cover image Genesis


Robin Cook. Putnam, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-54215-5

The sleuthing overshadows the mystery in bestseller Cook’s routine 11th medical thriller featuring Laurie Montgomery (after 2018’s Pandemic). Montgomery, New York City’s chief medical examiner, has her usual full plate at work and at home: her office is under fire for a screwup involving cadavers with identical names; and her nine-year-old son is having trouble at school. In addition, a brilliant but difficult pathology resident, Aria Nichols, has been blowing off her residency. A sensitive case gives Montgomery the opportunity to work with Nichols. Social worker Kera Jacobsen has apparently died of an opioid overdose, and Jacobsen’s boss at the city’s Department of Pathology is hoping the autopsy can be handled discreetly. The discovery that Jacobsen was pregnant leads Nichols to pursue the father’s identity, using unconventional genetic testing to do so. By opening with a depiction of a married man drugging Jacobsen, Cook eliminates any doubt of foul play, and fans will regret Montgomery’s taking a back seat to Nichols for much of the book. Innovative forensic science isn’t enough to sustain interest. Agent: Erica Silverman, Trident Media Group. (Dec.)