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Contagion

(Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery #2)

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  13,239 ratings  ·  352 reviews
One of Cook's most successful—and timely—bestsellers. Contagion is a terrifying cautionary tale for the millennium as a deadly epidemic is spread not merely by microbes—but by sabotage.... ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published December 1st 1996 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 1992)
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Jessicat You can read this one without having read book #1. I just finished this book not even knowing it was part of a series and didn't feel like I was missi…moreYou can read this one without having read book #1. I just finished this book not even knowing it was part of a series and didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.(less)
Coma by Robin CookAcceptable Risk by Robin CookChromosome 6 by Robin CookToxin by Robin CookAbduction by Robin Cook
Best of Robin Cook
18 books — 49 voters
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Conspiracy Fiction
1,120 books — 1,272 voters


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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,239 ratings  ·  352 reviews


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Scott Rhee
Mar 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery, medical
It boggles my mind how some writers earn their "best-selling author" status. It's not always because they are good writers. Clearly this is the case with Robin Cook, a mediocre writer at best. Cook is also an M.D., and his books generally deal with the medical field. I picked up "Contagion" because I had never actually read a Robin Cook novel before. Perhaps "Contagion" wasn't the best one to start with, or perhaps I wasn't in a "medical thriller" mood when I read this, but it wasn't that good. ...more
Jim
2.5 Stars

Entertaining so I am feeling generous and am rounding up to three stars. This is not great literature and not very believable but in the middle of winter and if you are stuck indoors because of the weather (and COVID-19) it can be a way to pass the time.

The prologue introduces three characters whose lives will intersect in the future. The protagonist, Jack Stapleton, is a medical examiner in New York city. Formerly he had a small opthamology practice but retrained when a managed care fi
...more
James Batchelor
Apr 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
Wow! This might be the single worst ending to a book that I have ever come across. I won't spoil it for those that may choose to read it, but suffice it to say, Cook set up a very interesting story, and torpedoed it with an absolutely implausible, ridiculous ending. ...more
Books
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-2014
Have you read any of Robin Cook’s books yet? No? NO??!! Dude!! You have no idea what you’re missing out on! We’re talking epidemic, deadly viruses, panic, conspiracies, drama, confusion, medical negligence, and gangsters! And of course, as with any good medical drama worth its salt, at the center of it all are two competing corporate healthcare giants out to make a quick profit AND an ad company with a near-impossible deadline. If this sounds to you like a heady mix of suspense, intrigue, and ho ...more
Marten Hoyle
Jun 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Boring, poorly written, overly ridiculous and pathetically predictable. This is definitely the only Robin Cook book I am ever going to read. It was not a good introduction to the author and I wouldn't even recommend it to someone with poor taste in literature. ...more
Hannah
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good suspense, suprising how relevant the medical references are today in Contagion. The book was published in the early 90s, I think...
Mavel
DNF @ 6%: No thanks, I'll just watch the movie instead.

A friend back in uni liked Robin Cook's books, so I read a couple of them (Fatal Cure and Vital Signs). I remember finding the quality of his writing poor—wooden dialog, one-dimensional characters, unsuspenseful suspense—and wondering why the duck my friend liked his books so much. (She was a Microbiology undergrad, but still.)

Fast forward to today, the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and of course the library featured this book as a pandemi
...more
Jessica
Jan 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book because I had seen the recent movie titled 'Contagion' and thought that the two were one and the same. I was not particularly impressed with the movie but I always tend to enjoy the books more and the movie felt as if it were missing something so I decided to give this a chance. I'm glad I did because the book was nothing like the movie other than being about an epidemic. I enjoyed this story very much, although there were some minor instances where what I had just read didn't ...more
Michael Woods
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, suspense
I bought a hardback copy of this book from a used bookseller a few months before finally picking it up to read. Why I decided to read it at that time was because we were starting to go through the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. In my line of work, I visit a lot of people in nursing homes, and these facilities were starting to severely restrict visitations in order to contain the virus. So, I had a lot of time on my hands to spend at home reading, and I wondered what it would be like to read a book ...more
Ellenjsmellen
Dec 02, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, sci-fi
Least favorite by Cook.
La Tonya
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This had to be one of the very best books I have ever read! So entertaining and definitely a huge page turner!! A MUST read!!!!
Debbie
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome Robin Cook!!!!

There is nothing to dislike about Dr. Cook's writing!!! On point, accurate to the nth degree, just don't understand how he manages a practice and his outstanding writing. Jack and Laurie always pull you in. Wonderful book most especially entertaining for those in the medical field who understand the frustrations of hospital practices and policies, and those who rule over them.
...more
Ameetha Widdershins
2.6 Entertaining. Better than Outbreak, I think. Again, sort of like an action flick but this time a bit more Jack Ryan desk work and analysis.
Alissa
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2021
I’m sorry but what is with the ending? So many unanswered questions. 3 stars was a stretch, I really did feel the reader deserves a comprehensive ending
Jacob Dalluhn
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Imagine weaving in and out of New York traffic on a 15 pound bike going about 30mph 3 inches between cars on a brisk morning in novemeber.Jack Stapleton a forensic pathologist did just that everymorning heating the ever so frequent honk of the horn or someone yelling explitives at him, but i guess u could say he was used to it. One morning he was called into work a little ealier then he would like and it wasn't a good thing. Three patients came in with unkown deaths and no one could figure out w ...more
Liana
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it
I wouldn’t have finished the novel if I didn’t like Jack so much as a character and I didn’t find all the medical talk somewhat interesting. It’s not really that technical of a book, but technical enough that I had to look up a few words. I don’t think that is a bad thing on its own, but the book rambled on a bit about Jack and the hospital’s reactions to the diseases and their effects on the human body. More than anything, the novel never picked up pace and seemed pretty realistic. For a diseas ...more
Alex
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For a story of infectious disease and mysterious deaths, the hints could not have been more obvious, and the ending was just plain ridiculous. No spoilers here, but when my first guess ends up being right that's no fun. I usually completely fail to guess the mystery in every book I read. Also, I get that some characters have 'plot armor' in every story, but there is such a thing as too much of it. If the reader comes to expect the last minute save of a character every time it happens, it's not a ...more
Michael Adamchuk
Flashback - 1991: A microbiologist finds a body frozen since 1918 and takes a bacterial sample for his personal collection. Jack Stapleton leaves opthamology and retrains for pathology. Teresa Hagen has an ectopic pregnancy, loses her fetus and uterus and leave her husband. Present time - 1996. Jack is now a medical examiner. he left because a managed care firm bought out the practice.( A dig from Robin in there.) A rae, highly infectious disease is killing patients and one or Ameri-Care's hospi ...more
Tom
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Really 3.5 stars. I'm rounding up to 4 simply because for 90% of the book I was engaged and looking forward to see what would happen next. The dialog in this book is awful and some plot elements are a bit of a stretch. If I didn't know any better I'd think it was written by a teenager. The ending, while a bit of a surprise, was still rather pedestrian. I think I was hoping for a bit more. This book helped pass the time but if I didn't note a review here I doubt I'll remember a single thing about ...more
Clark
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama, audio-book
Really good, particularly in these difficult times.
Almira Ryiexlyz
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Book Analysis
Dr. Robin Cook, a graduate of Columbia University Medical School, finished his postgraduate medical training in Harvard. He is the author of the novel, Contagion.
The novel is really wonderful, very detailed and at the same time informative. I am really a fan of Dr. Robin Cook because of his intelligence in connecting biological concepts that are really spine tingling and would unconsciously make you think of possibilities of his medical-thrilling novel’s conflict. The work of a fore
...more
Gen
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
Picked up this book assuming it was what the 2011 movie contagion was based on or inspired by but was already hooked when I noticed it wasn't. Would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys mysteries with a medical twist, but fair warning, there is a lot of medical jargon that either doesn't get explained or is loosely explained later so I was definitely googling terms through out the book. All the twists have very subtle foreshadowing and definitely gasped alongside Jack when they were reveale ...more
Selma
Jun 02, 2020 rated it liked it
From Plague to tularaemia to influenza, who would've thought that bacteria can be used as a medical weapon..
Jack is a medical examiner who notices a pattern in the deaths the center he works at has been receiving lately. He assumes some terrorist is trying to start an epidemic in New york city, a theory that isn't well recieved by his colleagues at first (who mostly think he's crazy). He starts his own investigation about it and discovers ... well a lot of things.
The suspense builds up nicely,
...more
Elysa
May 05, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned, mystery
So, this isn't my usual read. This is a medical thriller written by a doctor, so there is a lot of medical jargon I don't understand, but it didn't prevent me from liking the actual story.

Speaking of, the story was not what I was expecting. The description made this book sound like it would be more about an epidemic, although perhaps that's because of the state of the world right now. However, this story is more about the beginnings of a potential epidemic and the efforts of one man to prevent i
...more
Lisa Plunkett
Jan 24, 2021 rated it liked it
I was expecting this to resemble our current COVID pandemic situation so I thought it would be an extra fun read in our present times. However, this was written as more of a medical mystery. People are getting sick (and dying) of rare causes in a specific New York hospital and the main character, a medical examiner, is determined to find out the source behind the deadly diseases. While he is attempting to prevent an epidemic, his co-workers aren’t convinced of his conspiracy theories. It takes h ...more
Ken Heard
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This is an entertaining, quick read if you're in the mood for fast fiction. The science/pandemic parts were interesting and held my attention. Some of the characters were developed well for this genre, although the bad, evil corporate hospital guys were pretty much typecast.

However, the ending!(In Keith Morrison of NBC Dateline voice: "Oh, that pesky ending") Imagine being on a fast train and suddenly stopping, or veering off track. It was that joting. It was as if Robin Cook couldn't tie up all
...more
Jennifer
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was ok
I put off reading this book for a year because I assumed it would be very close to what is happening presently with Covid-19. The premise of the book sounded like an exact use case for what was happening with patients getting infected with a virus and showing up at hospitals, only to pass away within days. I’m happy to say that it wasn’t too terrifying or hit close to home.

I found the writing to be pretty cheesy and the dialogue between the characters completely unrealistic. The first half of t
...more
Michaela
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read this before knowing it was apart of a series. You can still enjoy it as a stand alone novel.

Dr. Jack Stapleton NYC Medical Examiner has started to notice a disturbing tend at one of the local Mega hospitals - rare diseases are putting bodies in the morgue. Deadly disease that have not been seen in decades. Jack starts digging and thinks there is a conspiracy brewing. He notices that not only are patients dying but also nurses and most confusingly personnel from central supply. What is the c
...more
Karolina
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fast paced, intricate, and well developed plot with compelling and likable characters. The novel starts off with a number of characters coming down with various deadly diseases while being treated at Manhattan General, and the main character Dr. Jack Stapleton becomes engrossed in trying to discover what really happened to these patients. Soon Jack finds himself to be in way over his head as events continue to unfold.

Personally I have read a lot of mystery/thriller novels and have become quit
...more
David
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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I HATE CORONA GROUP: 'Book in the age of the virus : 3 84 May 25, 2020 09:18PM  
I HATE CORONA GROUP: 'Book in the age of the virus : 1 61 Apr 28, 2020 09:59AM  
Goodreads Librari...: German edition assigned to wrong novel 6 22 Oct 15, 2017 10:56AM  
USA Geography Cha...: Contagion by Robin Cook 1 3 Dec 29, 2014 06:41AM  

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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
...more

Other books in the series

Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Blindsight (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #1)
  • Chromosome 6 (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #3)
  • Vector (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #4)
  • Marker (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #5)
  • Crisis (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #6)
  • Critical (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #7)
  • Foreign Body (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #8)
  • Intervention (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #9)
  • Cure (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #10)
  • Pandemic (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #11)

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