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Critical Judgment

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Dr. Abby Dolan was on the fast track at a major San Francisco hospital when she made a critical choice: to follow her fiance, Josh Wyler, to the picturesque California town of Patience, where he has a new job with manufacturing giant Colstar. Working in a small-town emergency room, knowing that her every move sparks gossip, Abby nonetheless begins to feel at home - until t Dr. Abby Dolan was on the fast track at a major San Francisco hospital when she made a critical choice: to follow her fiance, Josh Wyler, to the picturesque California town of Patience, where he has a new job with manufacturing giant Colstar. Working in a small-town emergency room, knowing that her every move sparks gossip, Abby nonetheless begins to feel at home - until the first undiagnosable patients start showing up.Abby calls them NIWWs: No Idea What's Wrong. And despite her considerable skills, she can't crack these baffling, seemingly random cases. At the same time, Josh is experiencing blinding headaches and pain-driven episodes of manic, even violent, behavior.Abby wonders whether Colstar could somehow be poisoning the town. Her suspicions are shared by ER colleague Dr. Lew Alvarez, whose investigating committee has shrunk from several dozen members to a cautious three. When Abby finds herself playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Colstar's steely head of security, Lew warns her that her predecessor in the ER, a Colstar detractor, died in a dubious climbing accident.But Abby cannot back off. She loses a patient in the ER, the victim of a murderous rage in a normally easygoing man. Another patient nearly dies during a routine diagnostic test. And Abby starts to question everyone and everything in the now hostile town of Patience - while her most dangerous enemy is far closer than she thinks.


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Dr. Abby Dolan was on the fast track at a major San Francisco hospital when she made a critical choice: to follow her fiance, Josh Wyler, to the picturesque California town of Patience, where he has a new job with manufacturing giant Colstar. Working in a small-town emergency room, knowing that her every move sparks gossip, Abby nonetheless begins to feel at home - until t Dr. Abby Dolan was on the fast track at a major San Francisco hospital when she made a critical choice: to follow her fiance, Josh Wyler, to the picturesque California town of Patience, where he has a new job with manufacturing giant Colstar. Working in a small-town emergency room, knowing that her every move sparks gossip, Abby nonetheless begins to feel at home - until the first undiagnosable patients start showing up.Abby calls them NIWWs: No Idea What's Wrong. And despite her considerable skills, she can't crack these baffling, seemingly random cases. At the same time, Josh is experiencing blinding headaches and pain-driven episodes of manic, even violent, behavior.Abby wonders whether Colstar could somehow be poisoning the town. Her suspicions are shared by ER colleague Dr. Lew Alvarez, whose investigating committee has shrunk from several dozen members to a cautious three. When Abby finds herself playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse with Colstar's steely head of security, Lew warns her that her predecessor in the ER, a Colstar detractor, died in a dubious climbing accident.But Abby cannot back off. She loses a patient in the ER, the victim of a murderous rage in a normally easygoing man. Another patient nearly dies during a routine diagnostic test. And Abby starts to question everyone and everything in the now hostile town of Patience - while her most dangerous enemy is far closer than she thinks.

30 review for Critical Judgment

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bodosika Bodosika

    This is an interesting medical thriller and come to think of it 'Nobody does it like Michael Palmer'.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I liked the way the book started (scenario setting, gradual build-up of atmosphere etc), and the integrity of the medical details (OK, the author is a doctor). However, this was a bit like gobbling down a Big Mac when you think you're starving: it seems great at the beginning, but gets steadily worse as you go on. Substitute the trans-fats and high sodium content for a convoluted and slightly out of control plot, and you get my drift. In short, there was no sense of satisfaction at the end, nor I liked the way the book started (scenario setting, gradual build-up of atmosphere etc), and the integrity of the medical details (OK, the author is a doctor). However, this was a bit like gobbling down a Big Mac when you think you're starving: it seems great at the beginning, but gets steadily worse as you go on. Substitute the trans-fats and high sodium content for a convoluted and slightly out of control plot, and you get my drift. In short, there was no sense of satisfaction at the end, nor a reflection on the exercise with pleasure. BTW, as I haven't eaten a Big Mac for 20 years, I apologise to MacDonalds if they have since modified the nutritional content of the said product.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Magnificent Read!!! Roller coaster ride of a read. Can't put down, read all night, action packed, slide into home base thriller. If all Drs were like Abby there would be no sick people left to treat in the States. Part detective, part scientist, part physician. Well done. Extremely well done.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barbararose

    Absolutely stupendous Dr. Dolan, Abby to friends, had moved to Paridise, CA when her boyfriend got a job at Colstar lab. Now working as an ER doctor at the local hospital, she kept treating patients with similar symptoms, but no causes. Her boyfriend Josh was exhibiting severe mood swings, somewhat like a few of her patients. She and another doctor think they have figured out the possible cause. Read on, for a great ride!

  5. 4 out of 5

    J. Ewbank

    This is a good, solid read. Michael Palmer's story about a female doctor who moves to a town with her fiance. She is employed in the emergency room and comes across patients tht she has no idea what is happening to them. At the same time her fiance is showing indications of the same thing and she wonders if his employer could somehow be involved. Then, the rest of the story. J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joan Ehrnstein

    Gripping story Palmer never disappoints me. This story seems predictable but it's anything but. When you are sure you know who the bad guys are and what they have done, turn the page to find another. Another Palmer book finished in less than 36 hours because I couldn't put it down.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    This was a great book. Kind of like something Robin Cook would write, about the medical field...mystery in the hospital. YIKES! Possible cadmium poisoning by a company that is making batteries "up on the hill" and seems to have the whole town "in its pocket."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jane Pope

    It took me two tries to get interested in this book. The beginning just didn't grab me the first time I picked it up. Luckily I tried it again. This is a medical thriller and includes plenty of detail on all things medical.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Edwina Callan

    Edge of your seat thriller that had both me and my husband guessing whodunit until the very end. Highly recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kris Burrill

    excellent

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charly Flores

    Este libro es una recomendación de una amiga mía, lectora de buenos gustos si se me permite decirlo. Y aunque cuando ella lo leyó me iba contando retazos y ya sabía de que iba la historia me sorprendió bastante y debo decir que para bien. La historia tiene un ritmo tranquilo sin grandes giros y sobresaltos, a excepción de los momentos en que Abby Dolan tiene que actuar en la sala de emergencias del pequeño hospital de Patience, y es que te sumerge tanto en la urgencia con que se trata a los herido Este libro es una recomendación de una amiga mía, lectora de buenos gustos si se me permite decirlo. Y aunque cuando ella lo leyó me iba contando retazos y ya sabía de que iba la historia me sorprendió bastante y debo decir que para bien. La historia tiene un ritmo tranquilo sin grandes giros y sobresaltos, a excepción de los momentos en que Abby Dolan tiene que actuar en la sala de emergencias del pequeño hospital de Patience, y es que te sumerge tanto en la urgencia con que se trata a los heridos y la velocidad de acción que requiere, siendo este el punto fuerte de la historia, la capacidad de narrar con esa viveza las experiencias médicas de la sala de urgencias. Siento que el escritor, al ser un apasionado médico que disfrutaba de atender las más precarias emergencias médicas, tiene esa habilidad para contagiarte la emoción de atender a los pacientes, y por ello las escenas que manejan este tipo de situaciones son las que mas enganchan y aunque son cortas te mantienen en vilo. Los personajes, además, son muy cercanos, y siempre hago énfasis en la necesidad de proponer personajes realistas y con quienes puedas imaginarte una interacción, personas a quienes podrías conocer en la vida real. Y la trama esta muy bien diseñada, pues aunque al principio puede parecer que el lector sabe todo lo que ocurre y solo acompaña a la protagonista a descubrirlo, al final ambos se llevan una sorpresa y en definitiva es poco predecible, aunque de algún modo se puede intuir. El epílogo es muy interesante porque no concluye de una forma convencional, en realidad hace ver que la historia no concluye en sí misma, como suele pasar en los casos reales, donde a pesar de que algo termine siempre habrá esa otra cosa sucediendo o a punto de suceder. Altamente recomendado, sinceramente creo que sería agradable volver a leer algo de este autor. Les debo su frase porque al parecer no guardé ninguna...

  12. 4 out of 5

    George E

    Very good book! As I am about to finish a book I can determine if the book has been good or not by peaking at the Table of Contents to see how many chapters are left in the book from the point that I am currently reading at..... if the book has really been good I will not want the book to end any time soon. That was the case with this book. It was captivating until the very end.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jerrie Lynch

    ??¿?Almost but not quite The book was very entertaining.. and one would have enthusiastic recommended were it not for the multitude of fantastic unbliveable events leading up an unsatisfying ending .It was almost like author was searching for an appropriate ending but leaves reader hanging

  14. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Critical Judgment was an interesting, fast-paced read. The characters are well-crafted, and the reader experiences the horror of this town firsthand through Dr. Dolan. Without an ally in Patience, she managed to pull off the seemingly impossible in the end. This was a good time!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Edna C Crowe

    Loved this book. Very suspensful. Did not want to put it down until finished. One of the best books I 've read! I would recommend this book for anyone who likes a really good read with lots of suspenseful action. I will read more of his books.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Excellent!! Dr. Abby dalton, er doc, turned investigator....wondered why so many patients had vague symptoms no one could put a finger on....could the big colsar company be poisoning them....especially when josh the love of her life did an about face in his thoughts and actions...another goodie...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joyce K. Wire

    Enjoyed this book If you like medical mysteries, then this is the book for you. I didn't want to put this book down. There were some twists I didn't expect. All in all, very satisfying.

  18. 4 out of 5

    estelle elswick

    Medical reality at it's finest I gave this book a high rating because it is believable. In the wrong hands, medical terrorism is so possible , because of the trust we have in the profession.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joan Schwartz

    This was an excellent book. Full of nonstop action. Great read for medical and biomedical people. Characters are wonderfully written and it is full of twists and turns. The end surprised me. Read this book!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    Completely ludicrous but very readable.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kay-em

    Another great book from MP!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Char Ferraro

    Mysterious read Medical mystery. Keeps interest. Enjoyable heroine. Never rests from mystery facts. Leaves the reader thinking. Excellent author. Sorry I’ve finished.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katharine Ott

    "Critical Judgment" - written by Michael Palmer and published in 1997 by Bantam. A gripping medical mystery.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Terralyn Brown Barfield

    Good suspense and pace kept me involved and coming back.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan Roberts

    There were some corny parts, but I liked the story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joan A. Syglowski

    Wow what a read It’s been a long time that I stayed up till 5 am reading a book but I did with this one! Lots of action twists and turns and surprises. Loved the heroine.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    Many twists and turns in this medical thriller. I've read most of Palmer's novels and have enjoyed them all.

  28. 5 out of 5

    L M

    Once it got going it was a thrill ride. All just a bit implausible though. Would make a good movie of the week.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joana

    La historia da comienzo en un hospital, donde conocemos a la doctora Abby Dolan. Recientemente abandonó la gran ciudad para mudarse en ese pueblo y acompañar a su novio en su nuevo trabajo. Un novio que, por cierto, recientemente muestra un carácter más irritable de lo normal y presenta síntomas inexplicables; los mismos que también van presentando otros habitantes de Patience que recurren al hospital. Y aparentemente, es culpa de Colstar International, una empresa poderosa que no está dispuesta La historia da comienzo en un hospital, donde conocemos a la doctora Abby Dolan. Recientemente abandonó la gran ciudad para mudarse en ese pueblo y acompañar a su novio en su nuevo trabajo. Un novio que, por cierto, recientemente muestra un carácter más irritable de lo normal y presenta síntomas inexplicables; los mismos que también van presentando otros habitantes de Patience que recurren al hospital. Y aparentemente, es culpa de Colstar International, una empresa poderosa que no está dispuesta a permitir que esto salga a la luz. El ritmo de esta novela no es pesado, pero no terminó de atraparme del todo. El suspenso no estuvo muy presente en la historia debido a que se sabe prácticamente del comienzo qué es lo que está sucediendo y lo que desencadena los hechos que ocurren después. Abby se envuelta en una "guerra" entre La Alianza, un grupo que está dispuesto a toda costa a desenmascarar a la empresa, y ésta misma, bajo el mando de personas sin muchos escrúpulos. La narración es ligera y bastante precisa en cuanto a los detalles médicos, ya que -lo dice la biografía- el autor se dedica a la medicina. Sin embargo, como seguramente la mayoría de los lectores tienen poco o nulo conocimiento del campo, consideré innecesario que se profundice demasiado en ese aspecto; hubiera bastado una explicación más simple y concisa, porque tantos términos médicos llegaron a confundirme un poco. El punto más débil es el desarrollo de los personajes, tanto de la protagonista como de los secundarios. No llegué a conocerlos a fondo y muchas veces me encontré con que no sabía qué motivaba a tal o cual personaje a hacer determinada acción, así como algunos momentos me parecían fuera de lugar o que no tenían sentido. Por ejemplo, la doctora Abby llega al pueblo mientras está enamorada de su novio, con el que está desde hace casi dos años, y al día siguiente pierde interés por él y se ve atraída a otro doctor simplemente porque es atractivo. Fue difícil encontrarle coherencia a la situación y esto, más tarde, sigue el mismo rumbo: se desconocen las motivaciones de los personajes y, en este caso en particular, el romance estuvo pobremente desarrollado y (como ya mencioné) fuera de lugar. Las últimas páginas fueron más entretenidas y por fin adoptó el ritmo que venía anticipando desde el principio, con algo más de acción y un plot twist que no sorprendió mucho pero al menos dio un poco más de intriga. Además, tuvo un fallo muy evidente; parece como si el autor hubiera decidido a último momento redimirse y mejorar la historia, pero la forma en que la protagonista tiene este descubrimiento en particular (la "revelación" inesperada) es absurda y poco creíble. (view spoiler)[El "bueno" acabó siendo uno de los villanos, que no es muy original (leí lo suficiente a Dan Brown para saberlo), pero este es el tema: el tipo en cuestión prácticamente empapeló una habitación con una gran cantidad de pruebas que lo incriminaban - recortes de periódicos que cuentan sus crímenes con detalle, etcétera. Alguien que se esconde de la ley se encargaría de deshacerse de todo. ¿Para qué querría un cuarto así? Me lo imagino yendo una vez a la semana, así, diciendo: ¡JAJAJA! ¡Soy re malo! (hide spoiler)] El final me gustó, pese a las fallas que enumeré, porque no era del todo lo que esperaba. Fue una novela con la que pude matar el tiempo y que resultó ser poco memorable. Quizás a algunos los pueda entretener, pero yo esperaba algo más.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Pauline

    I think this is my first medical thriller and I was not disappointed. Doctor Abby Dolan moves to the little town of Patience, California following her fiance in his job promotion. She starts work in the regional hospital and become embroiled in mysterious illness that have infected several members of the town. Abby is faced with small town politics and fields ideas of chemical testing and conspiracy. On top of that, issues with her fiance begin cropping up. All of these things seem centered arou I think this is my first medical thriller and I was not disappointed. Doctor Abby Dolan moves to the little town of Patience, California following her fiance in his job promotion. She starts work in the regional hospital and become embroiled in mysterious illness that have infected several members of the town. Abby is faced with small town politics and fields ideas of chemical testing and conspiracy. On top of that, issues with her fiance begin cropping up. All of these things seem centered around Colstar, the big wig company in town. I really enjoyed this one. I'm not sure why I have never read a medical thriller until now, it is right up my alley. I also really loved Abby. She is a strong female character and I always love looking for those in books. Critial Judgement really hits on some medical topics that have always had a "paranoia" factor. Are our large corporations poisioning us by their waste products? And are we really safe even though they may have passed all their environmental tests? It also addresses how money and power play a large role in whether or not things can be addressed or swept under the carpet. (view spoiler)[ Also, how does the idea of being secretly tested and experimented on NOT bother someone. I know plenty of people who don't trust medical professionals or the things they say (hide spoiler)] Overall it was fun, some people may have a slight problem with the techonology displayed in this book (it was written before the 2000s) so it might seem out of date. I personally did not have a problem with it.

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