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Side Effects

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,401 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Kate Bennet. A bright hospital pathologist with a loving husband and a solid future. Until one day her world turns dark. A strange, puzzling illness has killed two women. Now it endangers Kate's closest friend. Soon it will threaten Kate's marriage. Her sanity. Her life. Kate has uncovered a horrifying secret. Important people will stop at nothing to protect it. It is a te ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published January 26th 2011 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1985)
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Jul 23, 2010 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Medical Chiller with great plot and characters!

We thought Michael Palmer's medical thriller "The Sisterhood" was quite good, especially for a first novel; this one, his second outing, just might be great! An interesting prologue from Nazi Germany sets the stage for a story about illegal (and of course, unethical) testing of unapproved drugs on unaware human subjects. Incredible suspense and tension are generated through a number of faceted story lines:

- Leading lady Dr. Kate Bennett, a hospital
Carl Alves
In Side Effects, Kate Bennet is a pathologist at a New England hospital, who has two female patients who have inexplicably bled to death. A third patient, a friend of hers, is exhibiting the same symptoms, and Kate must figure out why this is happening, although nothing is readily apparent. Meanwhile, she is going through marital issues with her husband.

There was very little to like about this novel. First of all, the characters are weak. Kate is mildly interesting as a character, but most of th
May 16, 2012 Amberlee is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far, if this book was not due for an anatomy project, I would have been reading it more intently. But when i do open the pages, it amazes me how intricate Michael Palmer gets with the medical terms as well as the family aspect of the book with the main character and her husband.
Feb 07, 2015 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unsatisfying ending
Nov 13, 2015 Bruce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kate Bennett is a young pathologist at a big Boston hospital. Her husband was just narrowly defeating in a bid for congress. She is offered a chance to be he department head, but her husband wants to start a family. Then a couple of odd related cases of women with strange ovary defects and blood problems get her attention and she is trying to find out if s big drug company is involved. Seemed like an interesting premise, but it just didn't turn out. Characters were underdeveloped and stereotypic ...more
Samantha Williams
Nov 10, 2014 Samantha Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great medical mystery. It had many twists and turns and had me glued to all parts of the book. My only complaints was the ending. It left me hanging and as far as I can tell there's no sequel.

When I first started the book the first couple of chapters had me wondering what kind of book I had gotten. It was slow and a little confusing at first but then I realized it was just the background for some important characters in the book.
I enjoyed his first book, the Sisterhood, so much I went straight into this, his second. It was a bit slow to start with but it was only building up the background to all the characters and his attention to detail does keep the pace slow at times. I strongly recommend you keep going because the second half of the book is breathtaking. This is a superb medical thriller with the central characters, Kate Bennett and her husband, Jared Samuels dominating the plot with all the nasties (and a few good ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced medical thriller. This genre is pretty much predictable overall, nevertheless quite enjoyable due to my interest in the medical field. Mysterious illnesses, complications or side effects of certain surgeries or medications, all tied up with the crimes of big pharmaceutical corporations; one brilliant doctor who figures it all out and then suffers a series of life-threatening actions against his or her existence.
Nov 03, 2014 JennyCz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this one. His writing style improved from the first book, and I was really intrigued with this story. Will keep reading more of his stories!
I like the idea of this book, a doctor fighting against the system that is concerned only with making money and also using human patients as guinea pigs. However, the execution of the plot was not Palmer's best. Too much going on, too many poorly written characters. Did the thing with Tom really have to happen? That bothered me for the rest of the book. Her marriage seemed hollow. The father-in-law was a ridiculous character, as were the crooked assistant and the guy sleeping with her. I've read ...more
Deborah Hamilton
As I continue on my Michael Palmer obsession, I recently completely one of his earlier novels, Side Effects. This book was an excellent read that showed the life of a woman trying to balance work and life. When female patients start dying of very strange and usual blood disorders, Dr. Bennett makes it her mission to try and solve the mystery surrounding these mysterious deaths, before her friend is next. Although, Dr. Bennett focuses her work on saving her friend's life, her home life is rapidly ...more
Glynda Roy
Aug 11, 2014 Glynda Roy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good medical mystery. I really like Michael Palmer.
May 19, 2014 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author knowledge of anatomy & medical practice made this an interesting read for me but most of the characters and their relationships were too goofy.
Charlene Gordon
Aug 14, 2014 Charlene Gordon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read in 1997.
Sep 16, 2011 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a 3 1/2. I listened to it on audio. There was always something going on...always something happening to the main character Kate that it was dizzying. Even though she was right and even though she had everything in her favor, the book kept stacking it all against her to make her look crazy and I became exhausted reading/listening to the book. I didn't believe in her marriage, so that became hard for me. I guess, it was a big disconnect. The story itself was exciting, just didn't pul ...more
Feb 03, 2014 Alan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, cd
Kindle: $5.99
Aug 02, 2010 Keri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good medical suspense. Kate is a bright and upcoming pathologist. When strange medical anomolies start effecting the women that Kate comes into contact, including a good friend. Kate soon starts to make enemies as she investigates and finds that secret and subversive medical trials have been performed without anyones knowledge. Now she just has to survive long enough to tell someone.
Sharon Porter-Moxley

I love to read Michael Palmer's medical thrillers. Side Effects however, was not a page turner for me. The research of a Natzi in WWII survives and is used in medical trials with unexpected side effects. The best parts of the book were when the the female doctor was in immediate danger. But there was too much down time I had to wade through to get to the exciting parts.
Aug 12, 2008 Dave rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
THANK GOODNESS IT'S OVER!!! The story FINALLY got better but the characters, like the overall book, were shallow and strained. The plot eventually worked into a decent story but the lack of character definition, pointless characters, mindless dialog, and mind numbing voice of the reader (it was an audio book) made it un-enjoyable. But, hey, I have never written a book.
Will Hudson
Dec 01, 2010 Will Hudson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really good for the most part. I felt the heroine was a bit on the naive side, even after being blindsided over and over, she still didn't see what was in front of her face. And while the ending was probably more true to life, I would really have liked if it had turned out a little different. Can't say more without adding spoilers.
This book was good, but it made me feel like I had the disorders that the author was describing. I didn't like that. It hit too close to home. Also, it seemed to take forever to reach real action that made the bits and pieces come together. When it finally did, it wrapped up the story too quickly and left me with many questions.
This book gets started very slowly and is laden and chock full of medical terms. I originally started reading this because I thought (this book) and the recent film with Jude Law was one in the same. It's not! Its very good but a slow starter so I've sworn to put it down and revisit when I'm in the mood.
Feb 24, 2008 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first read for this author, and I was pleasantly surprised by his writing style. Kate Bennett, a successful pathologist deals with her struggles of career and family pressure, while trying to understand and stop a deadly new disease. Very intriguing, and a quick read. I would recommend it.
Nov 28, 2011 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Palmer's books are always so scary because they could actually happen, all it takes is a few bad apples in the right positions and wam you could be part of the same diaster that was portrayed in this book. Can't say anything more without giving a spoiler clue.
Diane V-R
May 22, 2011 Diane V-R rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
If you enjoy Palmer's medical thrillers then this one is a true classic. It's textured, filled with a good dose of drama, suspense and intrigue. And as take something away with you (if you enjoy learning about the body and how it works).

Jun 06, 2010 BoekenTrol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of medical thrillers

In the genre of medical thrillers I like Robin Cook better. This book was okay, good as an in-between, for on holidays, after an exam, in the train. A light, scary read, but nothing really special.
Jun 02, 2012 Dawn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another "Oldie but goodie" from Michael Palmer. Aside from the obvious lack of cell phones, the story still feels contempory. Very fast moving, engaging characters, and an unusual twist. Good summer reading.
Aug 16, 2013 Babete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Descobri há pouco tempo este autor e já devorei alguns livros. Policiais do universo médico na mesma linha de Robin Cook, só que agora prefiro Michael Palmer. No problem, tenho espaço para muitos amores! :)
Amy Rogers
3 star medical thriller (top 50% of the genre). One of Michael Palmer's many reliable, well-constructed, hospital-based thrillers. For my full review, see
Did this book really need to be tied to Nazis? Probably not. But it was an entertaining read. Felt a lot more like Robin Cook than the other Michael Palmer book I’ve read.
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Michael Palmer, M.D., 1942-2013, was the author of Political Suicide, Oath of Office, A Heartbeat Away, The Last Surgeon, The Second Opinion, The First Patient, The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages.

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