COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
NEW YORK CITY
FEBRUARY 28, 2011, 7:23 A.M.
The girl, twelve, awakens with a start. She’s lying on a thin mattress on a low, narrow bed and circling around her is a pack of girls. They’re older— sixteen, seventeen— and as they shuffle along, they’re staring down at her with obviously sinister intentions. Some are suppressing giggles, others are smiling, but these smiles aren’t signs of happiness, they’re smiles of anticipation. It’s still nighttime. There are other cots in the long room and the girl knows the other occupants are awake but they won’t move to help her because they know what’s about to happen. Transfixed with terror, the girl is unable to react as the mob falls upon her. As she’s being dragged off the bed she sees her chief tormentor, the ringleader’s face twisted in a manic grimace. Still, she knows better than to scream for help. Somewhere in the dormitory, there’s suddenly a loud banging sound. And again. Pia Grazdani, twenty- six, woke up in a panic and a cold sweat, unsure for a second of where she was. She breathed out with relief when she realized she was safe and in her dorm room at Columbia University Medical Center. Someone was banging on the door.
Taking another deep breath, Pia leaped out of bed in her flannel pajamas, took three quick strides to the door, flipped the dead bolt, and pulled it open. As she expected, it was George, her fellow fourth-year medical student.
“Pia, do you know what time it is? This isn’t a day you want to be late.” His tone was not as strident as the syntax suggested. At six- one, George Wilson had seven inches on Pia, but somehow he always felt smaller when he was in her presence. As he explained it to himself, she had what he called a tough, plucky personality and could at times be rather volatile.
Pia held the door open and George took a couple of steps into the small dorm room. Pia let the door close and turned and hurried past George, pulling her pajama top over her head as she did so. George looked at Pia’s bare back, at the cut of her shoulder blades framing her flawless olive- brown skin. She stood in front of her low dresser and pulled out some clothes for the day. As she did so she caught George’s stare in the mirror.
“Sorry, George, I couldn’t sleep and then when I could sleep I was dreaming. You go ahead, I’ll catch up with you later today.”
With that said, Afrodita Pia Grazdani turned her full attention to getting ready. When she pulled down her pajama pants, George turned his head and looked out the window. He would have preferred to watch her but was afraid to do so. Instead he concentrated on the dramatic view that he and the other medical students had learned to take for granted. He could see the giant George Washington Bridge connecting Manhattan with New Jersey. Its usual morning rush- hour traffic was at a standstill in both directions.
Copyright © 2011 by Robin Cook
Greed drives the action in Death Benefit, another page-turning tale of medical malfeasance from New York Times bestselling author Robin Cook. Dedicated medical residents Pia Grazdani and George Wilson are working on cutting-edge diabetes research when their mentor, a renowned scientist, suddenly dies. Shaken by the unexpected tragedy—he didn’t appear to be ill—they want to discover what caused his demise. But as the pair digs deeper, it becomes clear there was nothing natural about it. Could someone be manipulating the 25-trillion-dollar life insurance industry for personal gain? As Pia and George will discover, there are some who contend the perfect way to make a financial killing is to commit murder….
Hardcover Book : 432 pages
Publisher: Putnam Pub Group/Mbr of Penguin ( December 27, 2011 )
Item #: 13-511359
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.97inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
This book just didn't seem up to par for Robin Cook. I have been a Robin Cook fan for many years but just didn't enjoy this book that much. I sincerely hope Mr. Cook returns to his previous style for future books.
Reviewer: Joann F
very disappointing,not his usual style, did not appreciate the swear words loved all his books except this one,no need for offensive language.
I love Robin Cook as an author. It was one of his books that got me interested in reading so when he has a new book out, I grab it quick. This book is actually broken up into 3 sections. The first section will bore you to death and leave you wondering where the book is really going. Once you get to the second section he finally puts everything together and the book starts to get interesting. However, if you are a a huge medical thriller fanatic like I am, this really has nothing to do with any huge infections or gross side effects. It is a medical thriller in the aspect of being about stem cell research, which again explains the boring first section. If you can just get through the first third of the book, the rest goes quickly and gets quite exciting.
I've been a Robin Cook fan for years and have read and loved all his books. However, I was ready to put this book down until page 50 when the book really started getting interesting. I understand that you have to have some technical background but I felt like there was too much in this case. I was also disappointed in how the book ended. I always loved the books with Jack, Laurie and Lou the main characters.
Reviewer: Beth H
I really enjoyed this book. Being a big Robin Cook fan, I look forward to all his new releases. I enjoyed the way he made the tie-in with the ocme and the familiar characters from that series. I was dismayed however, with the waythe character Pia treats an electrical worker fixing a problem in her office. I make my living as an electrician and would never accept such condescending treatment from anyone. Is this secretly how dr Cook feels about technicians, the very people that keep a hospital running? I hope not.