Review: Death Benefit by Robin Cook
Readers of the medical thriller genre are very familiar with Dr. Robin Cook’s work. This author of 30 previous books has updated his medical expertise with the advent of stem cell use and replacement organs in his latest effort, Death Benefit.
It is clear early in the book that Death Benefit has to do with insurance policies. Some Wall St. Wonders have developed a scheme to buy up life insurance policies of very ill people and cash in on the upcoming death benefits.
Unfortunately for them, two molecular geneticists are hard at work in a bio-safety lab at Columbia University Medical Center on organ replacement, specifically the pancreas, which will extend life expectancy for another 10 years. This, of course, throws off all the charts that had been devised to lure investors to the life insurance scam.
In the midst of all this intrigue is Pia Grazdani, a medical student at Columbia, who works closely with the researchers. She becomes directly involved in the fallout that occurs when the two opposing forces collide- research vs. greed.
As if this were not enough story line to follow, Cook introduces a mob element that stalks the lab and specifically Pia. This occurs rather late in the book as does the critical role of the Chief Medical Examiner.
If there was one shortcoming in this modern- medicine book, I would say it was uneven. As interesting as it is to hear about actuarial life insurance tables and medical jargon, the author spent an inordinate amount of time in the early part of the book on setting up the scam and not enough time on the solving of the case by the Chief Medical Examiner.
In any case, Robin Cook fans will rejoice that he has returned to the medical rotation and is in his office.
I give Death Benefit 3 ½ c.c.’s of insulin.
Happy reading from Beverly!