Friday, August 15, 2008

A Few More Suggestions

If you like medical thrillers Robin Cook's new book FOREIGN BODY takes on medical tourism, something that has been in the news a great deal the last few years. If you've missed it, the condensed version is that Americans are traveling to India and other countries to have procedures such as hip replacements, face lifts, etc. because they are so much cheaper than in the US.

These "package deals" include airfare for the patient and a family member or friend, the surgery and follow up care usually at a posh hotel all for thousands less that the price in the US. It is such a "bargain" that some American companies now have agreements with these offshore hospitals and send their employees for surgeries rather than paying top prices for procedures at US hospitals.

Cook takes this timely topic and looks at the downside of it using two of his continuing characters, forensic pathologists from the New York City Medical Examiner's Office, Laurie Montgomery and Jack
Stapleton. They happen to have a personal connection to someone who lost her life under suspicious circumstances following a routine procedure at an Indian hospital.

When the hospital wants to hurriedly cremate the body, the victim's granddaughter who is a bright medical student from the US calls in the two pathologists who are family friends and the plot continues from there.

While it is formula driven in the Cook tradition, it's still an interesting read and poses some thoughtful questions.

A great book for those who like thrillers, medical mysteries or those who just need something to escape  tedium  during an airplane flight or on vacation.