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(Dr. Marissa Blumenthal #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  52,403 ratings  ·  323 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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3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  52,403 ratings  ·  323 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
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: thrillers
*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
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.
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
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
David K. Lemons
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Robin Cook writes great medical thrillers. He's one of the best. I go to Grisham for legal thrillers. I'm looking for better writers who do as well or better than these two.
Jul 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction, 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,
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
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.
Jul 30, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
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
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.
Waqar Arif
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I abhor the last book I read, the maestro of medical thrillers, delivered it again!
The lead character Dr. Marissa Blumenthal was a cute little epidemiologist who struggled throughout the story so that she could find out the actual reason behind Ebola outbreaks. Her dedication for her job was beautifully written. Moreover, the political conspiracies, thrilling chases and tension filled romantic moments were adequately portrayed. Ending was a little bit predictable but overall it left me mo
First Lady Of Rainbow Land
I am founding this book very satisfying. What can I say? I am a sucker from crime thrillers involving the spread of deadly diseases.
I remember buddy-reading "Outbreak" with my sister when we were younger. We are young now (I am only 24 years old!) but then we were much younger. Due to my age, I hadn't read many books that belonged in the crime genre, so this one must've been one of my firsts. And I loved it.
And now that I read it again, I loved it once more. So yeah. It's 4 star reading for me
May Rodríguez Martín
Un libro entretenido pero con este autor tengo la sensación de que leídos un par de libros, leídos todos. La estructura suele ser la misma. Los mismos giros y acontecimientos.. Ya no me sorprende..
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.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
See the rest of the review here

This novel was many things. A thriller was one. I picked it because of the title alone. It so happens to be about an Ebola outbreak. Seemed like another timely novel. It was a quick read and fun. I happen to be studying epidemiology at the moment and so there were smiles on my face whenever he reference medical terminology that I actually understood. The medical jargon was fun! There was a lot to like here--and some not.

The author is a doctor in real life. I alway
Terri Lynn
I have already read one book about Dr. Marissa Blumenthal and decided to go back and read the first book about her. I like Robin Cook's medical thrillers a lot and this was no exception. The subject matter- Ebola outbreaks being deliberately caused by rich doctors worried about managed care making them less rich- was so interesting.

I have to say upfront that I don't really like Dr.Marissa Blumenthal. She has all of the appeal of wet sawdust or maybe stepping in some dog plops at the doggie park.
Tiffany Fox
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Title: Outbreak
Author: Robin Cook
Narrator: Donada Peters
Publisher/Date: Books on Tape Inc. / 1992
Length/Format: 8hrs 4 mins / Audio Book

Murder and mystery reach epidemic proportions when a devastating plague sweeps the country. Dr. Marissa Blumenthal of the Atlanta Centers of Disease Control investigates and soon uncovers the medical world's deadliest secret.

The super scary thing about this novel is that it was published in 1988 and it talks about an outbreak of Ebola in the United Sta
Jun 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: disease-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In den USA häufen sich mysteriöse Todesfälle, die Rede ist von einem aggressiven Virus. Der heimtückische Erreger lässt sich durch nichts aufhalten, er scheint gegen alle Mittel resistent. Dr. Marissa Blumenthal, Mitarbeiterin im Seuchenkontrollzentrum, wird mit der Erforschung des Falles betraut und sieht sich in Sekundenschnelle in der Verantwortung für die Sicherheit Amerikas. Kann Marissa die Welt vor der alles vernichtenden Seuche retten ? Gibt es Gegenspieler, die den Kampf um
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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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