Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Host by Robin Cook

I had read a blurb about this novel a while ago and had found it quite interesting. At that time, the book wasn’t available through the online library system so I completely forgot about it. Recently, I was passing by my local library and saw the cover. I remembered how intrigued I was by the story, so I decided to borrow it on a whim. Here is my review:

Lynn is a fourth-year medical student who has her life all planned out: she has an amazing boyfriend, she loves he medical school, Mason-Dixon University, and she has landed the residency she has always wanted. When her boyfriend needs to go for a routine surgery, Lynn urges him to go to Mason-Dixon. But when Carl fails to return to consciousness after the surgery and is pronounced as brain dead, Lynn’s life is turned upside down. Determined to figure out exactly what went wrong, Lynn convinces her best friend Michael to snoop around for evidence of medical malpractice. What she discovers will change everything: all hospitals associated with Middleton Healthcare, including Mason-Dixon, have an unsettling high rate of unexplained anesthetic complications, where healthy patients contract severe illnesses. As Michael and Lynn dig deeper, they find themselves being followed and threatened by Middleton Healthcare and their partner, Sidereal Pharmaceuticals. Time is running out… but will it be Lynn and Michael who are in danger?

With such an interesting storyline, I had high expectations for this novel. I didn’t even manage to finish the book. Even for a science student like me, there was way too much terminology; half of the conversations between Lynn and the other faculty members required deep biological explanations. Also, the sleuthing activities of Michael and Lynn were far too unbelievable – how can it be SO easy for someone to look at patient files?! Not only did I feel incredulous about the characters’ investigative techniques, I also felt exasperated over the constant reminder of Michael’s racial status as an African-American. It was brought up in literally every page and was just incredibly unnecessary. The dialogue between Lynn and Michael did not seem to have any flow to it and was very forced to the point where it was cringe-worthy. I’ve heard that this author has written quite a few novels in the same genre of medical thrillers – but I don’t think I’m going to give anything else a shot right now. If you have had a good experience with any of Robin Cook’s novels, please let me know and I will definitely consider giving it a shot. As for this novel, I think I’m going to have to give it a pass!

Happy reading ~

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