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Death Benefit (Pia Grazdani #1)

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,347 Ratings  ·  301 Reviews
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. But when tragedy strikes in the lab, Pia, with the help of classmate George Wilson, launches an investigation into the u ...more
Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published (first published December 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nov 07, 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
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 18, 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.

Rick F.
Mar 09, 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
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.
Feb 10, 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Jun 14, 2013 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
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
Megan Richardson
Jun 01, 2015 Megan Richardson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
gurpreet kaur
Aug 19, 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.
Will Hudson
I admit, with the exception of Cell, it's been a while since I had read a Robin Cook book. I finished Cell right before I started this. It actually would have been better to read them in the other order. The main character in this book is Pia Grazdani, who is alluded to by George Wilson in Cell several times. George is a minor character in this book, where he is the main character in Cell, and boy has he changed between them. You can actually see how this adventure would have transformed him int ...more
Jan 20, 2015 Cate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not his best in terms of writing, but VERY intriguing ideas--particularly the organogensis--could we really do this? maybe in the not too distant future. The trouble would be insurance issues--enter the movie The Island--or those who would do it to live forever--or as long as modern technology can allow. I once had cancer explained to me as what happens to cells that no longer know how to die when its their time--they go bad. Maybe people do too. But to be able to cure major diseases through org ...more
Darren Ashley
Sep 20, 2014 Darren Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pia Grazdini, a fourth year medical student at the Columbia University's Medical Center, works under molecular geneticist Dr. Rothman who wants her working in his lab focusing on the stem cell, specializing on the tissue culture fluid and after she graduates, wants her as a research colleague. Russel, Max, and Edmund, Wall Street Wiz kids who want to control actuarial data, dislike Dr. Rothman who remains at the top in organogenesis, the branch of medicine that grows human organs, and decide tha ...more
Michael Sova
As readers, we hope to, even expect to fall in love with our heroes. That can be challenging when said hero is a total bitch, which is the case with Pia Grazdani, a fourth year medical student at Columbia University. Pia has a troubled, abusive past along with a personality disorder that makes her largely oblivious to the feelings of others. The person she is closest to is Dr. Tobias Rothman, a brilliant research scientist as socially detached as Pia herself, and on the verge of revolutionizing ...more
Russell Libonati
I listened to this book on CD's I got from the library.

It was good but not great. The main character was unlikable. This was addressed, but I'm not sure it really helped. The substance of the book was a bit thin. The author seemed to rely on dragging out the few scenes he had to make the story fill the pages. He seemed well informed in the workings of the subject matter, which was good. You should write what you know. However, there were passages that read more like an insurance manual. I liked
May 03, 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.
Marcos Tavares
Pia Gradzani é uma estudante de medicina da Columbia University em Nova Iorque. Aos 26 anos ela está prestes a se formar e resolve começar um estágio em genética molecular, mais especificamente com células-tronco. Para isso ela contata o professor Tobias Rothman, ganhador do prêmio Nobel de medicina por trabalhos nessa área. Como ele está iniciando um novo projeto envolvendo a geração espontânea de órgãos, logo vê em Pia um grande contingente intelectual para o estudo.

Ela é uma menina que foi ab
Jan 05, 2013 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!?
Apr 23, 2015 Sulaiman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read a whole lot of Robin Cook Books, but this is something special... I've completed this book and am left with a take away memory of the lead character - Pia Grazdani, who turned to be my fictional crush through out the read...

loved the story plot which revovles around Pia and a group of scientists working on Salamonella species and organogenesis as a part of clinical research. There involves Wall Street clashes as these scientists come up with stem cell based organs which could be the future.
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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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