Robin Cook, Putnam, $26.95 (416p) ISBN 978-0-399-15662-5
Organized crime, international espionage, and kidnapping only mildly enliven Cook's methodical ninth medical thriller featuring husband-and-wife medical examiners Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton (after Intervention). Laurie's first case back in the Manhattan medical examiner's office, after giving birth to the couple's firstborn, John "JJ" Junior, appears to be a routine case of death by natural causes. But Laurie suspects otherwise, and her dogged investigation uncovers a diabolical poisoning and a plot involving the Mafia and rival Japanese gangsters laundering money for a shady start-up firm promoting stem-cell research. To deter Laurie's prying, the thugs snatch JJ, and suddenly the intrigue gets very personal. Cook provides an interesting study of the strange bedfellows that the biotech business and the mob might make, but he telegraphs all his plot twists so far in advance that there's little suspense other than how quickly Laurie will tip to them. Even devoted Cook fans may find that the crimes and subterfuges are resolved too swiftly and perfunctorily. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/28/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Hardcover - 647 pages - 978-1-4104-2763-2
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Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-101-45171-7
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-230-75064-7
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-101-44689-8
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Mass Market Paperbound - 503 pages - 978-0-425-24260-5
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