, but stands alone. Good characterization and no smut.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Wayland Smith

    I'd mostly given up on Cook's writing. This one fit a challenge for me, so I gave it another whirl, and I remember now why I quit. I give him full credit for his medical knowledge, he knows more about the field than I ever will. Unfortunately, that same depth of knowledge doesn't transfer to his writing. Plot summary: The intrepid adventurers/medical examiners who want to be detectives Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery are back. Laurie detects a pattern in some strange deaths at a local hospit I'd mostly given up on Cook's writing. This one fit a challenge for me, so I gave it another whirl, and I remember now why I quit. I give him full credit for his medical knowledge, he knows more about the field than I ever will. Unfortunately, that same depth of knowledge doesn't transfer to his writing. Plot summary: The intrepid adventurers/medical examiners who want to be detectives Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery are back. Laurie detects a pattern in some strange deaths at a local hospital. Her boss, despite her successfully ferreting out several murders before, refuses to listen, as usual. At the same time, Laurie breaks up with Jack over long-simmering issues in their relationship, starts seeing someone new, and then finds out she's pregnant. Complications ensue on all levels, Laurie is once again almost killed, as is Jack, and the bad guys get caught. The deal here proves to be a vast conspiracy rooted in the "managed care" industry. Jack and Lauries are both emotionally problematic people. Jack has lingering guilt over losing his family, and acts in a juvenile way, playing street basketball all the time and riding his mountain bike all over the city, in and out of traffic, risking his life constantly. Laurie jumps to conclusions, has serious denial issues, and gets overly emotional in various odd ways. I don't really like either of them. The writing has many flaws. Everyone speaks in a perfectly precise, grammatically correct way, from doctors and politicians to street guys and cops. Robin Cook is a well educated white male, and all his characters talk the same way. 21st century New Yorkers do not say things like "My word!" and "Gosh" on a regular basis. At least not the ones under 60 or so. I get part of the whole "amateur detective" genre is a lack of official support, but when someone discovers multiple murder cases, and it's even part of their job, how dumb to their bosses have to be to not start taking them seriously? There are several police procedure mistakes, like a cop in a complex murder case asking a civilian to pick up a gun and letting him handle evidence. Lawyers would have a field day with that in court. Also, no cop I know talks like the ones here. Cook has some very definite opinions about managed care and the health industry. He even includes a lecture in the afterwards about his views. Fair enough, but not all health companies are evil. The villain is utterly over the top. As if the penchant for killing people for pay isn't enough of a clue she's a bad guy, she regularly shoplifts, has killed someone's dog, somehow didn't go to the stockade for shooting someone who hit on her while she was in the military, and is abusive to pretty much everyone around her. I can't really say I recommend this one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I don't have time to read 1- or 2-star books. My ratings start at 3, which means a book has to be at least good enough to finish. Cook's books, including this one, rate a 4 because of their plots. The guy knows how to hammer things together in a way that keeps those pages turning. I'm pretty loyal to a mystery series, too, once I get to know the characters. Slipping into a world familiar from other books is like finding my old slippers in the closet and putting them on--cozy and comfortable. Thr I don't have time to read 1- or 2-star books. My ratings start at 3, which means a book has to be at least good enough to finish. Cook's books, including this one, rate a 4 because of their plots. The guy knows how to hammer things together in a way that keeps those pages turning. I'm pretty loyal to a mystery series, too, once I get to know the characters. Slipping into a world familiar from other books is like finding my old slippers in the closet and putting them on--cozy and comfortable. Through the earlier books in the series, I've come to care about the welfare of Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton--maybe more than they do themselves, since depth of characterization isn't one of Robin Cook's greatest strengths. Be prepared for characters that talk in complex sentences, use multisyllabic words and erudite language (even in bed or when saving their necks), and can't say "can't." But I forgive Cook for being a little pedantic, because I always learn something new from his books. From Marker, I learned a good deal about genetic testing and mutations. And I'll tell you what, after reading this book, I'll think twice about rolling up my sleeve and letting anyone test my blood!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Lord

    Wish I could give quarter stars. Marker is a typical Cook-book: an interchangeable, repetitive medical thriller with greedy, colluding insurance companies and muckety-mucks and beautiful doctors falling in and out of love while investigating mysterious deaths. Cook’s knack for detailing every stupid little thing drove me to throw up in my mouth. “When the alarm went off the second time, Jack turned it off, threw back the covers, sat up, and put his feet on the floor, facing away from Laurie.” I Wish I could give quarter stars. Marker is a typical Cook-book: an interchangeable, repetitive medical thriller with greedy, colluding insurance companies and muckety-mucks and beautiful doctors falling in and out of love while investigating mysterious deaths. Cook’s knack for detailing every stupid little thing drove me to throw up in my mouth. “When the alarm went off the second time, Jack turned it off, threw back the covers, sat up, and put his feet on the floor, facing away from Laurie.” I admit that it’s not fair for me to lazily critique one pedestrian sentence, but THERE ARE 533 PAGES OF THIS. Do you enjoy reading about what color Jack’s mountain bike is or that Laurie put her pregnancy test kit box on top of the hamper? Go for it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Justin Nelson

    Well, I finished this. Yep. I remember loving Robin Cook medical thrillers back in the day. As I was struggling to get through this, I kept wondering if I had misremembered this series. But, I don't think so. I just think this was a bad novel. The hardest part was the dialogue and characters. The "conversations" people have sound very forced and stilted and...alien, somehow. Cook focuses way too much on his series characters of Jack and Laurie and their interpersonal drama that the whole thing dr Well, I finished this. Yep. I remember loving Robin Cook medical thrillers back in the day. As I was struggling to get through this, I kept wondering if I had misremembered this series. But, I don't think so. I just think this was a bad novel. The hardest part was the dialogue and characters. The "conversations" people have sound very forced and stilted and...alien, somehow. Cook focuses way too much on his series characters of Jack and Laurie and their interpersonal drama that the whole thing drags and drags. To make matters worse-spoiler-they don't even resolve the issue by the epilogue that they spend about 350 of these 550 pages arguing about. The plot itself has some germ of intrigue, but it gets chopped up in uneven pacing and long, character slogs. There are also a TON of editing errors that permeate this. At one point, EKG becomes EGK for a bit...and, I mean...it's a medical thriller for God's sake. Cook has some strong, fun, thought-provoking work. This is not one of them.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton are coroners in NYC. Laurie has come across a couple of cases of young, healthy people who should not have died. She can find no reason that they did, even in the tox screens. When a 3rd one shows up, she is sure that she's onto a serial killer but no one will believe her. I've always loved Cook's books and this was no exception. It was frightening going through the ultimate result, but it makes you think. Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton are coroners in NYC. Laurie has come across a couple of cases of young, healthy people who should not have died. She can find no reason that they did, even in the tox screens. When a 3rd one shows up, she is sure that she's onto a serial killer but no one will believe her. I've always loved Cook's books and this was no exception. It was frightening going through the ultimate result, but it makes you think.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Humaira Shaikh

    Yet another outstanding piece of work by Robin Cook! An incredible amount of research has gone into this book. And everything is explained in detail without the reader getting confused. As I am not a medical student it is written in a way so that everyone can understand. The book explains about the discovery of the human genomes 3.2 billion base pairs in 2000. Though the general population of the world did not regard this as a significant event. The author describes it a revelation that: " gives us Yet another outstanding piece of work by Robin Cook! An incredible amount of research has gone into this book. And everything is explained in detail without the reader getting confused. As I am not a medical student it is written in a way so that everyone can understand. The book explains about the discovery of the human genomes 3.2 billion base pairs in 2000. Though the general population of the world did not regard this as a significant event. The author describes it a revelation that: " gives us all the letters of the "book of life" in the right order, despite our having, as of yet, imperfect understanding of the language or the punctuation". The discovery gave rise to two new branches namely Genomics the study of the flow of information in a cell and Bioinformatics which is the application of computers to make sense of all the information coming out of the Genomics branch. The information and data gathered from these two field will give us all the information nature has amassed to make and run a human being! With this type of discovery we can find the Markers which pin point alteration in the sequence of nucleotide bases that form the ladder of the DNA by just a drop of blood. And these Markers can be mapped through the human genome. This type of information can be used to find many mutations in the human DNA which lead to various illness or character traits. The micro array slides are read with layers and the information is stored in the Bioinformatics application. This was risks and cost for a patient can be determined with accuracy. So as you can see this information is quiet significant for large enterprises such as insurance companies. And we all know great leaps and discoveries in science have pro's and con's. This book explains to us what happens when this information falls into the wrong hands. In the book large medical enterprises take advantage of this new information and fish out patience with these Markers and eliminate them to reduce the expenditure for these patience. This is an incredible book. And gave a large amount of insight into the world of medical business. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading about medical thrillers.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jim C

    Actual rating is 3.5 stars. This book is part of a series but each book can be read as a stand alone. Jack and Laurie are coroners for NYC. Laurie comes across a rash of deaths of healthy, young adults that were in the hospital for minor surgeries. No one believes Laurie that there is a related reason for these deaths as she tries to prove and stop this spree. Once again, Robin Cook pens a medical thriller that is creepy in its nature and once again the reader prays that it never really happens. H Actual rating is 3.5 stars. This book is part of a series but each book can be read as a stand alone. Jack and Laurie are coroners for NYC. Laurie comes across a rash of deaths of healthy, young adults that were in the hospital for minor surgeries. No one believes Laurie that there is a related reason for these deaths as she tries to prove and stop this spree. Once again, Robin Cook pens a medical thriller that is creepy in its nature and once again the reader prays that it never really happens. He asks the question of how far health care providers will go to save a buck or two. I have read this series from the beginning and I like the progression of the characters. They are not stagnant in their relationship as we see if they will take their relationship to the next level. I loved the story but there was a flaw in its storytelling. The flaw was the dialogue between characters. The dialogue is used to explain to the reader the medical jargon that the reader might not know. It didn't come off natural in this book which is surprising because I have never noticed this before in the other books. This could be the case of the author tackling a new field of medicine and he felt he had to explain it to the audience. At times, it felt like it was overdone and it did not feel right. That being said, I was intrigued by this novel throughout and I liked the twist at the end as for the reason for the antagonists as I thought it was heading in a different direction. It did creep me out and once again Robin Cook has made me think twice when I have to go into a hospital.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    ***SPOILER ALERT*** this book seriously got on my nerves for two reasons. First are we really finding another corpse that is headless and handless? This is the third one in the series. get a new idea already. second the lead female character. Ugh. So much whining about how she's almost 43 years old and her biological clock is ticking and how she's always wanted a husband and children. More whining about how she's always wanted children. then she has this genetic test that tells her that she could ***SPOILER ALERT*** this book seriously got on my nerves for two reasons. First are we really finding another corpse that is headless and handless? This is the third one in the series. get a new idea already. second the lead female character. Ugh. So much whining about how she's almost 43 years old and her biological clock is ticking and how she's always wanted a husband and children. More whining about how she's always wanted children. then she has this genetic test that tells her that she could be a high risk for breast cancer and ovarian cancer so prophylactically she should have those body parts removed. Thus further hindering her chance to have children. And what should happen? She becomes pregnant unexpectedly. and is she over joy to finally be looking forward to the child she has always wanted and is almost too old to have? Nope. This pregnancy is an inconvenience and she even considers abortion. this is absolutely ridiculous and it was so annoying every time the subject came up in the book. I just wanted to smack her.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Judie Dooley

    I've read some of Robin Cooks books before but I missed this one. "Marker" is a medical mystery-thriller. This was a fast read that made want to keep reading way past my bedtime. This was written in 2005 but it seemed like something that could have happened with medical insurance and hospitals today. Very creepy. It's the story of of 2 forensic Dr's who are trying to figure out why a number of healthy young people who underwent elective surgery are being brought into the morgue for autopsy. Thes I've read some of Robin Cooks books before but I missed this one. "Marker" is a medical mystery-thriller. This was a fast read that made want to keep reading way past my bedtime. This was written in 2005 but it seemed like something that could have happened with medical insurance and hospitals today. Very creepy. It's the story of of 2 forensic Dr's who are trying to figure out why a number of healthy young people who underwent elective surgery are being brought into the morgue for autopsy. These patients are from 2 hospitals, and show no sign of what killed them. Just let me say--if you are young healthy and going into the hospital for elective surgery--do not read this book before doing so. It made me think twice about staying in any hospital overnight for anything. Very well written --good story line and believable characters. I recommend it to anyone who likes medical thrillers. Unless your planning an overnight stay at a hospital.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura Ruetz

    Robin Cook has written another riveting medical mystery thriller. Laurie and Jack are both medical examiners and she discovers a series of deaths that appear related only by the fact that there is no cause of death to be discovered - healthy people are dying post-op and there is no medical cause. This sets the scene for the novel that is part thriller and part mystery and it will pull you in. The changed dynamic between Laurie and Jack is interwoven into the novel, and helps pull things together Robin Cook has written another riveting medical mystery thriller. Laurie and Jack are both medical examiners and she discovers a series of deaths that appear related only by the fact that there is no cause of death to be discovered - healthy people are dying post-op and there is no medical cause. This sets the scene for the novel that is part thriller and part mystery and it will pull you in. The changed dynamic between Laurie and Jack is interwoven into the novel, and helps pull things together. This is a great novel, and I think part of why I found it so engaging is because with the ever evolving health insurance industry, and most people are anxious about their managed care as we are increasing made to feel like numbers, not members. This book takes that theme and uses it, which why I found it to be such and effective read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cardiacnursee

    Marker was an exciting book to read... not only was it very medically informative, but it was a bit suspenseful at times also. That's what seems to be standard in Robin Cook's books. My mom even loves reading him, as I pass them down to her and my sister. My mom is of the only patients that I've known that can read Robin Cook in the hospital. Even her doctors made some comments about that... Read him and find out why.. LOVE all of Robin Cook's books. This book touches the importance of the BRCA Marker was an exciting book to read... not only was it very medically informative, but it was a bit suspenseful at times also. That's what seems to be standard in Robin Cook's books. My mom even loves reading him, as I pass them down to her and my sister. My mom is of the only patients that I've known that can read Robin Cook in the hospital. Even her doctors made some comments about that... Read him and find out why.. LOVE all of Robin Cook's books. This book touches the importance of the BRCA lab, which can show if you have a genetic marker for breast CA.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    This was a massive beast of a book to read - a medical mystery to boot, not something I would typically read. But a friend asked me to take on the task and read it with her so I said I would. I cannot say I enjoyed this. I think the medical field is one that is always changing and expanding - and it's a great example of how a book feels dated. Maybe I'm naive but I think hospitals and emergency rooms have a lot more cameras and security these days. I also feel like medication (pills especially) a This was a massive beast of a book to read - a medical mystery to boot, not something I would typically read. But a friend asked me to take on the task and read it with her so I said I would. I cannot say I enjoyed this. I think the medical field is one that is always changing and expanding - and it's a great example of how a book feels dated. Maybe I'm naive but I think hospitals and emergency rooms have a lot more cameras and security these days. I also feel like medication (pills especially) are very heavily tracked - how can they bill us if they don't even know if they used something? So instead of being wrapped in the mystery, I kept thinking "Why doesn't she just google it?" or "I'm pretty sure the ER has cameras in quite a few areas now" instead of being truly in the story. And Laurie. How frustrating was it that she just ignored any/all medical signs of what was going on with her? I just wanted to shake her. For being a doctor, I felt like I knew more about what was possibly going on with her than she did. The added POV of Jack added a lot to the story, so I appreciated seeing what was going on when Laurie couldn't follow the story. I don't think we needed Roger's POV (I mean, why did I need to know about his little date? I already didn't like him) because we had Jazz's POV as well. Too many opinions in the pot possibly, or just another reason I wasn't enjoying the storyline. Either way, I don't see me picking up another medical mystery any time soon.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kym Gamble

    Follow Dr. Laura Montgomery as she tries to tell people that deaths at 2 different hospitals are being done by a serial killer. No one wants to hear her and so she strikes out on her own trying to verify that indeed people are dying at the hands of someone supposed to care for them. The twists and turns in this book are like a rollercoaster.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    All of Jack & Lauries stories are amazing!!!! Consistently pulling you in with an involved mystery, you can never tell where the story is going or how it will end!!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    I may have read this many years ago. But still suspenseful and interesting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Gamble

    I pre-ordered the hardcover of this, and it was worth every penny. When it arrived I caressed it, examined the cover art, checked out what was under the dust cover. I did not open it up and start reading – not even the inside flap, as they often give away too much. I kept it beside the computer as I worked, and carried it around with me as if I were reading it, feeling a sense of anticipation looking at it. When I had finally completed the news mag I was editing I felt an amazing sense of freedo I pre-ordered the hardcover of this, and it was worth every penny. When it arrived I caressed it, examined the cover art, checked out what was under the dust cover. I did not open it up and start reading – not even the inside flap, as they often give away too much. I kept it beside the computer as I worked, and carried it around with me as if I were reading it, feeling a sense of anticipation looking at it. When I had finally completed the news mag I was editing I felt an amazing sense of freedom. I then picked up Marker, and to heck with everything else. I love the iridescent blue backdrop to the mirror-image electrophoresis strips on the cover, and how they blur in the middle like ripples in water. A clever idea, and effective. I suppose they put “A Novel” in the middle so people wouldn’t think it was a genetic text. I was amused by the unique “sex scene” in the prologue. In general, I really enjoyed the book. I think the characterisation was its strongest element. It was certainly fun to revisit Jack and Laurie, and see the relationship move forward. Both the characters were frustrating at times, but in believable ways. I liked switching between them to see what each was thinking and doing. After Cook introduced Roger, I made predictions about him and was glad to be surprised. When it seemed like the characters were a little slow figuring out what was going on I reminded myself I had the advantage of knowing what the title of the book was. The irony about organ transplant from a character was a good idea. I would have liked to understand Rakoczi better, and I can’t help wanting to see people like her reform. She was, after all intelligent, athletic, and pushed the wrong way by abuse. We were told she could love, but didn’t see the other side of her. I wondered why Jack didn’t pay more attention to the Canadian news. There was a series of accidental deaths in hospitals because the KCl was packaged similarly to the NaCl, and stored right beside it on the shelf. When I heard that news report I remembered Thomas in Godplayer using that method of execution. Around the time this book came out there were reportedly 10 000 deaths per year in Canadian hospitals due to errors! If I needed surgery, I’d be reading all the labels on the IV fluids, pills etc., and saying “excuse, me, you don’t mind if I autoclave those, do you?” I’d be the patient from Hell. Jack’s mutilated baby case reminds me there has been a forensic pathologist in the news up here for having single mothers falsely accused or convicted. It’s like something out of one of Cook’s novels, but it’s real! The thoughts on nightshift workers was interesting. I chose it for solitude but it does throw you into a different world. When I was going to bed and my Mom was getting up we were chatting about what we would do “tomorrow” and we were both getting confused until we realized her “tomorrow” was my “today,” because I hadn’t slept yet. I could identify with Laurie’s uneasiness at visiting a social worker. When my son was hospitalized for “being too tiny” the paediatrician sent me down to social services to “find out more about the family.” I knew he really meant “find out if you feed the kid.” (It turned out our boy wasn’t too small, just compact.) This author’s topics are always so relevant! When a relative got breast cancer and was tested for markers, I was glad I’d just learned something about them from “Marker”. I told her about the novel. The author’s comments on health insurance are very relevant to what has been happening in Canada. I loved how this was a fun, suspenseful novel with interesting characters, but there were a lot of issues brought up to think about.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Addy

    Could have been much better, easily 50-70 pages longer than necessary and way too much personal drama in between some awesome bone chilling action.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bouchra Rebiai

    It's been a long time since I read a Robin Cook book, especially one from this series. From the first book I read - Foreign Body - I've been hooked. The style of writing is interesting, and the stories are intriguing. I love the two main characters in this series - Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery. Even though I haven't been reading the series in order, with a book or two every few months from a different part of the series, I feel like I know these two inside out. Not reading the series in ord It's been a long time since I read a Robin Cook book, especially one from this series. From the first book I read - Foreign Body - I've been hooked. The style of writing is interesting, and the stories are intriguing. I love the two main characters in this series - Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery. Even though I haven't been reading the series in order, with a book or two every few months from a different part of the series, I feel like I know these two inside out. Not reading the series in order means that I know what eventually happens to them a few years down the road, but somehow I don't seem to mind that, which is quite interesting, since I mostly hate reading or watching series out of order. In Marker, Jack and Laurie are at a crossroads in their relationship - she wants a family, he still isn't ready for commitment. After he refuses to sit down and talk because of the wrong timing, she decides to leave him and packs up her things before leaving for work. Over the next few weeks, a disturbing series of deaths at Manhattan General leave Laurie thinking there might be a serial killer on the loose. At first facing opposition from everyone to act on her intuition, she persists, and eventually presents the cases at a meeting of all medical examiners in the area. She then learns that there was a similar set of cases, dispersed over a longer period of time, at another hospital. Even though the chief medical examiner isn't yet convinced, he allows her to investigate. (view spoiler)[Eventually, they find the perpetrator, and Laurie and Jack get back together after losing a potential child in an ectopic pregnancy after which she was almost killed. (hide spoiler)] As usual, it was nice to read a medical thriller - it has been too long since the last one - and especially a Robin Cook one at that. I recommend it to anybody who has an interest in the medical sciences, especially in the areas of medical genomics and/or medical ethics.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carisa Burns

    I had to stop reading this one. I was disappointed. I usually love these books but this one just seemed to have never ending explanations of mundane things. And it was too much about Laurie and Jack's relationship. Even that though would have been fine if their feelings and explanation of their situation wasn't reiterated over and over without anything significant happening. Maybe it would have gotten better. I know that happens sometimes with this series but I was very far into it and still fel I had to stop reading this one. I was disappointed. I usually love these books but this one just seemed to have never ending explanations of mundane things. And it was too much about Laurie and Jack's relationship. Even that though would have been fine if their feelings and explanation of their situation wasn't reiterated over and over without anything significant happening. Maybe it would have gotten better. I know that happens sometimes with this series but I was very far into it and still felt like not much was happening.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aurora

    I read this novel around the time I had decided to enter the medical field and was exploring a lot into this genre. It was my favorite of them all, after My Sister's Keeper. The mystery in the novel combined with the medical drama as well as a dash of romance was the perfect combination. It was also my first Robin Cook novel! And the very first one I suggest to people. =) Enjoy! I read this novel around the time I had decided to enter the medical field and was exploring a lot into this genre. It was my favorite of them all, after My Sister's Keeper. The mystery in the novel combined with the medical drama as well as a dash of romance was the perfect combination. It was also my first Robin Cook novel! And the very first one I suggest to people. =) Enjoy!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Robin is the king of the medical thrillers with only Michael Chrichton on his tails. I enjoy the Stapleton/ Montgomery series and I have 3 or 4 of them. All solid page turners that make me continue reading until I have a resolution. Like MC, Robin's books are crammed with science and medicinal facts that make these thrillers all too real. Robin is the king of the medical thrillers with only Michael Chrichton on his tails. I enjoy the Stapleton/ Montgomery series and I have 3 or 4 of them. All solid page turners that make me continue reading until I have a resolution. Like MC, Robin's books are crammed with science and medicinal facts that make these thrillers all too real.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Madalene

    This was the first book I read by Robin Cook. The premise was very interesting, but some of the writing was a bit predictable. Overall, though, I did enjoy reading it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Weiss

    Still a page turner ... but I've got reservations, Robin Cook, the reigning king of the medical thriller, returns New York City medical examiners, Laurie Montgomery and her lover, Jack Stapleton (previously seen in his earlier novel Vector) to centre stage. Montgomery autopsies a mysterious string of unwarranted post-surgical cardiac arrests for which she is unable to formulate any reasonable explanation. Her fertile imagination makes the leap to hypothesizing a demented serial killer stalking th Still a page turner ... but I've got reservations, Robin Cook, the reigning king of the medical thriller, returns New York City medical examiners, Laurie Montgomery and her lover, Jack Stapleton (previously seen in his earlier novel Vector) to centre stage. Montgomery autopsies a mysterious string of unwarranted post-surgical cardiac arrests for which she is unable to formulate any reasonable explanation. Her fertile imagination makes the leap to hypothesizing a demented serial killer stalking the halls of Manhattan General, a well respected tertiary care teaching hospital recently taken over by the HMO giant, AmeriCare. At every turn, despite an obviously rising death toll, Laurie is met with skepticism, institutional political resistance and even direct orders to keep her unsubstantiated and possibly libelous speculations to herself. Cook's continuing mastery of the ability to create suspense and to convey the complexity and urgency of the daily running of a major metropolitan hospital, the medical examiner's office, an autopsy, a surgery, a "code blue" and emergency room trauma provide more than enough reasons to keep the pages turning smartly into the wee hours. But there were definitely cracks in the wall that made Marker a much less satisfying novel than Cook's earliest works such as Coma or Blindsight. The identity of the killer, nurse Jasmine "Jazz" Rakoczi, is known almost from the opening pages. It was never a matter of "who", only a question of "why"! While the characters of Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton are developed in depth with care and a completely believable and quite moving pathos, Rakoczi is a stereotypical cardboard villain - a cartoon caricature of the nasty bad guy that is at best weak and at worst almost laughable. As a cautionary tale against a possible macabre result of the continuing business takeover of the US medical health care system, Marker is left frustratingly open ended. Robin Cook's fans will still enjoy this one but it's probably not the best place for a potential new reader to take the first dip into the pool. Paul Weiss

  27. 4 out of 5

    Luann

    I think of Robin Cook as a "white hat" hacker of the medical profession. Although his books are fiction, and thankfully as far as I know not yet predictions, they serve as warnings of the possible "dark side" of modern medicine practices and new technologies. And if the above sounds like science fiction, then you caught my intention. I do often read just for pleasure, but I also firmly believe that a good writer's main purpose in writing anything is not just to entertain or make a living, but al I think of Robin Cook as a "white hat" hacker of the medical profession. Although his books are fiction, and thankfully as far as I know not yet predictions, they serve as warnings of the possible "dark side" of modern medicine practices and new technologies. And if the above sounds like science fiction, then you caught my intention. I do often read just for pleasure, but I also firmly believe that a good writer's main purpose in writing anything is not just to entertain or make a living, but also to educate or at least make readers think about the subject(s). And in this case, to warn. I gave this book only a 4 rating because I don't care for the main characters. In an increasingly challenging world, I prefer a bit more positivity in fiction reading and to read about characters who aren't quite so emotionally disfunctional, or at least to see some growth in maturity. The characters shouldn't be perfect, but Jack and Laurie seem to be stuck in a rut emotionally. However, this is a minor "flaw" and my personality quirk. It also may be because this is one book in a series about these characters. So maybe one or both will come to their senses and get on with their lives. Cook writes well enough that I'm glad he didn't settle for being "just" another doctor and uses his knowledge to write books that do make us think.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I recommend the book, but I do not know how to describe it. Perhaps survival of the unfittest decided by regulatory agents is the best way to say it. Read the author's blog to determine the book's storyline. I came up with several paths that could have been followed, and almost all of them could be related to medical insurance reforms still winding through our Congress (USA). In this book, young patients with life long, pre-existing conditions were mysteriously dying after surgery. One doctor pu I recommend the book, but I do not know how to describe it. Perhaps survival of the unfittest decided by regulatory agents is the best way to say it. Read the author's blog to determine the book's storyline. I came up with several paths that could have been followed, and almost all of them could be related to medical insurance reforms still winding through our Congress (USA). In this book, young patients with life long, pre-existing conditions were mysteriously dying after surgery. One doctor put her career and life in jeopardy to investigate this phenomena. I thought only one pathologist recognizing such bloated death rates was pushing believability. That post-op nurses did not see a problem was equally pushing believability. That HCPs in charge did not even think about homicide by potassium dosing was really pushing believability. (I am ignorant about Markers, genomes, and other scientific and medical terms. Thankfully, the book is readable in fine form without knowing exactly what those terms mean. ) My husband and I planned a sailing honeymoon, but it rained everyday so while not else wise occupied, we read books. I read COMA while he read JAWS. Dr. Cook quickly became a favorite author of mine. He was not given to too much overt sexual content or vulgar language. I appreciate that in an author. Thank you, Dr. Cook, for a good read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bolton

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Really enjoyed this book, Robin really knows how to write really cracking stories. It is quite a long book (500+ pages), but the author really keeps the story alive by his consistent twists and turns. I must admit that I have not been able to read the Laurie & Jack stories in order and although there was a lot “non-medical” storylines, I did not feel that I was at a disadvantage for not reading them in the correct order. However, although I very much enjoyed the story and found the read richly s Really enjoyed this book, Robin really knows how to write really cracking stories. It is quite a long book (500+ pages), but the author really keeps the story alive by his consistent twists and turns. I must admit that I have not been able to read the Laurie & Jack stories in order and although there was a lot “non-medical” storylines, I did not feel that I was at a disadvantage for not reading them in the correct order. However, although I very much enjoyed the story and found the read richly satisfying, there were points where all the numerous backstories and side allays became annoying and I just wanted to know who would come out on top - the bad guys or good guys..... but it was only a small frustration and I just started to again to relax into the brilliant writing. It would be also interesting to find out if others were bothered that you found out way before the end who the ‘bad person’ was. I found it really exciting as it turned the focus from who the ‘bad person’ to why they are doing it, who was sitting behind them, why and would Jack work it all out before it is all to late. All I can say is it is a long book, sometimes it plods, but in the end it is well worth the journey. Yet another brilliant lesson in storytelling.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Let me just say that this is not my favorite Robin Cook novel, but I have not read anything from him for awhile and picking up this book was like meeting an old friend for lunch. I love Cook’s writing and enjoy the twists and turns. I love the hospitals setting, the medical professionals and healthcare scenarios. Robin Cook’s writing is intelligent, well thought out and researched and usually always pretty squeaky clean with little to no harsh language or sexuality. The novel centers on Laurie, Let me just say that this is not my favorite Robin Cook novel, but I have not read anything from him for awhile and picking up this book was like meeting an old friend for lunch. I love Cook’s writing and enjoy the twists and turns. I love the hospitals setting, the medical professionals and healthcare scenarios. Robin Cook’s writing is intelligent, well thought out and researched and usually always pretty squeaky clean with little to no harsh language or sexuality. The novel centers on Laurie, who is an ME, and discovers that several patients are brought into the morgue for her to autopsy who seem to have no obvious cause of death. These are young healthy individuals who undergo routine elective surgery and without rhyme or reason code within 24 hours of surgery and die quickly. No toxins or foreign substances show up in the toxicology report. As multiple similar deaths continue to show up at the morgue, Laurie begins to believe there may be a killer infiltrating the hospital targeting young healthy patients. Laurie meets much resistance for her suspicions. But as the death toll rises, Laurie’s colleagues must admit that something sinister is happening.

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