Friday, January 13, 2012

Michael Palmer - Not For the Squeamish

Whew! I barreled through Michael Palmer's Oath of Office, scheduled for release next month, just in time for his second appearance at the Southwest Florida Reading Festival. ( If you're a political junky, thrill over gruesome medical details, or are a conspiracy theorist, this is the next great read for you!

Palmer introduces another compassionate physician, his alter-ego perhaps, in the super human form of Dr. Lou Welcome, a former alcoholic who's had his license to practice medicine in the E.R. reinstated. When not mending patients' bodies or working out in the boxing ring, a practice that will come in very handy when he finds himself on the wrong end of guns, knives, and even a combine harvester, Dr. Lou counsels and mentors other physicians with drug and alcohol addictions.

When one of his biggest successes and a close friend, Dr. John Meacham, goes off the deep end, turning a pistol on his waiting room patients and then on himself, Dr. Lou is horrified and unwilling to believe that his old friend had relapsed. Something else must have been at play and, since he's been laid off at the counseling center, he has the time and inclination to investigate, discovering that several other horrific, unexplainable incidents have been going down in the D.C. bedroom community of King's Ridge, Va.

An alternate story line revolves around the coolest, ballsiest First Lady you'll ever meet. Dr. Darlene Mallory has put her career as a pediatrician on hold to stand by her man, Martin Mallory, the currently very unpopular president of the United States. But when Martin fires their childhood friend, Secretary of Agriculture Russell Evans, without even hearing his side of the tabloid story, Darlene decides to go "off the grid" to find out who wanted Evans out of the agricultural chairmanship and why.

As Lou and Darlene delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding their friends, they discover that their investigations begin to overlap. Just suspend disbelief and go for the wild ride as, with the help of a renegade Secret Service agent and an entomologist who specializes in African termites, Dr. Lou and the First Lady deal with a "deep throat" whistle blower, threats, and thugs, before ending up on the doorstep of William Chester, a wealthy and powerful corn producer who holds the town of King's Ridge in his economic grip.

Laced with descriptions of life-saving emergency room procedures and protocols, as well as a rather gruesome chapter involving a woman who performs her own liposuction - you'll never eat fatty foods again - Palmer's novel never lets you forget that the author is a physician first and foremost. Lou Welcome is the quintessential doctor, combining technical perfection with compassionate care for his patients and his family.

 Oath of Office is billed as a pulse-elevating medical thriller. Don't worry Michael Palmer fans, it is all that. But at the heart of this disturbing novel is an important and timely message from the good doctor about the ethical decisions  that are made in the upper echelons of government and in the corporate offices of agricultural conglomerates about the food we grow, produce, and eat. Gassing tomatoes may make them look pretty but how does that break down in our bodies? Irradiation and manipulating of plant DNA takes the danger to a whole new level. Imagine a day when your doctor admonishes,  it's not healthy to eat your veggies."

Visit Michael Palmer's website to learn more about genetically modified foods and join a discussion of his book.


Ann said...

Wow. Sounds very exciting. Can't wait.

Sallyb said...

We'll get you an autographed copy! I've got so many of Don's neighbors lined up to read the copy I have, I'll never get it back!

Canada said...

The truly scary part is that if you do an internet search for the scientific terms in this book they are out there. Hopefully we can trust that they are being used for good and there are regulations in place to save us from something like this occurring. But with all the deregulation talk spinning around Washington could make this story more fact the fiction.

Michael Palmer is a bestselling author for very good reason. He writes an extraordinary story. This book will hold you in its grasp tightly from the first page until the very last word.

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