Silent Treatment by Michael Palmer


Reviewed by Allen Hott

Silent TreatmentThere is no doubt that this is a medical thriller but the reader must realize that a lot of the “thriller” is in fact only connected with “medical” in a general way. Yes there are some somewhat scary moments connected with the medical industry. But most of the thrills are as Dr. Harry Corbett and a few of his associates get involved in hunting for killers.

Corbett is a highly successful doctor who is well established and well liked in the hospital where he practices. He has also been married to the love of his life, though lately he is not necessarily the love of his wife’s life. There appear to be some things happening with her that he is not aware of, only that she has been acting strangely.

Evie, his wife, is scheduled early on in the story for a minor repair on a small problem with her heart. The doctors have all convinced them that it is nothing to be concerned about but Corbett is still worried.

When she is admitted to the hospital it turns out that her roommate is a somewhat recovering alcoholic. Maura, the lady, is going through various stages of withdrawal but overall seems to be doing fairly well. She does suffer DTs.

When Evie suddenly winds up dead, Corbett is convinced that someone put something into her IV. It seems that Maura also believes that someone who should not have been in the room did come in and was doing something to Evie’s apparatus.

Corbett goes on a rampage seeking answers through questions of staff, watching what little available film that is handy, and also badgering the various top doctors on the staff to do something about a true thorough investigation. In the midst of all of this, one of the head doctors, Dr. Sadonis, accuses Corbett of killing Evie because he thinks that Corbett found out that Sadonis and Evie were having an affair.

As the story progresses several other people in the hospital die in mysterious ways and Corbett not only begins digging into these new occurrences but he gets Maura to help because of the idea that she was in the room and can identify the person who seemingly did the original “deed”. Corbett also brings in another outsider who has worked as an investigator in his past but who now seems to be suffering from some ailments brought on by possible medicinal errors related to the hospital.

The story is quite involved and does have a lot of medical jargon and strange characters in and out. But overall it is a good read and has an almost unbelievable final chase involving Corbett and the real killer. Some of that chase is something that the reader visualizes in his own mind as Michael Palmer details equipment and paraphernalia that gets involved. Kind of tough to do but definitely interesting.