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Toxin

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Just how safe is America's meat supply? Recent health scares and new public awareness have made this one of today's most controversial subjects --- and the basis of Robin Cook's most startling, and important novel. When a doctor's daughter becomes infected with E. coli, the widespread dangers of bacterial contamination are no longer a subject for debate, but a grim reality. Just how safe is America's meat supply? Recent health scares and new public awareness have made this one of today's most controversial subjects --- and the basis of Robin Cook's most startling, and important novel. When a doctor's daughter becomes infected with E. coli, the widespread dangers of bacterial contamination are no longer a subject for debate, but a grim reality. In desperation, he is forced to follow a trail of ignorance and corruption from the tangled red-tape of the medical community to the highest levels of the powerful meat industry. It is an eye-opening thriller that every American should read ...


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Just how safe is America's meat supply? Recent health scares and new public awareness have made this one of today's most controversial subjects --- and the basis of Robin Cook's most startling, and important novel. When a doctor's daughter becomes infected with E. coli, the widespread dangers of bacterial contamination are no longer a subject for debate, but a grim reality. Just how safe is America's meat supply? Recent health scares and new public awareness have made this one of today's most controversial subjects --- and the basis of Robin Cook's most startling, and important novel. When a doctor's daughter becomes infected with E. coli, the widespread dangers of bacterial contamination are no longer a subject for debate, but a grim reality. In desperation, he is forced to follow a trail of ignorance and corruption from the tangled red-tape of the medical community to the highest levels of the powerful meat industry. It is an eye-opening thriller that every American should read ...

30 review for Toxin

  1. 5 out of 5

    Miss Jane

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Robin Cook's novels are a guilty pleasure for me; the plots are usually interesting and the subject matter compelling (plague outbreaks! ecoli! anthrax!), but they're not the best-written books in the world. Toxin was worst than most, though. Am I supposed to feel sympathy for a cardiac surgeon who has to drive a *gasp* ten year old Mercedes and who gets upset that he isn't allowed to jump to the head of the line at the emergency room? Yeah, cry me a river. Usually I can ignore Cook's thinly dis Robin Cook's novels are a guilty pleasure for me; the plots are usually interesting and the subject matter compelling (plague outbreaks! ecoli! anthrax!), but they're not the best-written books in the world. Toxin was worst than most, though. Am I supposed to feel sympathy for a cardiac surgeon who has to drive a *gasp* ten year old Mercedes and who gets upset that he isn't allowed to jump to the head of the line at the emergency room? Yeah, cry me a river. Usually I can ignore Cook's thinly disguised rants against managed care (I mean, who really likes managed care and HMOs??), but please. "Boohoo, cardiac surgeons don't get no respect." It made the main character thoroughly unlikeable. Our hero, Kim is divorced from Tracy. They have a 10 year old daughter (the same age as the Mercedes oh snap), Becky. One night Kim takes Becky out for a fast food burger and Becky gets ecoli. Unfortunately, no one in the medical profession cares about her or has any idea how to help her, except for Kim, who is prevented by the unfeeling, profit-driven hospital, so Becky dies. (Her death scene was pretty shocking, I have to say.) So Kim goes on a crusade again the meat packing industry that killed his daughter. In the meantime, he encourages Marsha, a young USDA inspector, to help him out and she gets murdered and thrown into the meat grinder, not a word of a lie. Kim finds her head in with the cows' heads when he's undercover at the plant. But does he report this? Oh no. Even though he's "doing this for Becky and Marsha" he can't even be bothered to report her freakin' death? WTF? His ex-wife Tracy joins him in his crusade and almost gets killed herself, but she's saved by Kim, etc., etc. All this happens just days after Becky's death. I don't know about you, dear reader, but if one of my kids died, I don't think I'd be able to function on the level that these people do. I think I'd need to be reminded to breathe; I wouldn't be able to cut and dye my hair, apply temporary tattoos, talk with a fake accent, wear a wire, and pretend to be an illegal alien so that I could get a job at a meat packing plant. I think I'd be a little too upset. I guess that's why Kim is a "consummate surgeon" and I'm not. Whatever. Anyway, Kim and Tracy expose the plant and skip the country to get remarried and have another baby. In Sweden, where the food supply isn't contaminated. So, are you all getting the feeling I wasn't too impressed with this novel? It did have a few redeeming features; the descriptions of the meat industry are Jungle-riffic, and I liked the bit at the end where it is hinted that the Evil Media Woman's daughter got the ecoli bug because noone listened to Kim the Hero. But the completely unlikeable main character brought down what could have been much better book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane

    I read this book many years ago after borrowing it from my grandmother's library. It did not make me a vegetarian but it definitely has made me more conscientious about the meat I consume. To this day, I refuse to eat much hamburger or ground meat. I have officially reread it and I now have the upsetting renewal to stay away from all hamburger or ground meat. The story is harrowing as well as completely possible. Hell, it's already happened. The fear of E. coli and its effects is an ever-impendi I read this book many years ago after borrowing it from my grandmother's library. It did not make me a vegetarian but it definitely has made me more conscientious about the meat I consume. To this day, I refuse to eat much hamburger or ground meat. I have officially reread it and I now have the upsetting renewal to stay away from all hamburger or ground meat. The story is harrowing as well as completely possible. Hell, it's already happened. The fear of E. coli and its effects is an ever-impending, dismaying concept that plagues the United States. In recent years, E. coli and its many versions has not only affected meats but other resources as well, making many individuals extremely ill with relatively few symptoms until it is a full-blown disaster. The book focuses around a fictitious, but sadly realistic case of a particularly deadly strand of E. coli finding its way into the daughter of Dr. Kim Reggis. A vendetta endeavor begins with stomach-churning results. Great drama, a great flow to the story and sickeningly true. My only dislikes for this book is the language in which the individuals speak, since it seems forcibly contrived and far too heavy. I also dislike the unreal connection Tracy and Kim eventually rediscover. I feel it would have been a more appropriate ending if it had not dipped ever-so-slightly into the romantic genre. Despite these small issues, the book has a special, albeit unfortunate place in my heart.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I was forced to read this book for my high school English class, and I have decided I will never read anything by Robin Cook again. The characters are unbelievable and fail to engage the reader. The storyline is typical, lacking anything that would surprise someone, even if they had the IQ of a doorknob. I stand firm by the belief that (most) doctors should not try their hand at writing and stick to what they do best.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Crompton

    This is one of the worst books I've ever read. The author gives us characters that are too dumb to exist in scenarios that go so far past implausible that one's head spins. Our protagonist is Dr. Regis, a man with an MD that doesn't understand how commonplace e. coli is (in an effort to push the plot forward, the author has Dr. Regis find out key bits of information from a random stranger in an elevator). He gets physically violent with other physicians on several other occasions for no good reas This is one of the worst books I've ever read. The author gives us characters that are too dumb to exist in scenarios that go so far past implausible that one's head spins. Our protagonist is Dr. Regis, a man with an MD that doesn't understand how commonplace e. coli is (in an effort to push the plot forward, the author has Dr. Regis find out key bits of information from a random stranger in an elevator). He gets physically violent with other physicians on several other occasions for no good reason. I suppose this is Cook's effort at giving his character... well, character. However, it comes off as amateurish at best. Elsewhere in the plot, corporate stockyards purchase diseased cattle from random rednecks. There are so many stereotypes at play here -- greedy corporations, illiterate white country folk -- that it's laughable. I wouldn't read it again. This turned me off of Robin Cook as an author for good. Somebody that treats his readers so shabbily can't be recommended. Ostensibly, this book is an indictment of the American meat distribution model. It turns out to be more of a display of how ignorant Mr. Cook is and the disdain with which he treats his subjects.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ted

    This book is the reason I bought another 20 books written by Cook. Different people will get different things out of it but I know that he hooked me with it. Meat eaters beware since this book will really make you think. This book is about the perfect storm in the meat packing industry and how many broken steps along the way it takes for diseased meat to get to you with the disease still active. When I had read just a few chapters I was compelled to go on with it but that may be because of my ba This book is the reason I bought another 20 books written by Cook. Different people will get different things out of it but I know that he hooked me with it. Meat eaters beware since this book will really make you think. This book is about the perfect storm in the meat packing industry and how many broken steps along the way it takes for diseased meat to get to you with the disease still active. When I had read just a few chapters I was compelled to go on with it but that may be because of my background in the restaurant business and food safety. I seen some of the other reviews that were not so kind and I think perhaps they were expecting something other than it was. What really interested me with the story was the way they had to backtrack everything to find the source and be able to stop anything else bad from happening. This is an amazing feat to accomplish in real life and probably why I enjoyed reading about it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul Talbot

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wow, possibly the worst thriller I've ever read... We start with an utterly unlikeable "hero", who puts his daughter into harm's way then fails to comprehend what's happening until it's too late. His ego manages to stop him noticing anything that's happening until the daughter's at death's door. He then flies completely off the rails, attacking several people and acting like a lunatic until he finally realises the obvious truth (some people in the food industry are unscrupulous, dur). He then ma Wow, possibly the worst thriller I've ever read... We start with an utterly unlikeable "hero", who puts his daughter into harm's way then fails to comprehend what's happening until it's too late. His ego manages to stop him noticing anything that's happening until the daughter's at death's door. He then flies completely off the rails, attacking several people and acting like a lunatic until he finally realises the obvious truth (some people in the food industry are unscrupulous, dur). He then makes a half-assed attempt at rectifying the problem. I won't give away the ending, but he causes at least one needless death. I had to keep reading this, as I wasn't sure how such an experienced novelist could get so much wrong - bad characters, actions that come out of nowhere and "revelations" that seem transparently obvious.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    This would have been a lot better if it weren't for the kind of strange dialog Cook utilized in this book. The main character's anger explodes for no apparent reason on a regular basis and you have to stop and try to figure out what's going on. But alas, there is no explanation for these burst of violent dialog so credibilty sufferes.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tonya

    This book was bad. So bad.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marissa

    After due consideration and painfully excruciating hours spent reading this "book" I have determined that is definitely towards the top end of the worst book ever list. Being a vegetarian, I did support the message, and it was informative, but frankly it read as if a third grader wrote it. The characters had no character, their responses made no sense whatsoever, it simply told you useless information about the characters, left no room for any thought, and had no ending whatsoever. Beyond the ch After due consideration and painfully excruciating hours spent reading this "book" I have determined that is definitely towards the top end of the worst book ever list. Being a vegetarian, I did support the message, and it was informative, but frankly it read as if a third grader wrote it. The characters had no character, their responses made no sense whatsoever, it simply told you useless information about the characters, left no room for any thought, and had no ending whatsoever. Beyond the characters being horrendous there was no suspense, though it clearly tried to have some. In all respects this book fails epically. General rule of thumb: When a significant character dies the reader should feel some sort of emotion response and not be merely glancing at the top of the page to see how much of the book is left. If I didn't have to read this book for school, I'd have stopped reading after the first chapter, if not sooner.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    This was not a medical thriller. Instead, it was a commentary on the USDA that involved an angry, violent, out of control and unlikeable surgeon. I simply quit reading when Dr. Reggis stormed into the meat processing plant. I'm a reader who, in real life, has enough concerns about the meat industry to buy locally raised, locally butchered meat from people I know. Even with that ideological slant in Cook's direction I was not able to finish this book. Usually when I give up on a book I will skip This was not a medical thriller. Instead, it was a commentary on the USDA that involved an angry, violent, out of control and unlikeable surgeon. I simply quit reading when Dr. Reggis stormed into the meat processing plant. I'm a reader who, in real life, has enough concerns about the meat industry to buy locally raised, locally butchered meat from people I know. Even with that ideological slant in Cook's direction I was not able to finish this book. Usually when I give up on a book I will skip ahead and read the last chapter just to find out how it ended...not this book, though. I disliked this book so much that I have no curiosity about the end. I am just assuming the end would be as annoying as the beginning and middle and wrote it off.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Spence

    Very Good Read! Robin Cook shows us what we already know. What does and will continue to occur when the powers that be turn a blind eye to corporate America's failure to put safety and common sense above the welfare and common good of the people. On the surface it is a a story of 1 sick cow, contamination and a dying child. Digging deeper it is a story of mans blatant disregard for the most elemental laws of God and Nature. Cattle are natural born herbivores. Yet we allow the giant ranching indus Very Good Read! Robin Cook shows us what we already know. What does and will continue to occur when the powers that be turn a blind eye to corporate America's failure to put safety and common sense above the welfare and common good of the people. On the surface it is a a story of 1 sick cow, contamination and a dying child. Digging deeper it is a story of mans blatant disregard for the most elemental laws of God and Nature. Cattle are natural born herbivores. Yet we allow the giant ranching industry to fatten them up with feed containing untold varieties of past life forms including cattle by way of our local rendering plants. Not only have we turned an herbivore into a carnivore but to add insult to injury we have created a cannibal as well. Would you like fries with that?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Asuka

    As far as a fiction book goes, it's really not good at all. The suspense/action plot is really lame and unrealistic, not at all engaging. Characters are beyond robotic and unlikeable. BUT, I can't stop reading books by this author simply because I love anything medical. This one's about E-coli in a popular hamburger chain and beef market. Made me glad I don't eat hamburgers.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judy Dhuse

    The subject matter itself was riveting and because of that I couldn't put it down. With the recent recall of romaine lettuce the subject matter is still very timely. It fell short when it came to the relationship and behavior of the parents after their daughter died. The things they said and the way they behaved made her death seem trivial to them. Seems like the characters could have been explored and developed a little further instead of just throwing them in randomly to tell a story about the The subject matter itself was riveting and because of that I couldn't put it down. With the recent recall of romaine lettuce the subject matter is still very timely. It fell short when it came to the relationship and behavior of the parents after their daughter died. The things they said and the way they behaved made her death seem trivial to them. Seems like the characters could have been explored and developed a little further instead of just throwing them in randomly to tell a story about the meat industry and it's shady side.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    Most Awesome Robin Cook read again!!! What's not to like about Robin Cook. This read is very graphic but dead on in details. I can't say more without giving away spoilers. He is nothing if not accurate in his details. That is what his readers ask for & enjoy in his writing. Please enjoy this book in the manner it was intended. Most Awesome Robin Cook read again!!! What's not to like about Robin Cook. This read is very graphic but dead on in details. I can't say more without giving away spoilers. He is nothing if not accurate in his details. That is what his readers ask for & enjoy in his writing. Please enjoy this book in the manner it was intended.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jim Swike

    Returned past Kindle Deadline. Was a great read. Enjoy!

  16. 5 out of 5

    ilgi (Birbilimhatunu)

    Author wants to show vulnarable reality of meat sector. Effective topic is disscuss the other side of coin. In my opinion, it is not totally fiction. I guess its partial of reality to fast food chain. we dont know is it reliable or not. It was excellently attractive topic.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Jones

    So Medical mystery books get me every time. A great read, started in Maine, got it from the pool house. I simple enjoy Robin Cooks ability to weave the medical mishap with reality possibilities. Totally enjoyed this.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    This book reminded me that I really don't like to read Robin Cook. Sometimes the medical terminology is just way over the top for me. Sometimes the story reads like commentary instead of a novel. The subject matter in this novel is interesting...I just don't like the way it is presented. Now, if I can just remember to not pick up another of his books and the second hand stores I shop at... :))

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    It took me ages to finish Toxin. The idea itself isn't bad at all. First there is the meat industry who does everything to gain profit and stops at nothing so they won't get shut down. Then there are individuals only thinking about making more money and not thinking about the well-being of others. And then there are the consumers who know nothing about the meat processing and believe the biased media reports. However the storyline was too over the top for my liking. Some actions of the characters It took me ages to finish Toxin. The idea itself isn't bad at all. First there is the meat industry who does everything to gain profit and stops at nothing so they won't get shut down. Then there are individuals only thinking about making more money and not thinking about the well-being of others. And then there are the consumers who know nothing about the meat processing and believe the biased media reports. However the storyline was too over the top for my liking. Some actions of the characters were really far-fetched. (view spoiler)[ When there is something not going the way the meat industry wants then the responsible get killed. When the main character uncovers the horrible truth he doesn't go to the officials with his proof but to a news reporter and instead of acting like a responsible person he breaks into the archive to steal official documents. When he finds the head of a killed friend he doesn't report it and in the end everybody thinks she just disappeared. (hide spoiler)] All in all I can say it's a good idea. I personally just didn't like the story. The ending was nice because it showed that not everything has a perfect happy ending.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I normally enjoy Robin Cook's books, but for some reason found the characters in this one a little hard to believe. The couple's daughter dies and there dealing with that is almost incidental next to the mad-cap investigative caper they go off on. He goes from being a really aggressive impatient guy to a wonderful hero in a few pages. I appreciate everyone deals with grief differenlty but it didn't feel real. And then it's almost like the author loses interest in wrapping up the details, the boo I normally enjoy Robin Cook's books, but for some reason found the characters in this one a little hard to believe. The couple's daughter dies and there dealing with that is almost incidental next to the mad-cap investigative caper they go off on. He goes from being a really aggressive impatient guy to a wonderful hero in a few pages. I appreciate everyone deals with grief differenlty but it didn't feel real. And then it's almost like the author loses interest in wrapping up the details, the book is developing nicely and them bam, it's over and the media exposure is a fait accompli and the plant is closed. I mean what about all the bit in the middle. And the journalist's kid getting sick? Is that linked or a red herring? Which batch was the dodgy one? Left me a little disappointed and confused.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Robin Cook presents a thriller with situations torn from the headlines. In "Toxin," food-borne illness is the medical problem exacerbated by the cozy relationship between the USDA and meat processing plants. Dr. Kim Reggis' daughter Becky falls ill after eating an undercooked hamburger, which leads him to an undercover and illegal investigation of the meat processing plant from which the beef originated. USDA officials and cattle barons are soon gunning for him (both literally and figuratively) a Robin Cook presents a thriller with situations torn from the headlines. In "Toxin," food-borne illness is the medical problem exacerbated by the cozy relationship between the USDA and meat processing plants. Dr. Kim Reggis' daughter Becky falls ill after eating an undercooked hamburger, which leads him to an undercover and illegal investigation of the meat processing plant from which the beef originated. USDA officials and cattle barons are soon gunning for him (both literally and figuratively) as he tries to expose them. Cook's book is rooting in fact (he provides an excellent reference at the end); modern food processing, with its emphasis on volume, has resulted in a significant increase in food-borne illness and contamination. Well worth reading, to say nothing of sharing information on how we can more humanely and safely manage the meat supply.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    I give it only one star because it felt more like it was for information first and the story line was an after thought. It makes you look twice about burgers but I see no point in stop eating ground meat because there is so much that can kill you. If a burger will make you happy to eat you might as well eat it. I just reread the the description of the book and wonder if I read the same thing because it doesn't seem to be explaining the same book I read because makes it sound alot more exciting w I give it only one star because it felt more like it was for information first and the story line was an after thought. It makes you look twice about burgers but I see no point in stop eating ground meat because there is so much that can kill you. If a burger will make you happy to eat you might as well eat it. I just reread the the description of the book and wonder if I read the same thing because it doesn't seem to be explaining the same book I read because makes it sound alot more exciting with more meat to it than there really is. Plus in the book it was a daughter and not a son. But the book I read was nothing like that but yet had same title and author. Some one must be getting their information wrong here. Maybe the author has the good version of the book hidden away.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Suby

    We all know about Ecoli bacteria and how it can wreck havoc. This book is about how the beef industry in the US is so totally vulnerable to bacterial contamination due to unethical practices such as slaughter of deal cattle without DA approval and due to general unhygienic practices. a Very healthy 10 year old daughter of a cardiac surgeon gets infected and dies within a week after eating a rare cooked hamburger and the father goes about finding the source of the infection and finds more than wh We all know about Ecoli bacteria and how it can wreck havoc. This book is about how the beef industry in the US is so totally vulnerable to bacterial contamination due to unethical practices such as slaughter of deal cattle without DA approval and due to general unhygienic practices. a Very healthy 10 year old daughter of a cardiac surgeon gets infected and dies within a week after eating a rare cooked hamburger and the father goes about finding the source of the infection and finds more than what he can possibly have bargained for and also gets nearly killed in the process. This story written in 1999 makes us all the more aware of the problem of food contamination, particularly that obtained from fast food restaurants. Most certainly worth reading.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex Weaver

    This book is an amazing read that makes the reader really think about food and about life and how precious it is. As well as how easily life can be ended by uncontrollable circumstances. The book is quite fast paced and, personally, I could not put the book down. I read this book in less than a day and this book literally made me love to read. As a good person I suggest everyone read this amazing book! The incite and explicit detail will have any thrill-seeking soul flipping page after page to This book is an amazing read that makes the reader really think about food and about life and how precious it is. As well as how easily life can be ended by uncontrollable circumstances. The book is quite fast paced and, personally, I could not put the book down. I read this book in less than a day and this book literally made me love to read. As a good person I suggest everyone read this amazing book! The incite and explicit detail will have any thrill-seeking soul flipping page after page to get to the delicious ending. Alas this book is most definitely not for the squeamish and could possibly be dangerous if other stuff needs to be done as the book simply can not be put down once picked up.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    So, maybe Robin Cook made it through med school, but he needs to go to writing school! While I enjoyed the concept, the writing WAS SO BAD! It is an easy read because it is so poorly written. This is one of those you could finish on a plane to and fro. Or use it for bathroom reading. Liked the concept, but the details of the story were sometimes convoluted rendering them annoying. The character development was also lackluster. Despite my venom toward Dr. Cook's writing, he ultimately does a fine So, maybe Robin Cook made it through med school, but he needs to go to writing school! While I enjoyed the concept, the writing WAS SO BAD! It is an easy read because it is so poorly written. This is one of those you could finish on a plane to and fro. Or use it for bathroom reading. Liked the concept, but the details of the story were sometimes convoluted rendering them annoying. The character development was also lackluster. Despite my venom toward Dr. Cook's writing, he ultimately does a fine job of giving the reader the sense of urgency that the characters are experiencing. It is an interesting and pertinent topic considering America's tendency toward factory farming.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cardiacnursee

    Wow!! Talk about being a bit afraid to eat red meat after reading this book. This book brought up the subject of the E.Coli scare when people in Washington had died suddenly from E.Coli outbreaks in fast food restaurants, such as Jack-in-the-Box (the hamburgers). What I like most about Robin Cook, is that he writes about current medical topics, and brings awareness to consumers & the readers. I bet a lot of what he wrote about the farming industry is very true. That's just a side of the food ind Wow!! Talk about being a bit afraid to eat red meat after reading this book. This book brought up the subject of the E.Coli scare when people in Washington had died suddenly from E.Coli outbreaks in fast food restaurants, such as Jack-in-the-Box (the hamburgers). What I like most about Robin Cook, is that he writes about current medical topics, and brings awareness to consumers & the readers. I bet a lot of what he wrote about the farming industry is very true. That's just a side of the food industry that I have never known about. VERY scary to consider, but probably has a lot of truth to it!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Judith Cartisano

    I love Dr. Robin Cook. His stories are always fascinating, even if the dialogue is somewhat stilted and some of his plots seem a bit contrived. That said, I still read everything of his. I love the insider look at the medical profession and love the way he tackles current health issues. This one in particular really grabbed me. An e-coli outbreak from contaminated beef like the one he describes is all too possible. It isn't a question of whether it will happen, but when. We delude ourselves when I love Dr. Robin Cook. His stories are always fascinating, even if the dialogue is somewhat stilted and some of his plots seem a bit contrived. That said, I still read everything of his. I love the insider look at the medical profession and love the way he tackles current health issues. This one in particular really grabbed me. An e-coli outbreak from contaminated beef like the one he describes is all too possible. It isn't a question of whether it will happen, but when. We delude ourselves when we think our food supply is clean. If I weren't already a vegetarian, I certainly would have become one after reading Cook's very graphic description of what goes on in a slaughterhouse.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amy Hendrickson

    This was painful to read on so many levels. The protagonist, Dr. Kim Braggs, was SO unlikable, so arrogant and obnoxious. He's a cardiac surgeon and his daughter gets E Coli from eating an undercooked hamburger. Dr. Braggs goes on a campaign to find out why she got sick and ends up investigating the meat industry. Through the course of his investigation he decides that eating animals (and particularly beef) is just bad. (I can't help but wonder if the author is an overbearing vegetarian.) I kept This was painful to read on so many levels. The protagonist, Dr. Kim Braggs, was SO unlikable, so arrogant and obnoxious. He's a cardiac surgeon and his daughter gets E Coli from eating an undercooked hamburger. Dr. Braggs goes on a campaign to find out why she got sick and ends up investigating the meat industry. Through the course of his investigation he decides that eating animals (and particularly beef) is just bad. (I can't help but wonder if the author is an overbearing vegetarian.) I kept reading this one to see if there was any redemption for the main character. My conclusion: I really dislike Dr. Kim Braggs, and I really like beef.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Coco

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I didn't think a book about E.coli could turn out to be a drama/thriller, but Robin Cook pulls it off. I couldn't put it down after I started it, and it made me question the quality of my hamburgers for a while, but I never went vegetarian like a few friends did. For bio geeks, this is a great read, and for others who aren't (like me), it's still pretty good because of the human element. The daughter's condition was so sad, and I was in tears at the scene where her father, a doctor, tries to mas I didn't think a book about E.coli could turn out to be a drama/thriller, but Robin Cook pulls it off. I couldn't put it down after I started it, and it made me question the quality of my hamburgers for a while, but I never went vegetarian like a few friends did. For bio geeks, this is a great read, and for others who aren't (like me), it's still pretty good because of the human element. The daughter's condition was so sad, and I was in tears at the scene where her father, a doctor, tries to massage her heart and ends up losing his license.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Dickerman

    I honestly couldn’t get past half of this book. I felt like it had a good story for a while then would get way too preachy. I wanted an enveloping thriller, not a book complaining about managed care. I get that the author uses his books as a platform but typically I don’t feel so railroaded by them. It was a real turn off. I had read a bunch of his books back in the ‘90’s & a couple recently. I had been planning on reading them all but am so turned off right now that I don’t believe I will read I honestly couldn’t get past half of this book. I felt like it had a good story for a while then would get way too preachy. I wanted an enveloping thriller, not a book complaining about managed care. I get that the author uses his books as a platform but typically I don’t feel so railroaded by them. It was a real turn off. I had read a bunch of his books back in the ‘90’s & a couple recently. I had been planning on reading them all but am so turned off right now that I don’t believe I will read him again, not anytime soon anyway.

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