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Critical Judgment

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  2,195 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
Dr. Abby Dolan was on the fast track at a major San Francisco hospital when she made a critical choice: to follow her fiance, Josh Wyler, to the picturesque California town of Patience, where he has a new job with manufacturing giant Colstar. Working in a small-town emergency room, knowing that her every move sparks gossip, Abby nonetheless begins to feel at home - until t ...more
Paperback, 450 pages
Published January 5th 1998 by Bantam (first published June 1st 1996)
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Bodosika Bodosika
Sep 02, 2016 Bodosika Bodosika rated it really liked it
Shelves: medical-thriller
This is an interesting medical thriller and come to think of it 'Nobody does it like Michael Palmer'.
May 14, 2012 Carolyn rated it it was ok
I liked the way the book started (scenario setting, gradual build-up of atmosphere etc), and the integrity of the medical details (OK, the author is a doctor). However, this was a bit like gobbling down a Big Mac when you think you're starving: it seems great at the beginning, but gets steadily worse as you go on. Substitute the trans-fats and high sodium content for a convoluted and slightly out of control plot, and you get my drift. In short, there was no sense of satisfaction at the end, nor ...more
J. Ewbank
This is a good, solid read. Michael Palmer's story about a female doctor who moves to a town with her fiance. She is employed in the emergency room and comes across patients tht she has no idea what is happening to them. At the same time her fiance is showing indications of the same thing and she wonders if his employer could somehow be involved. Then, the rest of the story.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
Oct 23, 2009 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
This was a great book. Kind of like something Robin Cook would write, about the medical field...mystery in the hospital. YIKES! Possible cadmium poisoning by a company that is making batteries "up on the hill" and seems to have the whole town "in its pocket."
Jane Pope
Jul 05, 2016 Jane Pope rated it really liked it
It took me two tries to get interested in this book. The beginning just didn't grab me the first time I picked it up. Luckily I tried it again. This is a medical thriller and includes plenty of detail on all things medical.
Katharine Ott
Dec 06, 2016 Katharine Ott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
"Critical Judgment" - written by Michael Palmer and published in 1997 by Bantam. A gripping medical mystery.
Mar 14, 2017 L M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once it got going it was a thrill ride. All just a bit implausible though. Would make a good movie of the week.
Sep 12, 2013 Joana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
La historia da comienzo en un hospital, donde conocemos a la doctora Abby Dolan. Recientemente abandonó la gran ciudad para mudarse en ese pueblo y acompañar a su novio en su nuevo trabajo. Un novio que, por cierto, recientemente muestra un carácter más irritable de lo normal y presenta síntomas inexplicables; los mismos que también van presentando otros habitantes de Patience que recurren al hospital. Y aparentemente, es culpa de Colstar International, una empresa poderosa que no está dispuesta ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Pauline rated it it was amazing
I think this is my first medical thriller and I was not disappointed. Doctor Abby Dolan moves to the little town of Patience, California following her fiance in his job promotion. She starts work in the regional hospital and become embroiled in mysterious illness that have infected several members of the town. Abby is faced with small town politics and fields ideas of chemical testing and conspiracy. On top of that, issues with her fiance begin cropping up. All of these things seem centered arou ...more
Teresa in Ohio
Dec 20, 2009 Teresa in Ohio rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-read
I had to remind myself that this book was written in 1996, or some of what would be stupid moves was actually not dumb, due to the technology not being what it is today. Dr. Dolan follows her boyfriend from the San Francsico area to a small town so he can work at Colstar, the premier battery plant in the area. After signing on for ER duties, she quickly learns some patients are presenting with symptoms that have no cause or logical reason for the sickness. As she begins to compile data to determ ...more
May 27, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it
Medical suspense novel - Emergency room doctor Abby Dolan has been at Patience Regional Hospital for only a few months when she begins totting up "NIWWs"-her shorthand for patients whose complaints offer her "no idea what's wrong." The hospital and town are literally overshadowed by the manufacturing giant Colstar, a cliff-dwelling international battery-making concern whose security rivals that of the Pentagon. After Abby'sfiancé, Josh Wyler, a new Colstar employee, suddenly exhibits alarming ma ...more
Zeeshan Ahmed
Mar 05, 2013 Zeeshan Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When was the last time I read a good thriller? Long time I guess. This was a really good book. The tension throughout the book was brilliant. It's one of those books that you cannot put down. The story revolvs around Dr. Abby Dolan who moves to a new town along with her boyfriend, Josh Wyler. Josh got a new job in that town, and Abby moves with her. She starts working at the local hospital. Things start getting freakier slowly and she starts realizing that the town might not be what it seems, th ...more
Jul 10, 2013 Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A medical thriller, the action centers on a picturesque small town in rural California, east of San Francisco. A city ER specialist decides to follow her fiancé to this town, where he takes a job for a corporate giant that dominates the town, and she gets a job in the local ER. Soon patients begin showing up with strange symptoms she calls NIWW, or No Idea What's Wrong. At the same time, others exhibit irrational, even violent behavior, including her fiancé. She suspects the large manufacturing ...more
Jun 19, 2012 Cathy rated it really liked it
A female doctor moves to a town with her fiance. Working in the ER she comes across patients that have no idea what is happening to them. At the same time her fiance is showing indications of the same thing and she wonders if his employer could somehow be involved. She embarks on undercovering the source of the cadmium poisening that patients are contracting (also causing them to act crazy). At the same time her fiance is showing indications of the same thing and she wonders if his employer coul ...more
Feb 07, 2015 Patsy rated it really liked it
Suspenseful - In the tiny town of Patience, California, newcomer Dr. Abby Dolan has noticed a frightening syndrome among her emergency room patients. It begins with a baffling, seemingly minor set of symptoms, but builds relentlessly until it plunges its victims into insane, murderous rages. As she searches for clues to this deadly mystery, Abby's superiors make it clear her probing is unwelcome.

Soon Abby will learn just how high the cost of the truth may be--and how far someone will go to keep
May 22, 2016 Victoria rated it really liked it
Young couple moves to small town. Josh works for big corporation that dominates town. Abby gets job as ER doctor in town's small, but totally modernized hospital. Josh starts acting strangely and getting terrible headaches. Abby keeps coming across people with odd ailments that can't be diagnosed or cured. Abby is approached by small, secretive group trying to prove the big corporation is poisoning the town. She gets involved, despite reservations, and starts digging for more information. The bi ...more
Deborah Hamilton
When a big city doctor follows her lover to small town American, she soon discovers just what being in a small town means. No matter how great of a doctor she is, she must save face and try not to burst any of the egos. Very much out of her element she soon discovers that the entire town is involved in some type of cover up that is causing mysterious diseases throughout the town. As Ally goes on a wild goose chase trying to help the one she loves, there are obstacles at every angle and the town ...more
Feb 06, 2012 Joyce rated it really liked it
A female ER Physician moves to a small company town in North Central California following her Engineer gentleman friend who had gone to work for the company. There she discovers patients who are apparently suffering from cadmium poisoning and, as a result, who are committing increasingly violent acts against real and imagined enemies. The more she learns about the causes, the more she uncovers about the company, the Hospital with which she is affiliated and the people running both. There is lots ...more
Joyce McKune
Mar 14, 2012 Joyce McKune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, romance
Abby moved to a small town because her boyfriend got a job there and they had an opening at the local hospital in her specialty, emergency medicine. She noticed a lot of NIWW's "no idea what's wrong" with the people coming through the emergency room. She starts to investigate and steps on the wrong toes to the point someone is trying to kill her. Makes her wonder if the "accident" that killed her predecessor was really an accident. Great book, will look for more by this author.
Nathan Burgoine
I like Michael Palmer, I do, but I can cruise through one of his books in no time. They're easy, and the medical thriller is almost always thus: Doctor (or medial expert or somesuch) who has a semi-wobbly reputation sees too much and must risk their life to expose the medical mystery (which always involves murder to confuse medical research or some sort involving lots of money) - and, of course, success tends to come with a bit of a romance, too.

This one? The doctor is called Abby.
May 14, 2012 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I don't want to accuse these CDs of destroying my car's CD player. It was already headed there, and this book just happened to be in when it happened. restarted in my new stereo! Some parts of the CDs are still skippy. I would make a sarcastic comment thanking the other patrons of the MFRL system for their care and responsibility, but I know I'm also guilty of harming some of their CD books and thus can't hate.
Brian Lucas
Oct 30, 2014 Brian Lucas rated it liked it
The book was very slow and lacked character development. I was ready to rank it a two half way through, but then it had an exciting ending so it changed my overall impression of the book. I've read a couple of Michael Palmer books and really enjoyed them so I was a little disappointed with this one. I just couldn't get into the characters, nor did I particularly like the main character.
Reading Maven
This book had a really strong start, but just failed to live up to it.

I liked that the main character was female. Unfortunately she wasn't a very believable one. I don't think that the author gave her a lot of depth, she was just his puppet to walk the reader through his storyline.

May 10, 2009 Alison rated it liked it
I enjoyed the intrigue of this - some of the medical stuff was a bit complicated for me and some of the decisions weren't realistic. (And I worked out the ending!) I was keen to find out what happened next so I guess that means I got caught up in the story. I've not read anything by this man before - I'd read more.
Anna Engel
Sep 01, 2014 Anna Engel rated it it was ok
Abby - excuse me, Dr. Dolan - is a rooster-tease. As soon as Josh, her purported fiance is out of the picture, she moves on to hot doctor Lew. But every once in a while, she remembers that poor Josh guy and that he's seriously ill. She worries briefly about him, then moves on.
Cathy Jarvis
Sep 23, 2014 Cathy Jarvis rated it it was amazing
First book I read by this author. I was pleasantly surprised. After reading Robin Cook I found Michael Palmers writing excellent. Excellent character development, excellent story line. Definitely will hold your interest and you will not want to put this book down.
Dec 19, 2009 Pbwritr rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
Also pretty good. Fast-paced. Some far-fetched conspiracy ideas--goveernment wants chemical/biological weapons tested on humans with antidote to see if they work. To be a good medical thriller, it doesn't have to go that far.
Feb 07, 2016 Ashley marked it as to-read
Own in paperback.

FS: "It was just after noon when the flickering lights began again - countless slivers of rainbow bathing the inside of his eyes."

LS: "Oh, hell, she decided, forcing her muscles to relax. Let's just get it over with."
Rohit Enghakat
Oct 06, 2014 Rohit Enghakat rated it really liked it
This was my first Michael Palmer book. The plot is woven beautifully. Enjoyed the book. In the same class as Robin Cook. However, I felt that the author was in a hurry to complete the book so the climax was a bit disappointing. Overall, it was quite enjoyable.
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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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