The First Patient: A Novel

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From the blockbuster, New York Times bestselling author comes a high-concept, high-octane thriller at the crossroads of presidential politics and cutting-edge medicine. . . .

Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were roommates at the Naval Academy in Annapolis years ago. Today, Gabe is a country doctor and his friend Andrew has gone from war hero to governor to President of the United States. One day, while the United States is embroiled in a bitter presidential election campaign, Marine One lands on Gabe's Wyoming ranch, and President Stoddard delivers a disturbing revelation and a startling request. His personal physician has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, and he desperately needs Gabe to take the man's place. Despite serious misgivings, Gabe agrees to come to Washington. It is not until he is ensconced in the White House medical office that Gabe realizes there is strong evidence that the President is going insane. Facing a crisis of conscience—as President Stoddard's physician, he has the power to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment to transfer presidential power to the Vice President—Gabe uncovers increasing evidence that his friend's condition may not be due to natural causes.

Who? Why? And how? The President's life is at stake. A small-town doctor suddenly finds himself in the most powerful position on earth, and the safety of the world is in jeopardy. Gabe Singleton must find the answers, and the clock is ticking. . . .

With Michael Palmer's trademark medical details, and steeped in meticulous political insider knowledge, The First Patient is an unforgettable story of suspense.

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More by Michael Palmer

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The President’s teenaged son is threatened by a potentially fatal illness that is rooted in dark secrets from a long-buried past.

President Geoffrey Hilliard and his family live in the ever-present glare of the political limelight, with relentless scrutiny of their daily lives. The White House is not an easy place to grow up, so when the President’s son Cam, a sixteen-year-old chess champion, experiences extreme fatigue, moodiness, and an uncharacteristic violent outburst, doctors are quick to dismiss his troubles as teen angst. But Secret Service agent Karen Ray, whose job is to guard the president's family with her life, is convinced Cam’s issues are serious – serious enough to summon her physician ex-husband for a second opinion.

Dr. Lee Blackwood’s concerns are dismissed by the president's team – until Cam gets sicker. Lee must make a diagnosis from a puzzling array of symptoms he's never seen before. His only clue is a patient named Susie Banks, a young musical prodigy who seems to be suffering from the same baffling condition as Cam. Hospitalized after an attempt on her life by a determined killer, Susie’s jeopardy escalates as Cam’s condition takes on a terrifying new dimension.

Is someone trying to murder the President’s son?

As Lee and Karen race for a cure to Cam’s mysterious and deadly disease, they begin to uncover betrayals that breach the highest levels of national security.

Returning to the same Washington, DC setting of The First Patient, which former President Bill Clinton said “captured the intense atmosphere of the White House,” The First Family is a riveting new medical drama from acclaimed novelist Daniel Palmer, in the tradition of his late father, New York Times bestselling novelist Michael Palmer.

Praise for The First Family:

"Terrifying and all too plausible—Daniel Palmer continues his father's tradition of delivering authentic and high-velocity medical suspense. The combination of medical chills and high-level Washington make The First Family irresistible.” —Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Paranoia and The Switch

"Palmer's The First Family gives you likable characters to root for, a top-notch villain, and enough excitement to make your hair curl. Have fun with this thriller." —Catherine Coulter, author of The Devil's Triangle

“Double the trouble, twice the action, and quadruple the enjoyment, this is a high-octane game changer.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Bishop's Pawn and The Lost Order

“High-stakes and intelligent, The First Family is everything you want in a medical thriller. Chilling!”
—Robert Dugoni #1 Amazon, Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestselling author of My Sisters Grave

"The First Family is adrenaline-fueled entertainment that twists, turns, surprises and satisfies!” -John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author

"A Palmer novel transports you into the complex world of medical-legal-social ethics. The First Family doesn't disappoint, wrestling with the murky questions of what we can do versus what we should do. Gripping.” —Kathy Reichs, New York Times bestselling author and creator of Bones

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Feb 19, 2008
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781429928335
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Thrillers / Medical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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A massive cover-up gone awry

A prominent physician accused of murder

Uncovering the truth could put the entire country at risk

Dr. Gary McHugh, known around Washington, D.C. as the "society doc," calls his longtime friend Dr. Lou Welcome in a state of panic, certain he is about to be arrested for murder. McHugh was found in an alcoholic blackout in his wrecked car after visiting a patient of his, the powerful Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Elias Colston. Soon after McHugh leaves, Colston's wife returns home to find her husband shot to death in their garage. McHugh has no recollection of committing the crime and no one who would possibly believe in his innocence, other than Lou. As more facts come to light, even Lou has serious doubts. But something about McHugh's story nags at him and as he looks into matters, pieces of the puzzle don't point to his friend's guilt so definitively.

With the help of Sarah Cooper, an ambitious attorney with her own reasons for hating doctors, Lou finds himself at the center of a deadly, high-level conspiracy where the difference between right and wrong is a matter of interpretation, and the words "whatever it takes" have a chilling meaning. If Lou and Sarah don't uncover the real reasons Colston is dead, they may not survive themselves, and the entire country could be at risk for attacks that could destroy the very fabric of national security.
Once again, bestselling author Michael Palmer proves that he is the king of suspense in this page-turning thriller, Political Suicide, set at the crossroads of politics, the military, and medical science.

From The Sisterhood, Michael Palmer's first New York Times bestseller, to The Patient, his ninth, reviewers have proclaimed him a master of medical suspense. Recognized around the world for original, topical, nail-biting suspense, emergency physician Palmer'swork has been translated into more than thirty-five languages. Now he reaches controversial and startling new heights in a terrifying tale of cutting-edge microbiology, unbridled greed, and murder, where either knowing too little or trusting too much can be FATAL.

In Chicago, a pregnant cafeteria worker suffering nothing more malevolent than flulike symptoms begins hemorrhaging from every part of her body. In Boston, a brilliant musician, her face disfigured by an unknown disease, rapidly descends into a lethal paranoia. In Belinda, West Virginia, a miner suddenly goes berserk, causing a cave-in that kills two of his co-workers. Finding the link between these events could prove FATAL.

Five years ago, internist and emergency specialist Matt Rutledge returned to his West Virginia home to marry his high-school sweetheart and open a practice. He also had a score to settle. His father died while working for the Belinda Coal and Coke Company, and Matt swore to expose the mine’s health and safety violations.

When his beloved Ginny succumbed to an unusual cancer, his campaign became even more bitterly personal. Now Matt has identified two bizarre cases of what he has dubbed the Belinda Syndrome--caused, he is certain, by the mine’s careless disposal of toxic chemicals. All he needs is proof.

Meanwhile, two women, unknown to one another, are drawn inexorably to Belinda, into Matt’s life--and into mortal danger. Massachusetts coroner Nikki Solari comes to attend the funeral of her roommate, killed violently on a Boston street. Ellen Kroft, a retired schoolteacher from Maryland, seeks the remorseless killer who has threatened to destroy her and her family.Three strangers--Rutledge, Solari, and Kroft--each hold one piece of a puzzle they must solve, and solve quickly. If they don’t, it will be far more than just their own lives that are at risk.

Michael Palmer has crafted a novel of breathtaking speed and medical intricacy where nothing is as it seems and one false step could be FATAL.


From the Hardcover edition.
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