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Critical Conditions (Alan Gregory #6)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,929 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
An emergency call brings Dr. Alan Gregory to an ICU where fifteen-year-old Merritt Strait is recovering from a suicide attempt. Her stepsister already lies near death-after being refused an experimental treatment that could save her life. When an executive with the family's HMO is shot dead, Alan discovers the shocking truth about Merritt-and a family that will stop at not ...more
ebook, 416 pages
Published August 4th 2009 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published March 1st 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,950)
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Lynn
Aug 18, 2015 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the growth of these characters and issues raised. It's also sort of a safe thriller (weird huh). Very measured and controlled storytelling.
Melissa
Mar 11, 2008 Melissa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A good read but not as good with the therapist/cop duo as Johnathan Kellerman. Alan Gregory is called in to consult on a girl who is brought in to the ER having overdosed and in critical condition. The plot twists in that she is the older sister of a baby who has been in the news due to having heart problems and the managed health care company refusing to pay for what they think is experimental treatment.

It is an interesting story but was hard to me to get into and then is a bit winding and con
...more
Jill Manske
Jan 11, 2016 Jill Manske rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy reading Stephen White novels. I like the continuing characters very much - psychologist Alan Gregory, his deputy DA wife Lauren, and detective Sam Purdy, particularly their senses of right and wrong, their ethics and their willingness to bend rules if it's in the best interest of justice. In this very complicated murder mystery, White deals with family tragedies and the lengths family members will go to protect one another. Although much of the plot is easily deduced, there are a ...more
Ed
Dec 14, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
#6 in the Alan Gregory series. Alan is a psychologist in Boulder, CO and his wife Lauren is an Assistant D.A. Friend Sam Purdy is a Boulder detective and it is often difficult for Purdy to get the information he wants from Alan as Alan refuses to violate client confidentiality.

Alan Gregory series - While Lauren is visiting her ailing mother, Alan is recruited by friend Adrienne to consult on the case of a teenage girl who is an attempted suicide, suspected murderess, and refuses to speak. Her si
...more
Shannon
This story comes at you from lots of different angles and is sometimes a bit hard to keep track of. But, remembering the characters is important because they come together as the book moves along.

The book centers on a psychologist and his 15-year-old patient, Merritt. Merritt has a baby sister dying of a rare disease and the insurance company is refusing to pay for a last-chance treatment. The insurance company CEO dies and Merritt is the prime suspect.

So, the book is a murder mystery and the o
...more
Chris
Jul 03, 2015 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steven-white
THIS SUMMARY/REVIEW WAS COPIED FROM OTHER SOURCES AND IS USED ONLY AS A REMINDER OF WHAT THE BOOK WAS ABOUT FOR MY PERSONAL INTEREST. ANY PERSONAL NOTATIONS ARE FOR MY RECOLLECTION ONLY

#6 in the Alan Gregory series. Alan is a psychologist in Boulder, CO and his wife Lauren is an Assistant D.A. Friend Sam Purdy is a Boulder detective and it is often difficult for Purdy to get the information he wants from Alan as Alan refuses to violate client confidentiality.

Alan Gregory series - While Lauren is
...more
Marilyn
Jan 27, 2013 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life can be pretty mundane for Dr. Alan Gregory, a psychology Dr. in Boulder Colorado. All of a sudden things have picked up tho. A young girl has tried to commit suicide and a cohort has called for him to come do an evaluation on her. Come to find out she's the sister of a little 2 year old who has been in the news for the past while, fighting for her life with a heart infection, but being rejected by the insurance company for a new heart. About the same time, Dr. Gregory goes to pick up his co ...more
KarenC
Nov 20, 2010 KarenC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to KarenC by: series
An interesting plot line, watching a psychologist at work and how he treads the fine line between not revealing his patient's role in events while trying to work with the police to solve a murder in which the teenage patient is fully implicated. The writing style and plot presentation drew me in and I kept reading when I should have quit. Observing the manner in which Dr. Gregory approached people and drew out information was interesting. Considering each character and ruling them out as suspect ...more
Ed
Apr 21, 2011 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Psych and crime thriller fans.
My fourth Stephen White/Alan Gregory novel and certainly the most compelling so far. I think, I am finally to the point where I am not comparing White's work with Jonathan Kellerman's books.

In this story, Gregory is called in because a 15-year-old girl, Merritt Strait, attempts suicide. Merritt's stepsister is dying and her HMO refuses pay for an experimental,potentially lifesaving operation. Soon the HMO's founder is found murdered and the evidence implicates Merritt as the killer.

A number of
...more
Jeanne
Oct 11, 2014 Jeanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-reads
Merritt Is the 15 year old niece of Alan 's cop friend, Sam Purdy. She is in trouble, and her little sister is being denied a heart transplant by an insurance company. Murders ensue. This one was just so-so for me. The biggest problem I had was believing that Sam had any sort of relationship with Merritt, who is the daughter of his wife's sister. The sisters are estranged and haven't seen each other since before Merritt was born, so it would be a little creepy if Sam had any involvement in her l ...more
Chuck
Jan 25, 2016 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this Alan Gregory thriller, Alan is treating an attemped suicide victum who happens to be Sam Purdys neice. Murder, the medical insurance industry and a little girls illness all tie in to a very good adventure. Twists, and turns are always a part of a Stephen White thriller and this is no exception. This, the 6th book in the series, is a very good read. I really enjoy this series.
Michele
White’s story is based in the Denver/Boulder area which is nice as my own husband grew up in that area and much of what White writes about is familiar. He also deals extensively with medical billing, insurance company practices, and the mental health profession. Also, areas where I am very familiar. White’s personal biases are prevalent in his writing, but I didn’t find that too distracting. White kept the story lively and interesting while unraveling layers of the tale. I would have rated the b ...more
Michael Bazulka
Jul 20, 2014 Michael Bazulka rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Predictable, in a word. Not well written with a contrived second ending because what great murder mystery and 1970's era cop TV show doesn't end with a chase. When the fascists rear their ugly heads looking for books to burn, guiltlessly turn this one over.
Lynn Pribus
May 22, 2011 Lynn Pribus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my third read in this series, although they are not in order at all. I've been downloading from the library and not all are available. I have #1 in the series waiting for me in hardcover at the library.

I like the reader and this one had twists in the plot which were nice. These are not violent mysteries and the development of the relationships in various characters are interesting, too. Nicely written language-wise, too.

As a clinical psychologist the "I" of these novels in constantly fru
...more
Andy Plonka
Jan 25, 2014 Andy Plonka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the chances of all the events in this book happening require that one accept a large dose of willing suspension of disbelief, I really enjoyed it especially the ride several of the main characters had on the baggage transportation system in Denver International Airport. The relationships between family members in the Trent family was well done.
Lisa
Apr 13, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These books are always a lot more complicated than is first apparent. There are murders to solve and the culprit keeps changing as the story gets more complicated. The man murdered is in charge of a Health Insurance fund and the accused is the sister of a critically ill little girl. The little sister may be saved by an experimental procedure but the health insurance wont pay for it.
But as I have grown to expect in these books, nothing is as simple as it seems.
You need to read to the end - two mo
...more
Samantha
Dec 27, 2007 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the concept of both of the kids in the family being in trouble in different ways. I was interested in how the managed care system wouldn't pay for the treatment and how the other child almost commits suicide. I loved the character interactions of how they figure out the mysteries of what happened and when. However the ending of this book was awful. First of all, it wrapped up too fast and it didn't make a lot of sense. The ending of it was illogical and was no ...more
Grayson
This was a great pick for reading on the airplane. The book is a thriller/mystery and is a page-turner. I especially liked that it took place in Boulder, Colorado, as I've spent some time there.
Jmcrossfl
Feb 05, 2014 Jmcrossfl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, an interesting read. I actually really like most books by Stephen White.
Freyja Vanadis
May 07, 2011 Freyja Vanadis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: not really anyone
I thought the ending was utterly ridiculous, with the chase scene in the baggage section of the airport. Also, White didn't do a good job of speaking like a 15 year old girl when he had Merritt describe her seduction scene with Ed Robilio. And the way he had the skycap speak, adding a few "I be here" or "it be there" to make sure we knew the guy was black, was just plain silly. If this had been the first Stephen White book I'd ever read, I would stop right there and not read any more. However, I ...more
Amanda Le
The novel was not as suspenseful as I had hoped it to be. It already seemed predictable from the moment I read the description on the back cover, save for a small twist at the end. A young teenager refusing to speak is not much of an attention-grabber, and the actual plot of the story was only partially intriguing. However, being a new Alan Gregory reader, his writing style was well-developed and the book was not so boring that I wasn't able to finish it. Although I probably would not highly rec ...more
Dan
Sep 17, 2015 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An above average mystery novel. Not titillating,but with many possible
suspects you never know what the out come will be until the end.
Judy
Nov 26, 2010 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Recommended to Judy by: bookcrosser
Shelves: my-2010-books
I'm not sure I would agree with Goodread's description of "pulse-pounding", but this was a pretty good light read. I was pretty unsure how it would turn out (except I knew it would all be OK). It got pretty convoluted toward the end, and the scene at the end at DIA was too much!! I'm so jealous, I've always wanted to tour the baggage handling system there! LOL, a fun read overall if you suspend your disbelief. Dr. Gregory is OK as a protagonist if you forget that someone like him is unlikely to ...more
Richard Etzel
Aug 06, 2012 Richard Etzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Dr Alan Gregory is again the story teller in this novel. The plot has many twists and turns. Different characters come into scrutiny but then recede from the spotlight as holes develop around his/her involvement. Fascinating read keeping me turning pages as quick as I could. A gruesome murder, a not likable victim, a host of possible suspects keep the story going to the very end. As often happens in the genre author gets to the end and has a weak improbable solution. In spite of that I recommend ...more
Beth Vanda
Oct 27, 2014 Beth Vanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love these books - wish I were reading them in sequence
Gerry
May 01, 2016 Gerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
White really reached his stride with this one: his best novel yet centers on a family whose younger daughter is fighting for her life while the insurance company refuses to pay for the one treatment that might save her, and whose older daughter, hospitalized after a suicide attempt, becomes a suspect in the murder of the physician who heads that same insurance company. With very believable characters, including many of the standard cast that I’m coming to know so well, and plot-twists right to t ...more
Bill
Mar 02, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I got to say that this was a good story.
Susan Burcham
Mar 31, 2014 Susan Burcham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
would be a good movie
Lynn Shurden
May 15, 2013 Lynn Shurden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haven't read a Stephen White book in a while and don't know how I missed this one. But as always enjoy his books. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The tangled webs that we lead in any of our lives certainly were outlined in this story with the beginning of a teenager wanting to desperately help her very ill little sister. The helplessness of a family dealing with the large corporations that are now our health care providers (and ones who can determine what procedures one has) is only going to get worse ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Stephen White is the author of the New York Times bestselling Alan Gregory novels. In his books, he draws upon over fifteen years of clinical practice as a psychologist to create intriguing plots and complex, believable characters.

Born on Long Island, White grew up in New Y
...more
More about Stephen White...

Other Books in the Series

Alan Gregory (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • Privileged Information (Alan Gregory, #1)
  • Private Practices (Alan Gregory, #2)
  • Higher Authority (Alan Gregory, #3)
  • Harm's Way (Alan Gregory, #4)
  • Remote Control (Alan Gregory, #5)
  • Manner of Death (Alan Gregory, #7)
  • Cold Case (Alan Gregory, #8)
  • The Program (Alan Gregory, #9)
  • Warning Signs (Alan Gregory, #10)
  • The Best Revenge (Alan Gregory, #11)

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“I hold the hands of people I never touch.
I provide comfort to people I never embrace.
I watch people walk into brick walls, the same ones over and over again, and I coax them to turn around and try to walk in a different direction.
People rarely see me gladly. As a rule, I catch the residue of their despair. I see people who are broken, and people who only think they are broken. I see people who have had their faces rubbed in their failures. I see weak people wanting anesthesia and strong people who wonder what they have done to make such an enemy of fate. I am often the final pit stop people take before they crawl across the finish line that is marked: I give up.
Some people beg me to help.
Some people dare me to help.
Sometimes the beggars and the dare-ers look the same. Absolutely the same. I'm supposed to know how to tell them apart.
Some people who visit me need scar tissue to cover their wounds.
Some people who visit me need their wounds opened further, explored for signs of infection and contamination. I make those calls, too.
Some days I'm invigorated by it all. Some days I'm numbed.
Always, I'm humbled by the role of helper.
And, occasionally, I'm ambushed.
~ Stephen White "Critical Conditions”
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