"Great medical thiller"
Mr. Matt Rutledge obviously knows something is wrong in his
hometown of Belinda, West Virginia when several of his
patients in for not much more than a cold suddenly die with
strange symptoms. He believes that the Belinda Coal and
Coke Company has poisoned the air, land, or water or a
combination of all three with their usual disregard for
safety or environmental health. Matt detests the coal
company because their practices led to the death of his
father, an employee of Belinda Coal and Coke.
Matt digs deeper into why intelligent people are suddenly
babbling and have unsightly lumps on their bodies. He
learns that former Belinda residents also have died from
the same mysterious ailment. He soon finds out that while
he practiced medicine elsewhere, his hometown was the test
site of a supervaccine whose consequences are starting to
appear. That elixir is about to be approved for use across
the country; a few deaths in backwater West Virginia is not
enough to stop Omnivax from reaching the marketplace.
Michael Palmer is a sure shot (no pun intended) to have his
tenth New York Times best seller with the action-packed
FATAL. The story line never slows down from the opening
sore throat to the final climax. Readers will admire Matt
for his stand against Herculean odds, but what makes him
feel real is his deep negative feelings about the coal
company. Though the plot seems to go over the edge at
times, Mr. Palmer provides a penetrating spot light on
America's vaccination program and to a lesser degree the
environmental unsafe at any speed record.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted May 11, 2002
From The Sisterhood, Michael Palmer's first New York Times
bestseller, to The Patient, his ninth, reviewers have
proclaimed him a master of medical suspense. Recognized
around the world for original, topical, nail-biting
suspense, emergency physician Palmer'swork has been
translated into more than thirty-five languages. Now he
reaches controversial and startling new heights in a
terrifying tale of cutting-edge microbiology, unbridled
greed, and murder, where either knowing too little or
trusting too much can be FATAL.
In Chicago, a pregnant cafeteria worker suffering nothing
more malevolent than flulike symptoms begins hemorrhaging
from every part of her body. In Boston, a brilliant
musician, her face disfigured by an unknown disease,
rapidly descends into a lethal paranoia. In Belinda, West
Virginia, a miner suddenly goes berserk, causing a cave-in
that kills two of his co-workers. Finding the link between
these events could prove FATAL.
Five years ago, internist and emergency specialist Matt
Rutledge returned to his West Virginia home to marry his
high-school sweetheart and open a practice. He also had a
score to settle. His father died while working for the
Belinda Coal and Coke Company, and Matt swore to expose the
mine's health and safety violations.
When his beloved Ginny succumbed to an unusual cancer, his
campaign became even more bitterly personal. Now Matt has
identified two bizarre cases of what he has dubbed the
Belinda Syndrome--caused, he is certain, by the mine's
careless disposal of toxic chemicals. All he needs is proof.
Meanwhile, two women, unknown to one another, are drawn
inexorably to Belinda, into Matt's life--and into mortal
danger. Massachusetts coroner Nikki Solari comes to attend
the funeral of her roommate, killed violently on a Boston
street. Ellen Kroft, a retired schoolteacher from Maryland,
seeks the remorseless killer who has threatened to destroy
her and her family.Three strangers--Rutledge, Solari, and
Kroft--each hold one piece of a puzzle they must solve, and
solve quickly. If they don't, it will be far more than just
their own lives that are at risk.
Michael Palmer has crafted a novel of breathtaking speed
and medical intricacy where nothing is as it seems and one
false step could be FATAL.