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Silent Treatment

Silent Treatment

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  About the Book

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 drama of 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 a license 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 of reconciliation.  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 for reconciliation.  Shockingly, without warning, Evie is dead.  The police suspect homicide.  And their only suspect is Dr.  Harry Corbett.

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 dangerous secrets.  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 that only 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 a doctor.  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 that threatens 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 patient is 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 terrifying physician since Hannibal Lecter.  Silent Treatment will keep your pulse racing from beginning to end.

Author Notes

People are always asking me which of my books is my favorite. And the truth is, just like children, I like each one of them for different reasons. Harry Corbett in Silent Treatment is my favorite protagonist, and The Doctor (Anton Perchek) is my favorite villain. I also like this cover the most of all of my books. I started this book wondering about managed care and what unscrupulous insurance companies might do if they could predict how much your illness would cost them over its entire course. Beyond a certain threshold, it seemed, it would not be cost-effective for them to allow that illness to run its full and natural history.

Harry, forty-nine and in denial about increasing chest pain when he exerts himself, is drawn into danger and conflict with a genius killer, when all he wants to do is show up every day at his gritty inner-city office and take care of people, many of whom have no insurance at all. He is not only juxtaposed against The Doctor, but also against his brother Phil, who, without even a high school diploma, has become a mogul in car dealerships. Ultimately, Harry’s survival will depend on Phil. Silent Treatment features a grand chase along the New Jersey Palisades between a sedan full of heavily armed killers and a 36-foot customized Winnebago motor home. It ends in the massive boiler plant of a huge New York hospital. What more can I say? A script for Silent Treatment was written to be a four-hour mini-series, but for whatever reason, the project just waned. Right now we are trying to resurrect it. I recently learned that the audio of this book will be part of Jiffy Lube’s summer promotion in 2002. Get a lube and be given a copy of Adam Arkin reading Silent Treatment. Sounds goofy, but the truth is, I’m flattered.