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Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review : ‘Cell’ by Robin Cook

Robin Cook’s ‘Cell’ might put the reader in some confusion. He might think it has something to do with human cells, especially since the author is a brilliant writer of medical thrillers. Or, today’s man might just shift his focus to cell phones, as it is in one’s hands nowadays. It is a bit of both, in this scenario.
This book has to do with smartphones dealing with human cells. Confused? Well, basically it talks of a smartphone app, which can replace the doctor; this app called the iDoc would handle practically all of the medical needs, including one’s prescriptions. So, the patient would have a lot less to deal with.

This business enterprise stuck a radiology resident, Dr George Wilson, which he shared with an old flame, Paula Stonebrenner. Paula, an MD-MBA is now working with Amalgamated Healthcare and is instrumental in the design of iDoc. 

George, who was engaged to Kasey woke up one morning and found her dead.  Then, as days go by, he notices more people dying and one thing that all of them have is the iDoc. Suspicious, he begins an investigation. He finds that the company would gain huge profits by not exposing what they call a ‘glitch’ especially when it comes to certain perilous patients or it could just be a case of hacking. The government has a hand in this, as well. 

As the story unfolds, Wilson is trapped in the entire muddle, and seemingly gets caught in it more and more. How he untangles the mystery, what happens when his life is threatened, and does he manage to get out alive, form the rest of this medical thriller.

A few points, I did notice, chief among them is George’s, getting caught up in all the love tangles, one after the other. He comes across as very naïve, sometimes silly, kind of a doctor. I have not read too many of Dr Cook’s earlier novels, so I do not know whether it is deliberate or just his style of writing.
The concept was definitely interesting but does not manage to hold on to the mystery like it did in his earlier thrillers, as it used to. The merger of technology and medicine could take up most of our interest in real life, but how far it managed to do in this book remains to be seen.

Author:  Robin Cook
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN : 978-0-230-76939-7
Price: Rs 599
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