With the amount of dangerous technological progress we’ve managed to achieve in only a few decades, it has become increasingly easy to imagine scenarios where the Earth finds itself at the threshold of total doom and annihilation. More precisely, as we’ve come to understand diseases better than ever before, so has our fear of them grown proportionally.
Authors have been imagining for years and years all sorts of doomsday scenarios revolving around super diseases and unstoppable epidemics, and this subject is unlikely to be any more topical than it is in the year 2020.
We’ve come to rely on the world of medicine to keep us safe, healthy, and serve as the vanguard against the countless imperceptible and incomprehensible enemies the world throws our way. The idea it might turn against us, whether through human effort or otherwise, is unsettling on a rather profound level for how possible it really is.
In this space reserved for medical thrillers we’ll be examining some of the more interesting as well as thought-provoking books which deal with disease-related scenarios, and in a more general sense, medical practitioners of any kind who use their experience for nefarious purposes.
Danielle Girard has unexpectedly took the suspense genre by storm after proving herself as a romantic author, and the Dr. Schwartzman series is one of her most acclaimed works, beginning with the novel Exhume. It tells the story of Annabelle Schwartzman, a medical examiner for the San Francisco PD, and her foray into a case centred on a victim bearing strange resemblances to herself, leading on the trail of a killer far from finished in his work.
Freida McFadden is better-placed than most authors to write about the topic of brain injury, herself being a practicing physician in the field. In her latest medical thriller, Brain Damage, she tells the story of Dr. Charly McKenna, whose idyllic existence shatters in a split second when an assassin fires a bullet through the right side of her skull. Her brain injured and mind shattered, she tries to reconstruct her memories to find the culprit before he can manage to finish the job.
Tim Tigner has never shied away from exploring hypothetical ideas in as much depth as his profound imagination allowed it, and in Stolen Thoughts he looks at a piece of technology which humanity might yet live to see one day. The story is centred on a young bio-engineering student who makes a life-changing breakthrough: a device allowing thought-based communication with the impaired. However, someone years earlier made the same discovery, and is intent on keeping it hidden.
Shanon Hunt has given us an interesting glimpse into the terrifying possibilities of tomorrow with The Pain Colony, and in the second book of the series, The Rage Colony, our heroes inch ever closer to the truth. On one hand, Layla is inside the secretive colony, and is willing to risk her own life to uncover its secrets. On the other hand, in the outside world, an investigative reporter is trying to expose an illegal “biohacking” ring.
Tim Tigner has evidently made a great decision to become an author and put to use his massive life experience for the purposes of fiction, having published one bestseller after the next. One of his more interesting standalone works is The Price of Time, following a group of corporate bigwigs hell-bent on keeping a precious secret, and Zachary Chase, the ex-CIA agent who finds himself entangled in their web of conspiracy.
Shanon Hunt has made quite a splash with her debut novel, The Pain Colony, which also marked the beginning of the Colony Series, slated to be continued later this year. The story presents us Peter Malloy and Allison Stevens, who are independently prompted to search for a hidden sinister truth somehow relating to illegal genetic experiments.
However, they might just be stumbling into mankind’s grandest conspiracy, and there is no shortage of powerful suits keen on protecting it.
It’s hard to believe it has already been over forty years since Robin Cook introduced the concept of medical thrillers to the world in true style, by penning his classic novel Coma which still holds up to this very day. Following a third-year medical student, we follow her investigation into the Boston Memorial Hospital, where people seem to be dropping into comas on the operating table at a suspiciously higher rate than usual.
John Heubusch is certainly intent on using the Shroud of Turin for all its worth in his fictional works, with his second novel of The Shroud Series, titled The Second Coming , continuing the saga surrounding the legendary piece of cloth. This time around, it seems a fallen angel has been accidentally resurrected with some of the blood from the shroud, and Dr. Jon Bondurant, avowed atheist, races against time to stop the fiend’s cataclysmic plans. The key, however, might lie in a child also created with DNA from the Shroud of Turin, believed to be that of Jesus Christ himself.
John Heubusch has only recently tried his hand at writing after a long and storied career as an executive in the political world, and his debut novel, The Shroud Conspiracy, is an intriguing thriller with an unusual premise. It follows Dr. Jon Bondurant, a forensic anthropologist and outspoken atheist who, after a long career in scepticism, finds himself in a race against time to save a stolen blood sample originating from what he determined to be the true Shroud of Turin, containing in it the DNA of Jesus Christ.
Sandra Block has made her mark in the world of books not long ago by introducing us to the Zoe Goldman series, putting her vast experience as a neurologist to a very creative use. In The Secret Room, the third book in the series, we go on a harrowing ride with the afore-mentioned Zoe, now a doctor who is accused of being an angel of death as her patients keep on mysteriously dying one after the other. Needless to say, Zoe is none too happy about this turn of events and sets out on a path of discovery, one that will pit her against an unexpected nemesis who will see her ruined, and even her life taken.