Putnam, Aug 2009, $25.95
New York City forensic pathologist Dr. Jack Stapleton lost his first wife and two kids in a plane crash. Though it was not easy he moved on and remarried medical examiner Laurie Montgomery. However, his happiness is dampened when he learns their newborn son is diagnosed with deadly neuroblastoma cancer.
He seeks a cure for his offspring, but also needs something to take his mind off his worries. He finds relief for his mind when he performs an autopsy on a healthy college student who received treatment from a chiropractor leading to her dying from vertebral arteries. Jack begins research into alternative medicine planning to expose charlatans taking advantage of desperate ailing people.
Jack's classmate Metropolitan Museum of Art biblical archeologist Shawn Doherty leads a dig under Saint Peter's, which leads him to Jerusalem and Venice where he makes a shocking discovery. The Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York Kevin Murray learns what Shawn has found and wants his old college classmate stopped from revealing his find. He turns to their friend Jack to prevent the revealing of a skeleton allegedly of the Virgin Mary that could rock the foundation of the religion, but the ME sees instead a potential miracle if Shawn’s find is authentic.
The story line starts off as an exciting medical thriller with a desperate personal spin that makes Jack’s inquiry into alternative medicine a combination of exposing fakes and yet praying to find a miracle that works to save his son. The plot then takes a dramatic spin into Brownian religious thriller turf though a link to the desperate search for a miracle remains. That twist detracts from a strong personalized medical thriller that turns into an over the top (or perhaps under the ground) thriller though fans will still enjoy Robin Cook’s action-packed INTERVENTION.