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The Fifth Vial
By Michael Palmer

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The Fifth Vial

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The Fifth Vial
By Michael Palmer
Wheeler Large Print - (2007)
ISBN 10: 1-59722-409-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-59722-409-3
Genre: Medical Thriller

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - March 23, 2007

Have you ever wondered where they get all those organs, tissue, and bone that they use in transplant procedures? If you were in need of a lung, or a kidney, or bone marrow to save your life, would you care? In The Fifth Vial, Michael Palmer tackles some of the issues related to organ donation within the scope of this terrifying medical thriller. The story revolves around three disparate people, Natalie Reyes a discredited medical student from Boston, Dr. Joe Anson, a dying scientist in Cameroon, and Ben Callahan, a Chicago Private Detective. What ties the three together is a single vial of blood. Each character is working against his own demons and for very different goals, but each, in turn, is confronted by a secret society bent on playing God that buys organs from any number of unsavory sources, and sells them to the highest bidder.

The fun in this book is discovering how Palmer will bring these three main characters together, and how their intersection affects the plans of the organ traffickers. I don't want to really get into the story itself, as saying anything much will undoubtably give away part of the story line. Suffice it to say that in The Fifth Vial, Palmer has crafted a complex plot full of unexpected twists and turns that will have you on the edge of your seat. In addition, The Fifth Vial is a thought-provoking book, one that will make you really ponder the ethics of organ donations - and the dangers posed by organ traffickers, both in terms of where (and from whom) they get the organ, and the dangers posed by those who receive them. I highly recommend this book to all Palmer fans, and to anyone who enjoys a good, and frightening, medical thriller.


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