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Synopses & Reviews
For twelve years, the Jade Dragon on the Upper West Side of Manhattan had prided itself on exceptional food at very reasonable prices. As a result, on an average weekday its 175-seat capacity turned over twice, and on weekends as many as five times. Tonight, a warm Friday in June, the wait for a table was half an hour.
Seated in his customary spot, Ron Farrell was commenting to his wife Susan and their friends Jack and Anita Harmon on how the place had grown since he and Susan had first eaten there almost a decade ago. Now, although they had moved three times, they made a point of coming to the Jade Dragon alone or with friends every other Friday, almost like clockwork.
They were nearly done with a meal that the Harmons had proclaimed as good as any Chinese food they had ever eaten when Ron stopped in mid-sentence and began rubbing his abdomen. With no warning, severe cramps had begun knotting his gut, accompanied almost immediately by waves of nausea. He felt sweat break out beneath his arms and over his face. His vision blurred.
"Ronnie? Are you all right?" his wife asked.
Farrell took several slow, deep breaths. He had always handled pain well. But this ache seemed to be worsening.
"I don't feel well," he managed. "I've...I've just gotten this pain, right here."
"It couldn't be what you ate," Susan said. "We all shared the same-- "
Susan's face suddenly went ashen. Beads of perspiration sprang out across her forehead. Then, without another word, she lurched sideways and vomited on the floor.
Standing by the kitchen door of the crowded restaurant, the young assistant chef watched the commotion grow as one by one, the four customers at table 11 became violently ill. Finally, he reentered the massive kitchen and made his way nonchalantly to the pay phone installed for the use of the hired help. The number he dialed was handwritten on a three-by-five file card.
"Yes?" the man's voice at the other end said.
"Xia Wei Zen here."
The chef read carefully the words printed on the card.
"There are four leaves on the clover."
"Very good. You know where to go after your shift. The man in the black car will take the empty vial from you in exchange for the rest of what you are now owed."
The man hung up without waiting for a reply.
Xia Wei Zen glanced about to ensure no one was watching, and then returned to his station. Work would not be nearly so taxing for the rest of his shift. For one thing, there was a good deal of money awaiting him. And for another, there would be many fewer orders coming in from the dining room tonight.
The call came into the emergency room of Good Samaritan Hospital at 9:47. Four Priority Two patients were being transported by rescue squad from a Chinese restaurant twenty blocks away. Preliminary diagnosis was acute food poisoning.
Priority Two. Potentially serious illness or injury, non-life-threatening at the moment.
It was a typically busy Friday night. T
In his five bestselling novels, from The Sisterhood to Natural Causes, physician Michael Palmer has drawn on years of firsthand emergency-room experience to create the dramaof a frighteningly authentic world--a world where the line between medicine and murder is scalpel-thin. Now, in his most harrowing suspense novel yet, Palmer reveals how the power to heal can become alicense to kill....
With his wife, Evie, scheduled for surgery the next day, Dr. Harry Corbett goes to the hospital for what he hopes will be a quiet evening ofreconciliation. In recent weeks Evie, never quick to share her feelings, has been more closed and distant than ever.
But when Harry reaches Evie's room, it is too late forreconciliation. Shockingly, without warning, Evie is dead. The police suspect homicide. And their only suspect is Dr. HarryCorbett.
Harry is not prepared for the stunning revelations that follow: His bright, beautiful, highly ambitious wife was leading a double life; she may have had
dangeroussecrets. But what secret could have been explosive enough to die for?
Then the killer strikes again, boldly, tauntingly murdering one of Harry's favorite patients in such a way thatonly Harry knows the death was not natural. This time Harry is certain: The killer, medically sophisticated, coolly arrogant, moving undetected through a busy urban hospital, could only be adoctor. And he wonders--how many more will die?
Desperately Harry probes deeper, following the only clue Evie left. What he finds is a sinister pattern thatthreatens patients in every hospital in the city. Harry is engaged in a life-and-death battle of wits with a chillingly efficient monster. And until the doctor is unmasked, no patientis safe from his lethal silent treatment.
Michael Palmer has done it again, delivering a no-holds-barred novel of medical intrigue-- a gripping thriller that features the most terrifyingphysician
since Hannibal Lecter. Silent Treatment will keep your pulse racing from beginning to end
From the Paperback edition.
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