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Death Benefit (Pia Grazdani #1)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  2,574 Ratings  ·  325 Reviews

Unabridged, 10 CDs, 11 hours

Pia Grazdani is an exceptional yet aloof medical student working closely with Columbia University Medical Center's premier scientist on cutting edge research that could revolutionize health care by creating replacement organs for critically-ill patients. Thorough her work with the brilliant molecular geneticist Dr. Tobias Rothman, Pia knows sh
Audio CD, 11 pages
Published December 27th 2011 by Penguin Audio (first published December 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Oct 29, 2012 Jason rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

I reach to formulaic writers like Robin Cook (Crichton, Koontz, et al) to break from what I regard as more serious literature. The 8th grade composition and simple narrative—I consider Cook’s fiction a recess from my classics, my biographies, and my tough non-fiction. And that’s exactly how it should be. For me. Not necessarily you.

This sounds arrogant as hell, but it’s honest. You want an honest review or a coddling review? Between a Pulitzer Prize winner about Harry Truman and a military
Bark's Book Nonsense
Feb 18, 2013 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, thriller
Pia is a brilliant fourth year medical student working with a brilliant but difficult scientist on top secret, life changing research. Dr. Rothman gets along with no one but Pia and one other scientist. Pia, you see, may be beautiful on the outside but she is damaged emotionally. Her upbringing was difficult and filled with abuse and most of her fellow students dislike her. Except for sweet, handsome George, her boytoy (when she needs one) who hangs around hoping she’ll fall for him.When mayhem ...more
Feb 02, 2012 Crosby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After having read nearly all of Cook's previous books, it is natural to compare this one to those. After doing so, it was obvious to me that he has written books far better than this one. His character development was very good (but most of the characters were not particularly nice people). His plot and its combination of medical school students, Nobel Award level research, get-rich schemes, etc was well thought out. The problem is that the ending comes so abrupt without following up some of the ...more
Jul 07, 2013 Ramaa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A complete let down :(

Coma, Fever, Fatal Cure....after many such wonderful writings, its hard to believe Death Benefit is a Cook's book. This one is a medical thriller with less of both medicine and thrill.

There was a time I used to fear hospitals after finishing Cook's book, his writings were so captivating, so real life like...Robin Cook missed the magic in this one.

It took a lot of effort to complete reading this one.

Jan 31, 2012 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time really getting into this book, particularly at the beginning when Cook focused on all of the ins and outs of the securities industry. At times, I had to force myself to continue reading and not to give up on this book. I'm glad that I did, because it did get better.

One of the problems that I've had with several of my favorite authors lately is that the lead character is not likable, and for me, feeling some empathy with the lead character is one of the things that keeps me turn
Oct 14, 2012 Roger rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rick F.
Feb 16, 2012 Rick F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am almost done with Robin Cook's new book- excellent as usual- facinating plot- tight prose- really quite good- with one major and very confusing issue- the lead character Pia is one of the most unlikable, self-absorbed nasty characters i have ever encountered in a thriller. I am not asking for a superwoman- a mix between Mother Theresa and Lynda Carter - yet with thrillers- there is that aspect of having a lead character who the reader can root for, if not identify with, and Pia is so very na ...more
Lisa Ainsworth
Apr 27, 2012 Lisa Ainsworth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, but then Cook & Crichton are two that seldom go wrong in my opinion. This topic was esp. interesting & timely for the world today & in my life. I have a special place in my heart for stem cell research & organ regeneration. Transplants are needed by so many & how can we keep it from becoming a "money making or stealing" program? My favorite books are character driven & the main character of Pia & the ex-Wall street wizard made me furious while keeping ...more
Jan 15, 2012 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical-thriller
The plot was outstanding but I didn't care for the main character Pia. As she got into deep trouble I found myself not caring if she got out of it or not! Finally at the end of the book Cook's great reoccurring character Jack Stapleton and his wife Laurie appeared but had a small cameo role.
Nadín Velázquez
May 03, 2015 Nadín Velázquez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tengo un serio problema con este libro, y puede extenderse quizás a casi todo lo que leí hasta ahora del autor. Cook es uno de mis primeros nombres a recomendar siempre y eso tiene que ver con dos cosas: el campo en el que sitúa la mayoría de sus historias y la investigación, la que comparte con sus lectores en algunas notas al final de sus libros, añadiendo fuentes y demás. Todo libro que trate sobre asuntos médicos tiene un lugar reservado en mi biblioteca, y Cook no es la excepción. Más bien, ...more
Kristin Lundgren
This is the first robin Cook I have read in a while, and stands up to his previous books, giving me a nice thrill, although I did have trouble identifying with the heroine - not because of her previous life experiences, but rather the character that she became from them - scrappy, single-minded focus to the point of absurdity. Pia Grazdani is a 4th year medical student at Columbia, followed by her lapdog friend George, who is so obsessed with her, that he ignores her rude behavior to him, and co ...more
Mike Cuthbert
Jul 09, 2013 Mike Cuthbert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Already rich authors must be able to take chances that novices can’t. Robin Cook teaches us this sad lesson in his latest, Death Benefit. This is a typical Cook “thriller,” long on medical jargon and improbable combinations of acts and science, total illogic—how many fourth year medical students criticize attendings and accuse them of malpractice and survive to tell the story and how do you leave out of the plot for almost half the novel mention of the guys who planned the murders that are suppo ...more
Andrew Macrae
Reading a techno-thriller is much like watching one of those plate-spinning jugglers who performed on
Sunday nights on the Ed Sullivan Show. One plate after another is set spinning atop sticks while hoops are spun on arms, legs and ankles and there is always at least one beautiful woman who smiles and hands the performer yet another plate to set spinning. We become so enthralled with the music and motion and the beautiful assistant that we fail to notice an occasional dropped plate or sagging hoo
D.K. Cherian
Sep 15, 2013 D.K. Cherian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Death Benefit is the first Pia Grazdani novel, I believe. I had read her second escapade in Nano and didn’t think too much of it. However, Death Benefit is a far cry from Nano.
Pia Grazdani is introduced to Robin Cook readers as an intelligent, work-driven young attractive female who suffers from a detachment syndrome due to her abuse as a child at the hands of her uncle and other authority figures in the foster care system as well as the betrayal of her father who never came to rescue her from
Jul 25, 2012 Nicholas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading Robin Cook's books for probably close to twenty years now, and have been rather disappointed in the past few offerings. I don't know if they are all this bad, or if my tastes have changed, but at this point I just don't think he's writing very good books. His plots are completely unbelievable, particularly the readiness of regular people to sanction violence, including murder. There's little character development, and what character development there is seems forced. And with r ...more
Abhijeet Ranade
May 06, 2013 Abhijeet Ranade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The master of the medical thriller returns! I didn't say of the blurbs about this book did. My opinion, although not so melodramatic, agrees to some degree! For once, Jack and Laurie Stapleton take a backseat from the main narrative and let it unfold with other primary characters. Pia Grazdani seems to be an interesting "heroine" (for lack of a better word) and the book is vintage Cook, at some point making you believe at lease to some degree that "this could happen in real life". An ...more
Jan 18, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading 100 pages of detailed medical jargon, which was actually interesting & well explained, if not tedious at times, the book took a plummet to the world of the Albanian Mafia and the main character trying to "solve" a mystery that the reader knew about from word 1. Cook seemed to spend a great deal of time setting up the novel to let it fall flat. NONE of the characters were remotely likeable. Throwing his medical examiners from his other books in at the end did nothing to salvage ...more
May 04, 2012 Sheila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me a lot of Coma and Outbreak mixed together (also by Robin Cook).This time there was also a Russian spy element thrown in. All of Robin Cook's stories seem to revolve around some kind of medical or genetics experiments gone awry. They always seem so close to the possibility of reality that they make me think that somewhere in the world in a lab somewhere there is some genius trying to do just what Robin Cook is writing about.

I usually really like Robin Cook's novels but I fo
Crystal Wildermuth
While I usually really love Robin Cook's books, this one was just a little too filled with medical jargon and bland characters. Had a hard time staying interested as it was apparent from the first third of the book where the story was going and how it would end. It felt like the author threw in recurring characters Jack and Laurie Stapleton as an afterthought and was really too late in the book to salvage the storyline. There really was no knew what happened and why from early on i ...more
gurpreet kaur
Apr 03, 2015 gurpreet kaur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin Cook is undoubtedly the master of medical thrillers, his own original genre. 'Death Benefit', is no exception, an interesting plot coupled with contemporary scientific research, this book is gripping and fast moving. It is perhaps not one of his popular ones, maybe because of a very different lead character, intelligent, bold, and dry rather than warm and endearing. I quite enjoyed the path less trodden, it reminded me of the girl with the dragon tattoo at times. An engrossing page turner.
Mar 22, 2016 July rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
La verdad es que soy admiradora de Robin Cook, pero he de añadir que estos 2 últimos libros que he leído no son nada bueno, por no decir directamente malos, no me han tiempo en que e tardado en leerlos me remito, no he encontrado ni suspense ni acción en las investigaciones, la quiero comentar nada del libro porque no vale la pena comentar nada de las tramas ya que opino que no son tales.
Jan 05, 2013 Jackie rated it really liked it
In the beginning of this novel, I quote: "mental masturbation" by the author included: lots of money, talk of big investments, add scientific terms and medical jargon, add sex, add power, add fame, add corruption add murder, and subtract caring for any of the characters. However, in the last part of the well planned story, I started to care about the main character. Interesting end!?
Jean Leonard
Fast read with a good story based on intrigue set up by the science and business of medical research and the protagonist's psychological and family issues.
Jan 22, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robin Cook's books are always entertaining and frequently thought-provoking as they bring up issues concerning medicine in the modern world. This book was no exception.
Jan 11, 2012 Marge rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not find the main character likeable in any way, would have preferred her to be the murder victim. Unsatisfactory ending.
Jul 22, 2013 Sara rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Painful. Lack of character development. Inaccuracies regarding medical/research issues. No plot development for pages and pages. Uninteresting conflict with unsatisfying resolution. Ugh.
Megan Richardson
May 30, 2015 Megan Richardson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dec 28, 2016 Karolina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall I have to say that I really enjoyed this book however, I give it 4 stars since the first 150 pages really were hard to get through. The novel starts off quite slow and lacks detail about the main character Pia, only giving us glimpses of her turbulent past and I will admit that i even gave up on the book for a while but since I'm a big fan of Robin Cook I didn't want to let this novel go unfinished and it just kept getting better. All of the gaps about Pia's life were exposed to us which ...more
Samita Ghosh
Pia Grazdani, the main protagonist of the story seems to be unpredictably predictable. Her character development is done very well and runs through the foster care system in the US, the use and abuse of which is much written about.

The story though may sound far-fetched but diabetes is disease of interest to the whole world.

The addition of the Albanian mafia was a very nice touch. The characters of the mafia has been developed very well, one begins to empathise with them.

The rest of story is pr
Terri Lynn
4th year medical student Pia Grazdani has not had an easy life. She was abandoned by her mother when small (Pia thinks she is dead but she is not) and left with her criminal dad. Her dad left her in the care of his brother who molested her until she was 6 when she stabbed him in the penis. When he got out of the hospital, he beat her so badly he wound up in jail and she went into foster care.

Foster care was a nightmare of rounds to institutions where she was raped by both men who were to care f
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Librarian Note: Not to be confused with British novelist Robin Cook a pseudonym of Robert William Arthur Cook.

Dr. Robin Cook (born May 4, 1940 in New York City, New York) is an American doctor / novelist who writes about medicine and topics affecting public health.

He is best known for being the author who combined medical writing with the thriller genre of writing. Several of his books have been b
More about Robin Cook...

Other Books in the Series

Pia Grazdani (2 books)
  • Nano (Pia Grazdani #2)

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