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Critical Condition


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About the Author

Peter Clement, M.D., is a physician who headed an emergency room at a major metropolitan hospital and now maintains a private practice. He is also the author of Lethal Practice, Death Rounds, The Procedure, and Mutant. He is married to a physician and has two sons.


A stem cell conspiracy endangers the lives of two prominent physicians in Clement's latest, a crisp, fast-paced medical murder mystery that begins when geneticist Kathleen Sullivan blacks out while she's in bed with her partner, Richard Steele. Head of the ER at a prominent New York City hospital, Steele helps stabilize her condition, but Sullivan's prospects look grim when bleeding in her brain renders her paralyzed, though still conscious and able to communicate by blinking. Sullivan finds herself being treated by a pair of corrupt doctors, one of whom capitalizes on her condition to inject something into her brain. Sullivan helps Steele and the police get to the heart of a conspiracy that involves several doctors who are trying to cash in on the lucrative potential of stem cell technology by experimenting on human patients. But the program also arouses the ire of a lunatic from an anti-abortion group who starts taking out the guilty doctors in a variety of grotesque murders. Clement (Mutant; The Procedure) keeps the action sprinting along throughout, using concise medical explanations to keep the story from getting bogged down. His characters are rather forgettable Steele, Sullivan and the other doctors frequently veer toward stereotype, and the killer is borderline cartoonish but Clement's plotting carries the day as he keeps his story line from going over the top at several critical junctures. His sense of command and ability to generate suspense and tension make this a solid winner. National advertising. (May) Forecast: The ongoing stem cell controversy should attract a large audience, as will the teaser chapter in the Mutant paperback. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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