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Book Review: Charlatans by Robin Cook

"Charlatans" by Robin Cook

"Charlatans" by Robin Cook

Robin Cook

If you've been trying to find a last good read before the summer is over, look no further as Robin Cook will keep you out of the emergency room and off social media.

On June 27, Boston Memorial Hospital parking garage supervisor Bruce Vincent checked in for a routine hernia operation. His surgeon is the world-famous Dr. William Mason, who does the surgery as a "favor."

During surgery, Vincent goes into cardiac arrest and dies. Dr. Mason blames anesthesiologist Dr. Ava London, who has never lost a patient.

Vincent's unexpected demise also adds pressure to Dr. Noah Rothhauser, who will become the Chief Resident on July 1, when the hospital begins a new year.

With the death of the popular employee, Noah knows that everyone will be watching this case closely since Dr. Mason was performing concurrent surgeries, which put the patient in danger. According to the surgical staff, this has been an ongoing problem.

As Noah begins his investigation, he starts to get to know Ava better, and the two seem to be two peas in a pod as both are essentially married to their careers. She helps with his investigation and advises him on how to handle the masses.

Noah has also discovered that Ava is an avowed social media junkie and has some type of mysterious side business which helps pay the mortgage of her six-story townhouse.

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When a second (and third) patient dies due to complications, Dr. Mason demands that Ava resign as he doesn't feel she's qualified to be an anesthesiologist. With over three thousand surgeries under her belt and no prior complications, Noah now has to investigate Ava's secret persona.

Don't let the medical thriller scare you away from this page-turner. Cook presents this novel in an easy-to-read format and makes a great commentary on the use of social media.

There are a few twists and turns, but I was disappointed in the ending. I'm not sure why I was distracted, but it felt as though there really was no satisfaction in how it ended. It felt forced.

After I figured out the underlying mystery, I think I lost interest in how it ended, but the journey to the ending was well worth it.

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