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Contagion (Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery, #2)
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(Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  12,523 ratings  ·  310 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...
Mass Market 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
1,105 books — 1,218 voters

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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,523 ratings  ·  310 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
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.
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.
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...
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
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama, audio-book
Really good, particularly in these difficult times.
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
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!!!!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Jun 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: medical
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,
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
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
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
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
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Paul Bolton
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Dan Darragh
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well, I picked a good time to read this novel -- June 2020, right in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The protagonist is a lower level hot shot NYC medical examiner who gets his higher-ups and staff and management at two major health care organizations upset with him because he thinks an outbreak of several deaths in the city are caused by a virus delibertatly planted by an individual. I had whodunnit figure out about 100 pages from the ending, but there was still plenty of excitement and ...more
Terri Lynn
Well, I didn't see THAT coming! Robin Cook did a great job with this book. For once I didn't have a clue about a certain person being involved with the deaths until the very latter part of the book.

The prologue begins by introducing us to three people and three incidences which the author says "Three incidences occurred that were totally unrelated yet were to cause a tragic intersection of the lives of three of the people involved."

Those three people were:

(1) A virus and bacteria lover (yes, he
Byta Maniac
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
**For your information: I read this one in Spanish**
The story keeps being interesting through the whole book. Never a dull moment. I would like to see more Laurie and Lou Soldano appearances in the novel, however, Dr. Stapleton is a complex and well developed character that I'd love to keep reading about. I must say I didn't see YOUKNOWWHAT coming, not any clue. I'm very pleased when a book surprises me.

What I least like about the book is the resolution, I mean, the very final part, for me it's
nobody nobody
May 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked this book for the most part. I haven't read any of the other Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery books, so that might affect my opinion. It sucked me in easily and was an enjoyable read. If I could get my hands on another one of Robin Cook's books I would probably read it. The storyline was a little weird though. The ending disappointed me. There wasn't really much of a resolve at all in what I thought was the point of the story. I mean, they solved the mystery, but then that was it. No ...more
Steve Ray
May 12, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Robin Cook is known as a best-selling have to be kidding me! He obviously knows the medical side of question about that. And he kept my attention for the first 2/3’s of the book. Yes, he knows the nits and grits of medicine....he has no clue on how to translate that to human behavior that is somewhat realistic in settings that are plausible. The story became totally ridiculous and silly. I came away with the feeling of “why did I waste my time”. This was my first Robin C ...more
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I HATE CORONA GROUP: 'Book in the age of the virus : 3 82 May 25, 2020 09:18PM  
I HATE CORONA GROUP: 'Book in the age of the virus : 1 59 Apr 28, 2020 09:59AM  
Goodreads Librari...: German edition assigned to wrong novel 6 22 Oct 15, 2017 10:56AM  
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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

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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