cover image Crisis


Robin Cook, , read by George Guidall. . Penguin Audio, $39.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-14-305870-0

Guidall's experienced reading brings a pleasant touch of class to Cook's latest thriller. A distinguished and self-confident physician, Craig Bowman is delivered an ego-shattering blow when he is sued for malpractice by the husband of one of his patients, hypochondriac Patience Stanhope, who died while under his care. The trial takes up the bulk of this wordy novel. Bowman's wife asks her brother, medical examiner Dr. Jack Stapleton, to use his expertise to help with her husband's defense. Stapleton agrees, but what should be a routine forensic exercise quickly turns into a dangerous trail of lies, deception and murder. While it takes some time to get to the story's climax, Cook eventually ties up all the loose ends, although the denouement feels more gimmicky than surprising. Guidall exhibits admirable vocal talents as he manages to keep this overwritten novel moving at a satisfying pace, and the ease with which he works his way through the mounds of legal and medical jargon throughout the book is a testament to his skill as a narrator. Fans of Cook's writing should enjoy this dignified presentation. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, May 29). (Aug.)