Book Review: Cell by Robin Cook

George Wilson is just beginning his fourth year as a radiology resident, and also just beginning to come to terms with the sudden death of his fiancée a few months earlier. Dr. Paula Stonebrenner, an old flame from medical school comes back into his life when she contacts George to unveil a new method of caring for patients.

Created by Amalgamated Healthcare, iDoc is your new primary doctor, available 24 hours a day, and continually monitoring your vital signs, able to administer medicine or answer questions whenever necessary—all via your smartphone. Patients involved in the beta test love it, and so does the insurance company. George is surprised to discover that his fiancée had been one of these patients. As the number of iDoc patients who turn up dead begins to grow, George begins to wonder if the system has been hacked, or if something more sinister is going on.

I had not read any Robin Cook novels in a long time, so when I saw this on the “New” bookshelf I picked it up. As expected, it was a fast-paced medical thriller featuring your worst fears of healthcare. Given the capabilities of our cell phones and our dependency on them, the premise of iDoc does not seem too far out there. Throwing in the Affordable Care Act, Cook has created a timely and relevant tale. My only complaint was the number of exclamation points(!)—sometimes the characters seemed to be yelling at each other unnecessarily. Recommended for fans of this author, those who enjoy Michael Palmer’s novels, and conspiracy theorists.