Robin Cook's medical thrillers include "Coma," "Godplayer," "Harmful Intent," "Acceptable Risk" and "Fatal Cure." His second novel, "Sphinx," is a thriller about ancient Egypt rather than a medical novel. His newest book as of December 2015 is "Host."
In Cook's first novel, "Coma," patients having routine operations go into comas when they should be waking up. Medical resident Susan Wheeler finds that they are victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, put into comas to keep their organs available for harvesting.
Cook explores medical issues and ethics in his books. "Fever" deals with large corporations going after profits at the expense of causing fatal disease in children. "Mutation" explores genetic engineering. "Harmful Intent" covers medical malpractice. The topic in "Acceptable Risk" is the use of antidepressant drugs to make people's personalities conform to social norms.
In "Fatal Cure," a hospital is in financial trouble after signing on to be a managed care provider. A married couple, both physicians, start work there hoping the hospital and life in the small town can help their daughter, who has cystic fibrosis. Instead, they find their patients dying on a daily basis and must uncover the reason to save their careers and themselves.
In "Host," the boyfriend of medical student Lynn Pierce becomes brain dead from complications related to the anesthesia during routine surgery. She finds that this occurs far more often than it should in hospitals that belong to the Middleton Healthcare system. A high number of other patients admitted to the hospitals for routine reasons become terminally ill. When Lynn and her associate, Michael Pender, investigate, they receive death threats and find themselves up against Middleton Healthcare and the pharmaceutical company that is its partner.