cover image Foreign Body

Foreign Body

Robin Cook, Author Putnam $25.95 (448p) ISBN 978-0-399-15502-4

Bestseller Cook (Critical ) stumbles in this formulaic thriller about the timely subject of medical tourism, the trend in which U.S. citizens seek to save costs on expensive surgery through treatment overseas. At the center of the drama is Jennifer Hernandez, a fourth-year medical student at UCLA, whose grandmother has died in a New Delhi hospital following hip replacement surgery. Suspicious about the circumstances, Hernandez immediately flies to India to investigate. There she not only discovers a number of similar deaths of U.S. citizens but also runs into the one-two punch of a desperate Indian medical industry struggling to block all publicity about the deaths and a huge American HMO that wants nothing more than the widest exposure of the apparent medical missteps in the Third World. Implausible plot twists, unconvincing villains, silly dialogue and a convenient, all-too-happy ending make this one of Cook's rare weak efforts. (Aug.)