FATAL CARE

Leonard Goldberg, Author . Signet $6.99 (146p) ISBN 978-0-451-20529-2

Stale writing mars an otherwise stirring story in Goldberg's latest Joanna Blalock installment (following Lethal Measures). The book opens with three seemingly unrelated deaths; Joanna, a forensic pathologist working for a distinguished hospital in L.A., performs the autopsies. In doing so, she uncovers a plot centered around Bio-Med, a hot new bioengineering firm, and its radical treatment for clogged arteries. The plot rattles along enjoyably as Joanna hits the street with the LAPD to uncover the connection between Bio-Med and the three deaths. Joanna is a likeable heroine, though the other characters take too many pains to insist upon her brilliance. Detective Jake Sinclair, her love interest, is also appealing, but their relationship is only marginally developed. The end of the mystery is full of holes—one plot point hinges on Joanna's inability to remember the code to a locked door even though it differs by only one digit from the code she does know. Joanna also does a lot of on-the-street investigating for someone who works in a lab; it's hard to believe that the LAPD would invite a pathologist to interrogate witnesses and pursue case leads. Despite its flaws, the novel is a suspenseful, breezy read, and Goldberg, a physician himself, litters his narrative with enough scientific detail to satisfy medical thriller aficionados. (Nov. 6)

Reviewed on: 10/08/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
Ebook - 978-0-7865-4030-3
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