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(Dr. Marissa Blumenthal #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  54,752 ratings  ·  388 reviews
Murder and mystery reach epidemic proportions when a devastating plague sweeps the country.

Dr. Marissa Blumenthal of the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control investigates—and soon uncovers the medical world's deadliest secret.
Paperback, 340 pages
Published February 1st 1988 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 1987)
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R.L. Probably. But, you have to admit, an Ebola pandemic is a scary thought.

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  54,752 ratings  ·  388 reviews

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2.5 - I'm feeling generous with the round up to three.

First - if you are looking for an outbreak book involving the risk of an end of humanity while a group of intrepid heroes fight for survival - this is not that book! There is very little actual outbreak, it is only a side plot to the main story.

I do enjoy the stories Cook is trying to tell, but sometimes it is a struggle to get through them. I feel like he really has a cool story and fascinating ideas, but that he is not a very good writer.
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I was a big Cook fan at one time. Outbreak presents a very scary and distressing topic. The romance was overdone though.
May 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
That was pretty disappointing, really. I once read some advice that said if the author's name is larger than the title of the book, you should avoid it. This book may be evidence to support that. I mean, it was published in 1988 sure, but it was basically a Nancy Drew mystery with a medical setting. With the level of writing prowess to match...

There isn't much of a synopsis I can provide that isn't covered by the book's description. There are outbreaks of Ebola, and a doctor from the CDC is inve
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, thriller
The title makes it seem like a pandemic.However,the outbreak isn't all that severe,though 84 people get infected in one go.

It is more of an action thriller,rather than a medical thriller.There are lots of characters,each indistinguishable from the other.There is plenty of action,though it doesn't leave a lasting impression like several of Robin Cook's books.

2.5 stars,rounded up.
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary |
*reader gives book a long, evil side-eye*

So, uh, let me get this straight..

Very tiny, super attractive doctor stumbles upon Big Evil Conspiracy.
Very tiny, super attractive doctor gets hit on by every man around her that's not trying to kill her. Very tiny, super attractive doctor somehow manages to be almost completely inept on a personal level, makes horrible choices, and still manages to save the day.
Very tiny, super attractive doctor completely forgives guy who was a complete buttpucker to h
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-british
Robin Cook writes great medical thrillers. He's one of the best. I go to Grisham for legal thrillers sometimes. I'm looking for better writers who do as well or better than these two.
UPDATE 2020: This is an excellent novel on how you work with contagion.
I think I’m reading too much virus books these days. Can’t help it given the current scenario.

This book was very interesting. I enjoyed the novels plot. An Ebola like virus outbreaks are happening in cities. But there are gaps of one month from each city. A virus spreads immediately, almost 10 to 14 days, but here the gaps were too much. So how can it spread, unless it’s deliberately done.

The main protagonist Dr. Marissa was very likable and I could totally relate to her. But I don’t know what h
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
This was a disappointing book.

To its credit, the novel lives up to its reputation as a fast-paced medical thriller. The story begins with mysterious outbreaks of Ebola appearing in different hospitals of the country, with no initially obvious connection between them. A new doctor from the CDC is assigned to find out why the early outbreaks are occurring and help contain them, and she gets drawn into a political (mystery/thriller) plot.

Why the mediocre review? I was turned off by the romantic d
Rebecca McNutt
Mar 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found Outbreak a little hard to get into at first, but it slowly progressed into a very intriguing medical thriller.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Read for the 2020 PopSugar reading challenge. This is "A medical thriller." I put in a hold for an e-book copy of this over a month ago, when coronavirus was starting to be a concern. It seemed like a morbid nod to current events. By the time I actually got my copy, this was a significantly more morbid choice than I could have imagined. It's a good thing it is an e-book copy because the local library is now closed.

This book... it's bad. Let's not mince words. It's one of those books where the fa
F.T. Moore
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: airplane-books
Since I've read most of Robin Cook's books, and rate them all a 3, one would wonder why I keep buying them, right?

I consider this an "Airplane book," that is, a good read when you're sitting in an uncomfortable seat and can't move your arms much, and need something to distract you from the world around you. A solid, fun, read, good for the beach, the deck, or a long airplane ride, when all you want is to escape to another world and another life. Something that holds your attention, and doesn't r
Angus Whittaker
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
This was a well written and gripping book, but I don't see it as a genre that I could really get into. Medical thriller? It's a bit too technical - a lot of medical jargon that I didn't get, although most of the concepts are explained in layman's terms - and it seems to be targeted to a small audience of doctors or other members of the medical profession who happen to like mysteries. On the other hand, Robin Cook is surprisingly adept as a writer, and his book stands alone without requiring the ...more
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have you seen the movie "Outbreak"? Well this book... is NOTHING... like it. Yes, the Ebola virus is used as a weapon. Yes, someone from the CDC is investigating. The similarity ends there.

A young CDC doctor is sent to an outbreak of what turns out to be Ebola virus in L.A. Then similar outbreaks occur in St. Louis, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and New York. She becomes convinced that someone is using the virus as a weapon. To find out who, she must deal with bureaucracy, a sexually harrassing boss, a
Jay Schutt
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
My first Robin Cook novel so I really didn't know what to expect. This one started out slow, but then the pace picked up and came to a nice conclusion. Worth trying another one in the future.
Jul 30, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
Jul 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
OK, wildly different from the movie.


Originally published on my blog over the summer; I'm just now on 10/30 updating goodreads ... sigh...

So, I originally read this book a few years ago because I liked the movie "Outbreak" and when I originally wrote a review - just a few words - I commented it was nothing like the movie.

Well, I finally figured it out - the movie's not based upon this book! LOL No wonder it's not like the movie! (I'm a little slow sometimes)

So, Outbreak is about, duh, an Outbre
Jamie Jeffries
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I've read a lot of Robin Cook. Years ago, I developed a theory that he had a computer program that wrote his books after he selected names and a disease or medical issue. They are all the same, reliably so, and I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I can count on a well-written book with a gripping, suspenseful story. On the other, I can predict the outcome, not to mention the progress of the story, within the first few pages, so there's no real mystery there for me.

A few books ago,
Richard Farnsworth
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Robin Hook does a nice job of incoprating fairly solid medical event into a good story.
Amie's Book Reviews
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Robin Cook's books. He is credited with being the creator of the modern "medical horror."
I love all his books and I very much enjoyed reading OUTBREAK.
This book is not suitable to readers under the age of eighteen as the situations are adult in nature and eerily plausible. After reading RobinCook you will not want to ever have to visit any medical center anytime soon.
I highly recageommend this book to readers
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure where Robin Cook has been my whole life but now that I found him I want to read everything by Mr.Cook. Such a fun read from the CDC point of view on an outbreak situation. Usually when I read about an outbreak it has already happened and your thrown into the middle of it but to read from the start of an outbreak was fun...very stressful but very fun. Definitely going to look for more books like this and definitely reading more from Mr.Cook!
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
I bought Outbreak to read on a long train journey. It's a fast paced medical thriller that is perfectly acceptable as a guilty reading pleasure. Yes, there are plot holes, weak characters and bad dialogues. But with all its flaws, the storyline keeps moving forward at a strong pace and that is enough to keep the reader like me hooked.

I would have given this book three stars, if not for the blatant sexism displayed by the author in the way he depicts his female lead. Dr. Blumenthal is highly ski
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
This is by far the best Robin Cook book I have read. Yes, there are a couple of cliches here and there, but I found the story itself to be engaging and believable (if a bit out there, but this book was written as a thriller) The story itself was well-paced, and as usual. the author displays his medical knowledge so he knows what he is writing about.

However, I could only give this book 3 stars because of the ending. The main character, Dr. Blumenthal, is treated unfairly by a superior of hers aft
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Saptarshi Ghosh
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, fiction, thriller
Outbreak is a thrilling and a gripping read. Author has done a brilliant job in bringing an esoteric field like medicine and biology into a thriller/crime genre. The writing is lucid. The story started of brilliantly and carried the suspense and thrill till the end.
However, i expected the story to be a more like medical thriller ( search for a cure and fight against a disease) rather than a crime thriller it turned out to be . Nevertheless, it was a good and a quick read.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
Inept only begins to describe all aspects of this book, since the author didn't take the time to properly write the book, I won't bother to write a proper review. If it was lack of talent that produced this talonless ogre called "Outbreak", I apologize and recommend a new vocation for Robin Cook.
P.S. Winn
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Amazing story, once again Robin Cook is taking readers on a thrill ride and one that is very close to non-fiction, With the way the government plays with germs who knows when the next outbreak may occur. Thanks to the author for always blending fact and fiction in a thoroughly fascinating way.
Chioma Uzoma
Jun 06, 2011 rated it liked it
It was had a weak end though...
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Predictable with average writing. Hopefully his novels improve as I go along.
Sarah Hollowell
Mar 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
A great choice if you want to read a really bad book.
So prior to this being returned to the library, I was a good 60% in and was enjoying the concept of the book even though I was under the impression that this was the same as the film of the same name (FYI, it's not) but overall it wasn't bad but it was returned and so I placed myself back on the queue to loan it and I got it back and after reading the last 40% realized that maybe I should have stopped where I was.

The last 40% showed Marissa still being chased by goons as she bumbles and fumbles
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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, biotechnology, and topics affecting public health.

He is best known for being the author who created the medical-thriller genre by combining medical writing with the thri

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