cover image Drug of Choice

Drug of Choice

Michael Crichton, writing as John Lange. Hard Case Crime, $9.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-78329-123-6

The insightful predictions about future technological advancements that marked Crichton's SF thrillers are on display in another standout from his earlier efforts, this novel originally published in 1970. Once again, his lead is an everyman thrust into an unusual situation. Roger Clark, a Los Angeles internal medicine resident, encounters a bizarre case: a seemingly comatose Hell's Angel whose urine is blue. Roger is embarrassed when his superior is able to rouse the patient easily and the excretion reverts to its normal color. The situation gets stranger when a Hollywood cover girl, Sharon Wilder, is admitted to Clark's hospital with similar symptoms. Wilder recovers, and invites the doctor out. But on the morning following their first date, he's left with only a vague memory of the night, and soon finds himself recruited for a job with a mysterious bio-systems firm that tests cutting-edge drugs. The scary secret behind these events further testifies to Crichton's gift at anticipating societal trends. (Nov.)