Title: Oath of Office by Michael Palmer
Release date: Feb. 14, 2012; St. Martin's Press
Genre: medical thriller
Objective rating: 4/5
Dr. John Meacham suddenly goes berserk and shoots several of the patients in his office. Other people in King's Ridge begin to show signs of stress, lack of judgement, and extreme destructive behavior, both to others and to themselves.
In the meantime, the director of the Department of Agriculture is forced to resign due to evidence of sexual improprieties. The first lady of the U.S., Darlene, becomes involved when she receives information from an anonymous Doctor M that the agricultural director was framed. This ties in later with the bizarre behavior of the people of King's Ridge and a local corporation.
This is an environmental thriller, where the main character, Dr. Lou Welcome,is almost killed several times trying to find the link between King's Ridge and the extreme lack of judgement some of its residents are showing. Lou begins to work with the First Lady, who follows up on the tips from the mysterious Doctor M and, with her chief of staff, tries to run this evident conspiracy to the ground.
Unfortunately I knew before I started reading that the thriller involves genetic manipulation of food. The quote at the beginning of the book from Seeds of Deception about scientists inserting genes from an animal into a plant gives it away and just about tells us what the medical thriller is about. I would have preferred to have been surprised and find out later.
What's pleasantly new in the book is having a First Lady become a clandestine investigator or sleuth of sorts. What is also new is the president himself not following his Oath of Office in this dire situation. Combining DNA of animals and plants, different species, sounds potentially very scary. I think the book makes that point.
I received a complimentary ARC of this book.
© Harvee Lau of Book Dilettante. Please do not reprint without permission