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Oath of Office (Dr. Lou Welcome #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  2,327 Ratings  ·  317 Reviews
Oath of Office

Michael Palmer

When Dr. John Meacham goes on a shooting spree the office, his business partner, staff, and two patients are killed in the bloodbath. Then Meacham turns the gun on himself.

The blame falls on Dr. Lou Welcome. Welcome worked with Meacham years before as a counselor after John's medical license had been revoked for drug addiction. Lou knew that Joh
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 24th 2012 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published February 14th 2012)
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Jen Bailey Bergen
Feb 26, 2012 Jen Bailey Bergen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine, if you will, that Michael Crichton did not die from cancer, but from a zombie attack. Also, imagine that prior to his death at the relentless jaws of the undead, he read Stephen King's Tommyknockers. Now, suppose the reanimated corpse of Michael Crichton lumbered about for some time. Eventually, it remembered having read the King book and decided to write a book of its own, with only the rotted stumps left where hands used to be.

This book would be the result.
Feb 13, 2012 Beverly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My thoughts:
This is an incredible story! The beginning is stunning, gripping, and terrifying. Once I read the prologue I was hooked. This is a masterfully crafted story of corruption and greed as well as compassion and the driving belief in doing the right thing.
The characters are wonderfully constructed, each with a complex life and belief system that makes them come alive from the pages. Lou is fabulous. His profound sense of right and wrong as well as his willingness to see life from all an
Mar 06, 2012 Papercuts1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: killer-thrillers
It's been a while since I've enjoyed a thriller as immensely as I did this one. Maybe because after reading about so many psychopaths and supernaturally touched murderers, one kill more horrifying and graphic than the other, it was refreshing to read a thriller written the classical way. We have an intelligent, likable protagonist, a plausible, fast-paced plot, perfectly timed action sequences and a highly dramatic finale. A page turner of the traditional sort, with a very modern, scarily realis ...more
Paul Pessolano
Dec 08, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Oath of Office” by Michael Palmer, published by St. Martin’s Press.

Category – Mystery/Thriller

If you have not read Michael Palmer before, “Oath of Office” would be a good start. Palmer has 17 books and they are all top notch reads. His novels are medical suspense and many have a Presidential and/or political theme to them.

The author is an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services. This Society is devoted to physicians that are or have been troubled by men
Tom Mueller
I LOVE this place!
I just won an AR copy of this. Being a Michael Palmer fan, I'll dig into this as soon as it arrives, and will certainly post a review.
Thank You! to the publisher for making copies available for us, and especially for Michael Palmer for making it happen!
Jan 07, 2012 Krystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc

Dr. John Meacham appears to be going about business when something odd happens-he kills two patients, his business partner, and staff. Dr. Welcome is blamed as he helped Dr. Meacham earn back his medical license after losing it to alcohol abuse. Dr. Welcome believed in Dr. Meacham's capability as a doctor. As a result, Dr. Welcome is under inspection himself. Dr. Welcome still believes in Dr. Meacham even after the horrible shooting, he resolves to dig deeper into the occurrence and uncover the
Jenn Lambert
Feb 19, 2012 Jenn Lambert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ray Palen
Jan 16, 2012 Ray Palen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Palmer has been writing edge-of-your-set medical thrillers for several decades and firmly taken the place of Robin Cook in that genre. His last few novels have ventured out into pure thriller territory and with a nice political spin!

His latest effort, OATH OF OFFICE, combines both the medicine and politics to create a novel that has very current and relevant themes at its core. The story opens with a well-respected but curiously troubled Doctor named John Meacham going on a shooting spre
Linda B
Jan 27, 2012 Linda B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Palmer is the author of sixteen medical mystery/suspense novels. It is no secret that he has been one of my favorite authors for years, and Oath of Office is another outstanding book by this author.

The character of Dr. Lou Welcome brings us an area of medicine that patients do not like to think about. He is a medical doctor that has fought his way back from addiction and is now helping other troubled doctors. Unexpectedly, one of his doctors suddenly goes on a shooting spree. He kills p
Jan 15, 2012 Alla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In Michael Palmer’s newest thriller, “Oath of Office,” Dr. John Meacham goes through a violent shooting spree in his office—killing himself and his staff after a patient threatens to contact the medical board about his anger issues—while odd incidents continue to occur among folks in King’s Ridge: a worker at a local restaurant nearly loses his thumb, Meacham’s wife nearly gets herself killed in a car accident over a random road situation, and Dr. Meacham’s patient Roberta Jennings attempts to l ...more
Amy Lignor
Feb 19, 2012 Amy Lignor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Written by one of the world’s most stellar suspense authors, this book is a complete shock to any reader’s system. Keeping you completely on edge, this story starts out rapidly…and never lets you take a breath.

A very honored physician in a town near Washington, DC, goes on a violent rampage in his office and, before he’s through, he fatally wounds his staff, his associate and two patients. Then, turning the gun on himself, he shouts the words over and over again: No Witnesses.

The doctor, John Me
Feb 10, 2012 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Palmer writes medical mystery/thrillers which are suspenseful and thought provoking and Oath of Office is no different. Unstable Dr. John Meacham goes on a shooting spree in his own office killing his partner, some and his staff and a few patients before turning the gun on himself. His friend Dr. Lou Welcome is blamed because he had previously help Meacham gets his license restored. He can’t believe that Meacham could do such a thing and investigates the reasons behind it. What he finds ...more
Christopher White
REALLY?? It should not have surprised me that a political thriller might have a political agenda, but this story was a ridiculous hit piece on GMO food! So, we have a well-meaning but misunderstood ER doctor who saves the world from the Evil Billionaire Farmer and his 'frankencorn' that was modified with the genes from flesh eating African termites... corn which causes inexplicable behavior in people, ranging from erratic driving to self-surgery to mass murder! And, of course, the doctor does al ...more
Lenny Husen
This was so boring and silly, I couldn't finish it.
I do want to say that I like Michael Palmer and have read many of his books. Each of the early ones is 3.5 stars. But this one was a Dud.

What I like about Palmer: he seems like a good guy. His protagonists are always an ER doc or some other specialty that is actually cool, and they can turn a radiator hose into a chest tube in 30 seconds flat. I like his emphasis on recovery from addiction, anger, drugs/EtOH and helping impaired doctors.

The ear
Phyllis Sommers
A very unique thriller, focused on the strange behavior being elicited by random citizens of Kings Ridge, a small town near Washington, D.C. The episode that triggered this focus occurred when Dr. John Meacham, a recovering alcoholic, muttered "no witnesses" as he boldly and brazenly shot and killed a total of seven patients and colleagues before ultimately killing himself.

Dr. Meacham's inexplicable behavior completely stymied Dr. Lou Welcome, the ER doctor and recovered alcoholic who personall
Apr 05, 2012 Jerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Michael Palmer used to be one of our favorite authors: his suspenseful medical thrillers featured intelligent theses, engaging plots, and well crafted characters. Lately he has “branched out” into political arenas and plots so far-fetched we have to suspend all sense of reality to even get through them. Unfortunately, “Oath” seems yet another in that pattern, from a totally implausible premise to a lackluster plot. While the book read quickly, it wasn’t from as much desire to find out how it tur ...more
Whether you call Michael Palmer's OATH OF OFFICE a suspense thriller or a medical mystery doesn't matter much. Just know that this book is an intelligent look at what science has come up with when it comes to genetically engineered or chemically altered foods and the lack of oversight of these operations. It would seem that if one has enough money and greases the right palms anything is possible.

Hooked from the first page by the "doctor gone mad" scene, I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the
Feb 19, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ll admit that although I love TV shows and movies that deal with political scandals and medical mysteries and dramas, I have not read many books in this type of genre. However, when I read the synopsis for Oath of Office, I was intrigued and requested an Advanced Reader Copy of the book. I thought it was interesting that the book was released on Valentine’s Day because it is definitely not a Valentine’s story!! It is a thought-provoking page turner with amazing twists and unexpected revelation ...more
I was so happy to get this book in a Goodreads giveaway because I've always been a Michael Palmer fan. This book didn't disappoint. Once I picked it up and started reading, I had a hard time putting it down.

What's not to like about a medical thriller with political conspiracies tossed in for good measure?

If I have one complaint about Michael Palmer's books, it's that he apparently doesn't do series. He creates these great settings and characters and then never uses them again in another story.

Nan Williams
This book had a lot of potential. There were a lot of major issues introduced in the first few chapters. You had people acting in a bizarre (and tragic) manner for no discernible reason; you had the President firing the Ag secretary who was the First Lady's best friend growing up; you had an early concern about genetically altered foods. The elements for a great novel were there. The elements for an expository novel about the dangers of genetically altered foods were there. The elements for corr ...more
When stressed out Dr. John Meacham goes on a killing spree and shoots a number of his patients and co-workers, Dr. Lou Welcome is blamed.

Lou had been overseeing his friend, Dr. Meacham at Physicians Wellness. This organization helps doctors who have developed pyschological problems resulting in loss of anger. They also counsil doctors who over-medicate themselves with drugs and alcohol.

As the story progresses, we observe Lou's compassionate nature while a number of other characters exhibit unexp
May 22, 2012 Heidi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I am the first one to love a good medical thriller, and have indulged in many prior Michael Palmer thrillers (as one would indulge in an entertaining TV soapie), but this one did not do it for me at all. The beginning of the novel starts plausible enough - a reputable doctor suddenly goes on a shooting rampage, killing several of his staff and patients. When his friend Dr Lou Welcome, an ER doctor, looks into the case, he discovers similar incidents involving other residents of the same town. So ...more
*Genre* Mystery
*Rating* 3.0


What starts out as a murder spree by Dr. John Meacham, ends with questions about how far a sitting president would go in order to provide thousands of jobs to the unemployed in a struggling economy and how far he would go in order to keep his own job in the oval office.

At the forefront of the story is Dr. Lou Welcome. Welcome is an ER attending who worked himself back from the brink of addiction to amphetamines. As a member of the Physicians Wellness Office it
Dec 21, 2013 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A novel about genetic engineering of crops and their effect on health and the environment. There is so much evidence in the world about the damage to health and to the environment from GMO. There is a political battle going on between governments, international corporations and the people concerning GMO food. There is even solid Biblical prophecy about the need for Jesus to return before mankind is destroyed... by genetic manipulation as was done in the time of Noah.

But Michael Palmer has not de
Reader's Paradise
Headline: BANG BANG POW!

What makes a Dr. sworn to “First Do No Harm,” take a gun and kill everyone in his office and then turn it on himself? What diagnosis could send him on such a murderous rampage?
Why is the President of The United States numbers dropping in the popularity poll, and he’s avoiding the people he’s supposed to serve?
The First Lady, whose advocating for better health for our youth, seems to be covering for her suddenly cantankerous husband. Maybe it’s the resignation surrounded b
The Loopy Librarian
If ever there was a cautionary tale against genetic food modification, Oath of Office is it. The author combines medical mystery with political corruption in a suspenseful, fast-paced thriller that is a real page turner. I was stepping outside my usual genres by picking up this book, and I’m ever so glad that I did. I particularly enjoy books that take me outside of my realm of knowledge and experience and teach me something new while entertaining me. I found that Oath of Office did that very we ...more
Audiobook. For the first half of this book, the reader is wondering how the two disparate stories unfolding can possibly be connected. A first lady weaving through a mystery involving a disgraced cabinet member and a seemingly unrelated emergency room doctor dealing with mysterious and murderous behaviors. I suppose this should be an endorsement to the author ability to outline and create an intriguing plot. The problem, in my opinion, is credibility and elements brought into the story that add ...more
Jul 07, 2013 Dale rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Palmer book I've read, and likely the last. He obviously has a ton of fans out there, but this effort did not win me over. The premise was good, and the main character is interesting enough, but the dialogue seemed stilted, the minor characters were cliches, and the plot took a couple twists and turns (Spoiler alert: there is sexual tension between the main character, Dr. Welcome, and the fictional First Lady with whom he eventually crosses paths) that, even for a summer read, ...more
Mar 28, 2012 Debby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Palmer writes medical suspense/thrillers much like Robin Cook. Along the way, he's been adding political themes into the storylines as well. Oath of Office involves the President of the United States, the Dept of Agriculture and GMO's (genetically modified organisms) involving a very common food sourcej (not enough info to be a spoiler). :)
WIf you are interested at all in the international problem of food supply, agribusiness and genetically altered food with it's suspicious affects on
Sep 08, 2014 Jksechler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Another good medical thriller by Michael Palmer! Genetically modified organisms is definitely an interesting subject and I liked the main character, Dr. Welcome. Will look forward to listening the next Dr. Welcome book soon.
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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.

More about Michael Palmer...

Other Books in the Series

Dr. Lou Welcome (3 books)
  • Political Suicide (Dr. Lou Welcome, #2)
  • Resistant (Dr. Lou Welcome, #3)

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