I used to be a big fan of Robin Cook’s novels. In fact his were the first books of medical thriller genre that I got introduced to and guess wouldn’t be far from wrong to quote he was the front runner in this genre of novels. He never compromised on usage of medical terminologies and tests and processes and somehow, with the characters being strongly established and having connected with the readers, could go with the context for almost all of those terminologies without even bothering to refer google-aandavar or dictionary. When I began reading Arthur Hailey, whose novels are more like Ph.D thesis on each topic, the cookie begun to crumble and with introduction of Michael Crichton, Cook lost his captaincy J Especially with Michael Crichton’s style almost in synch with the flow and form of Cook. One major difference between the two was that, while both had interesting beginnings portions, Cook lost the knack over a period of time. Almost all his later books had a stale start and ending was never his strength with his lead pair eking out an easy escape. With his almost overlapping story lines, beyond a few books, the sense of familiarity made it feel as if I’ve already read the book, even though I wouldn’t have.
Took up Vector as I was pretty sure I hadn’t read it. Plot wise its pretty straight forward with a Disgruntled Russian Bio scientist, working as a cab driver in NY, two ex service men who are racists and thirst for white supremacy. They come together to unleash bio attack on NY. The Russian prepares home made Anthrax and does sample testing on one appavi, who dies without knowing what hit him. His body ends up at the Medical Examiner’s office where the hero Jack comes into picture and the story evolves from there till how the plot boomerangs on the perpetrators. To my knowledge Cook doesn’t categorize any of his novels as Jack Stapleton series, even though the lead character, his female counterpart and their police friend plus the romantic triangle between them forms a running sequence across his books, which doesn’t much interfere with the original premise and is a mere side note. Could’ve been a better selling point in my opinion. Typical to his other novels, the ending is pretty simple and sudden as like most of his other villains, in this novel also, the negative leads are mostly brain dead. Would’ve been all the more interesting had they also been from similar background as the protagonists.
Gils verdict – Vector is much better when compared to mokkais like CURE by the same author but definitely not in the same league as Coma, Brain or mind bend. Acceptible risk by him has always been my firm favorite. Much better than Matthew Reilley though J