cover image The Select

The Select

F. Paul Wilson. William Morrow & Company, $22 (333pp) ISBN 978-0-688-04618-7

Drawing on many years experience as a practicing physician, Wilson wrote this fast-moving thriller under a pseudonym. Only after Morrow won the auction did he reveal himself as the author of 15 previous books, including The Tomb and The Keep . This is a powerful read with a chilling premise about diabolical doctors (and big pharmaceutical companies) that may make a timely entry onto the bestseller lists. The book is neatly divided into two sections, the first recounting the attempts of Quinn Cleary and her friend Tim Brown to get into the country's most exclusive medical school, Ingraham College of Medicine, a tuition-free institution completely subsidized by Kleederman Pharmaceuticals. But there is one strange requirement: only those students who are proven susceptible to subconcious suggestion are admitted. Though Quinn is immune, Tim manages to get her in, and the two slowly discover the secret agenda behind the brainwashing and the grisly truth of the school's research. The main characters are perfectly capable of driving the plot on their own, so the occasional gratuitous event almost seems unnecessary. But that's the only stain on Wilson's story, which is well and believably told, with the suspense mounting relentlessly until the satisfying conclusion. Literary Guild alternate; major ad/promo. (Feb.)