cover image Pandemic


Robin Cook. Putnam, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-53533-1

When a seemingly healthy woman collapses on a subway train in Manhattan and dies shortly afterward from an unknown cause, New York City medical examiner Jack Stapleton, the hero of this unremarkable thriller from bestseller Cook (Charlatans), suspects viral pneumonia—and fears that the city might be on the verge of a pandemic. Since the woman’s phone and purse were stolen from her as she lay dying in the subway car, she’s declared a Jane Doe when she’s delivered to Bellevue Hospital. A tattoo on the body eventually leads Jack to identify her as Carol Stewart, who recently received a heart transplant but, oddly, has no trace of immunosuppressants in her system. Jack’s investigation, aided by a colleague who is, naturally, a stunningly attractive woman, leads him to butt heads with his wife, Laurie, the head of the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, who wants to avoid an unnecessary panic. A maverick, Jack isn’t afraid to ignore Laurie’s orders in his quest for the truth behind Carol’s death. Cook offers nothing that genre readers haven’t seen before. [em](Dec.) [/em]