Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cell; Robin Cook

CELL, Robin Cook 
Penguin Audio - 2014 
 Read by George Guidall
iDoc is the basis for Robin Cook’s new novel Cell. Smartphone owners everywhere have a favorite app or two that has really proved useful, but what about an app that replaces your need to see your doctor?  Still in the testing phase, a new app called iDoc, is a personalized doctor capable of diagnosing and treating sick patients. Implant a tiny sensor and probe into the patient, test fluids on the screen of your smartphone (ugh) how simple is that?  It will even be able to send prescriptions to the pharmacy for the patient. 

The story begins with a presentation about iDoc by the company for prospective investors. The app is in its final testing phase and is touted as being loved by the test patients and sure to revolutionize medicine. For George Wilson, a fourth year radiology resident at a LA hospital, he sees both its merits and its risks.  It certainly would help bridge the gap in the number of primary care doctors throughout the country, but could this app become a future target of computer hackers and just how reliable is this product? 

When George’s fiance Kasey, unexpectedly in their bed he doesn’t understand how it could have happened. Yes, she was a diabetic, but thought she had that pretty well under control. She was also an iDoc test patient. George is devastated by Kasey's death and at least initially he doesn’t suspect any wrongdoing. However, when several more test patients die after undergoing radiology imaging procedures, the red flags go up and George decides to dig deeper into the deaths. Were their deaths a result of iDoc? If so, was it deliberate or faulty technology? George is determined to find out more about iDoc and what is going on.

This is a story which held my interest well enough, but it wasn’t perfect.  The characters seem a bit flat and there wasn’t any nail biting tension like there was in his novel, Coma. The iDoc concept was fascinating and grabbed me early on, making for an enjoyable listening experience. I do recommend trying this one if you tend to like medical thrillers.

4/5 stars (audiobook provided by publisher)

5 comments:

  1. I used to read everything Cook wrote but haven't read him in a while. This sounds interesting.

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  2. That sounds like a cool concept though!

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  3. Interesting concept. I like the good old fashioned human connection. Great review!

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  4. It has been decades since I read Coma but I still remember so much about (I think about whenever I visit Boston); I don't usually read thrillers, but I did read that one and it stuck. I've been thinking I should give Robin Cook another run, and the premise of this one is great, although with your warning, I won't expect another Coma.

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  5. I have this one in audio. I usually like Cook's novels although none as much as Coma. I still can't go near a hospital without thinking of OR-8, and I read that years ago.

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