“Marker” by Robin Cook

Book Title: Marker

Author: Robin Cook

This hypnotic fast-paced thriller can certainly rate itself as one of Robin Cook’s best. Once again, the shadowy underbelly of society confronts medical science to produce a suspenseful tale that will leave you gripped till the end.

Set in the heart of New York, Marker sets us on the hunt for a mysterious killer lurking in Manhattan’s General Hospital. Without warning or explanation, young healthy patients mysteriously die within hours of operation. The incidents catch the attention of medical examiner Laurie Montgomery who begins to pursue a seemingly cold trail. Woven into the dense fibers of this mystery are the loosening threads of Laurie’s personal relationship with fellow examiner Jack Stapleton.

The novel deals not only with the ethical debate over the role of commercialism exploiting the scientific advances in genetic screening but also explores the basis of modern relationships and the reluctance of individuals to take personal responsibility. Cook also takes a swipe at the conservative militants prevalent in American society by skillfully casting the central villain as a gun-toting discharged American soldier.

Written in a concise yet engaging tone, one cannot help but feel engulfed by the plot and its characters. The simple prose propels the story alone with incredible fluidity whilst the dramatic irony maintains a powerful tension. We are left constantly confounded with unresolved dilemmas and fears for the protagonist. The realistic settings also bring this novel an added dimension of credibility.

For those who have enjoyed watching shows like Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, House and ER, this novel is a must read.

Marker is published in Australia by Pan Macmillan Australia.