Thursday, May 3, 2012

PATIENT ONE by Leonard Goldberg

Date published: May 8, 2012
ISBN 9780738730462
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained Via Publisher/Netgalley (ARC)

At a state dinner attended by both the President of the United States and Russian attendees, they suddenly come down with a rapid case of food poisoning. One by one the party goers become ill and a mass exodus leads to the nearest medical facility.

Chief of the emergency room, David Ballineau has arrived home and ready for a relaxing evening with his daughter. Likewise, nurse Carolyn Ross, is home caring for her mother who suffers from dementia. With the increasing number of patients being brought to the facility the pair are called back into work.

The orderly process at the hospital is disrupted not only by the arrival of the president and his complement of special agents, but with the arrival of a well organized group of terrorists. Their demands are simple: release their countrymen held at various prisons around the world. Or are they?

Revenge is on their minds, revenge for a heinous mass murder committed by the Russians and they don’t simply want the release of their countrymen. They want a plane to transport them to safety and then to carry out something even more insidious. Adding to the turmoil facing David and Carolyn is the fact that the president has a rare disease which could kill him even without the food poisoning.

Can an ER doctor and his nurse outwit a group of terrorists bent on murder?

Leonard Goldberg’s PATIENT ONE starts off with a bang. I read this book on my Kindle and the first 20% of the book really drew me in. The characters were interesting, the drama unfolding was gripping and the concept of the story seemed not only different but intriguing. I had a hard time putting it down.

Once all the patients were in the hospital, however, things ground to a halt for me. I didn’t much care for David and Carolyn as characters. I didn’t connect with them and their dialogue came across a tad stilted. There was a tremendous amount of narrative, generally a telling of the story from the omniscient point of view with the author telling you how the characters felt but they themselves didn’t deliver on the emotions. While a bit about the medical and health concerns of the characters was of interest, there was too much in depth detail of too many illnesses. At one point I wondered if the detail was to bump up the word count rather than to add to the story.

What came across to me was that the author could clearly see each scene playing out, as if he were watching a movie. The problem was instead of showing me the movie he told me about it. Mr. Goldberg has a wonderful imagination and the concept of the story was great.

Some of the secondary characters, like the vice president, were interesting. I liked her delivery. As I said, the concept of the book was great, very unique.

If you are looking for a quick read with an exciting idea, PATIENT ONE is a good choice.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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