Intervention by Robin Cook

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Intervention by Robin Cook

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: This latest book from the pen of Robin Cook is a page-turning thriller. Dr Jack Stapleton meets up with two of his old, college chums - and international mayhem occurs.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 448 Date: February 2010
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 978-0230743632

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Although Robin Cook has written many books, Intervention is the first one that I have read - I'm a Robin Cook 'virgin.'

This is a big book in many respects. It's a classic, glossy 'coffee table' edition; it's a big, satisfying read and it's a multi-layered book in that it covers many current-day topics which have their roots in history. In fact, this book is so multi-dimensional that, you could argue, there are several books within this book.

We are introduced to the main character, Dr Jack Stapleton, a top medical examiner (forensics) in New York. He's known tragedy in the past but is now happily re-married. He's satisfied with his life now - apart from one thing - he has a very sick child at home. His emotions therefore are stretched to the limit on a regular basis. Paradoxically, it appears that it's his medical work with dead bodies which is keeping him alive, keeping him sane.

A parallel storyline is that of another doctor, Dr Shawn Daughtry, esteemed archaeologist and old, college friend of Jack's. He's ambitious and thrusting; he wants global recognition for his work and nothing less will suffice. A recent chance discovery in the Middle East ensures that his life will never be the same again. In Shawn's own words he describes this discovery as ... it's going to go down as one of the most significant ... in the history of the world. Strong words indeed. But, and this is a huge but, could it be a fake?

Shawn needs assistance and gets in touch with the third member of the college trio or The Three Musketeers as they were fondly called. The third member just happens to be a leading light in the church, in New York. Men in high places indeed. Men at the very top of their profession - or calling. All three have very different personalities which make for an interesting read.

Thrown into the mix are phrases that most of us can relate to, recognise - the Dead Sea Scrolls, King Tut's tomb. Cook blends fact with fiction time and time again. There's also plenty of academic discussions and healthy debate over such diverse subjects as the science of DNA, Christianity, alternative medicines. There are numerous rather mind-blowing questions posed, such as What's the actual definition of the word gospel? This book makes you want to question the previously unquestionable eg: why vaccinate? why use alternative medicine? Generally speaking, these are not simple questions for most of us to answer. There's an illuminating piece on the American medical system vis-a-vis chiropractors ... you don't have the feeling ... rushing you through an assembly line like a hunk of meat at a slaughterhouse.

And when Dr Stapleton carries out some investigating of his own, he' not at all sure of the findings and dithers between ... a well-intentioned but misguided therapist or a modern-day snake-oil salesman.

The three friends, at various stages, criss-cross the globe to try and find answers to their academic questions. It all makes for an intriguing, suspenseful and multi-layered read.

If you like to get your teeth into a good, meaty story then this book is for you. If you like to mull around in your mind some of the big, modern-day, global issues, then again, this book fits the bill. Perhaps a final thought to chew on, in Dr Stapleton's own words is ... that in science, proof that relied on faith was hardly proof at all. In fact, it was an oxymoron. All in all, a mother-and-father of a thriller.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag. We also have a review of Foreign Body by Robin Cook.

If this book appeals then try Library of the Dead by Glenn Cooper.

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