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Natural Causes

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  4,169 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Dr. Sarah Baldwin races to a Boston hospital with a young woman whose normal labor has suddenly become a matter of life and death. As she struggles to save both mother and baby, she doesn't know that two other women have already died under horrifying identical circumstances.

And so begins Sarah's own nightmare, as she learns that the prenatal herbal vitamins she prescribed
Mass Market Paperback, 465 pages
Published December 1st 1994 by Bantam (first published March 1st 1994)
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Nov 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Natural Causes by Michael Palmer

From The Book:
Dr. Sarah Baldwin races to a Boston hospital with a young woman whose normal labor has suddenly become a matter of life and death. As she struggles to save both mother and baby, she doesn't know that two other women have already died under horrifying identical circumstances. And so begins Sarah's own nightmare, as she learns that the prenatal herbal vitamins she prescribed are the only thing these women have in common. Soon Sarah is fighting to
Jun 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Sarah's patients are dying in labor and it may be connected to the herbal supplements she's been prescribing. I hated every character in this book. Their science was bad and their ethics were bad. A lot of their other dimensions were also bad, but I think they're generally covered by those, because life is generally covered by those.
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Yeah, I can't get into this one. BYE. DNF on page 35.
May 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: medical, action, thriller
Medical thriller - Dr. Sarah Baldwin is a fast-track OB/GYN resident at the Medical Center of Boston, a hospital which seems ideally suited to her holistic healing background. When one of her patients is stricken with sudden, almost unstoppable bleeding, Sarah saves her life with a combination of acupuncture and meditation techniques, briefly becoming a heroine. Then, it turns out that this patient and two others who died under similar circumstances were all taking a natural herbal vitamin suppl ...more
Bodosika Bodosika
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: medical-thriller
An interesting Medical Thriller!
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was a good book. I liked it a lot. It was a well written book. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Cynthia Edge
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoy Michael Palmer's books because they have a lot of medical scenarios that are pretty accurate given he is a doctor. That, and I like thet thriller aspect and trying to put the piecea together. This book was an easy, quick read, though not very plausible (lots of near misses for our heroine and surrounding good guys, etc.). But, all in all what I expected!
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't love it...a little far fetched.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is one of the best mysteries I've read in a while! It kept my attention from beginning to end, mostly because it included so many twists and turns. And while the medical descriptions were a bit detailed, they didn't take away from the story's flow. I appreciated that the suspense lasted up to the last page. While the book does contain cursing and a sex scene, it was overall a great read, and I'll add this author to my future reading list for sure!
Terri Lynn
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was my first Michael Palmer novel and it definitely will not be the last. I really enjoyed this a lot and especially so knowing that Michael Palmer is an MD.

Dr.Sarah Baldwin came to the Medical Center of Boston as an OB/GYN resident after spending years in Thailand studying herbal medicine and wanting to do more with her knowledge. She wasted three years with Peter Ettinger who sees himself as a health guru (think New Age quack) who was actually someone with just a bachelor and master's de
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Almost too complicated, villian-riddled plot thrills!

We're fans of Palmer and have read most of his booklist, now standing at ten novels. We like his ability to describe medical complexities in plain enough terms to get us through but with plausible enough premises that the scare factor heightens his suspenseful storylines. "Natural Causes" continues in this vein as pregnant women start losing their babies and dying themselves from a rare blood disorder. Is it being caused by (our heroine) Dr. S
Paula Kramer
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good medical mystery. Involves pregnant women and weight loss vitamins. Very involved and you never know who you can trust.
Feb 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Took me a while to get into this. I don't know if the thickness of the book played with my mind or what, but at one point over the weekend I questioned whether I should continue. Palmer's reputation as an author whose books I enjoy is what kept me motivated, and once I got in about 100 pages it was smooth sailing until the end.
I felt there could have been more character development in the book. So many people were introduced and given just enough suspicious traits to make the reader wonder if th
Tim Titolo
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I am a M. Palmer fan. He is kind of like the John Grisham of medical thrillers. Easy to read without going overboard on complicated medical jargon.

I decided to go with an earlier work with Natural Causes (his fourth or fifth book) and found the same steam as his more recent novels. I will be reading a few more in the coming weeks as part of my exploration into the writing of Michael Palmer.

This novel involved a surgeon named Sarah who, by the looks of things, was getting in trouble using holisti
Jim C
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a medical thriller novel. In this one, Sarah is a resident at Medical Center in Boston. She also believes in the power of alternative medicine. Several of her female pregnant patients die during pregnancy and her alternative ways may be the cause. She gets involved in a conspiracy as she races to find out the truth.

I enjoy medical thriller novels and this one did not disappoint. I like how these novels point out problems with the healthcare system. This one tackles several of these issue
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sarah learned all kinds of things living in Asia. She learned about acupuncture and alternative medicine. She gets a job in OB/GYN in a Boston hospital. Sarah uses these alternative methods to treat her patients. But two of these ladies and their babies have died. Why? Then a third patient starts having the same symptoms. Sarah delivers the baby, but it has died. She manages to save the life of the mother. But she is in big trouble because this is a rich man's daughter. Sarah is getting sued for ...more
Mar 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A gripping medical novel that kept me sitting on the edge of my seat!! Page after page I was intrigued with the nightmare which Sarah finds herself caught up in.

From back cover:

"Dr. Sarah Baldwin races to a Boston hospital with a young woman whose normal labour has suddenly become a matter of life and death. As she struggles to save both mother and baby, she doesn't know that two other women have already died under horrifying identical circumstances. And so begins Sarah's own nightmare, as she l
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another great medical mystery by Palmer. Each of his stories has spooked me a little about doctors and especially hospitals but they are good and they do raise awareness of what can happen and I think it just puts you on guard when you do have to use a hospital. The story revolves around a hospital that is trying to use by conventional medical practices and alternative methods of healing and one resident doctor in particular, Dr. Sarah Baldwin, is she a quake and a killer, or is someone trying t ...more
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Haven't read one of his books in a while -- this was the only one available from the local overdrive library. Our group is reading Michael Palmer and/or Robin Cook this month. Set in Boston this is a fast moving story of third year resident Sarah Baldwin specializing in ob/gyn with a side specialty of holistic medicine including acupuncture and midwifery sometimes assisting in births in home settings. When several of her patients are stricken with DIC, a serious blood-clotting virus, Sarah finds ...more
Teresa Brownfield
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
NATURAL CAUSES was the first Michael Palmer book I read. I purchased a box of used books at a yard sale one day and it was in the box. I always enjoyed reading and once I read that book, I was on a mission to get more of his books to read. Our library had several available but not all of them. Luckily, our library system was able to request books from other libraries across our state. I requested every book until I had read all of his books up to that point in time. I waited anxiously for each n ...more
May 18, 2010 rated it liked it
I finished this book last night, and I am kind of pissed at what a let down it was. This book hooked me from the first few pages. It was so interesting that I couldn't put it down. About three quarters of the way through the author must have had visions of a Hollywood thriller. The characters are thrown in to evermore implausible and stupid situations. The plot went from amazingly believable to eye-rollingly awful. Think Bourne Identity on top of James Bond layered with Mission Impossible. If ha ...more
B.j. Thompson
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Dr. Sarah Baldwin is caught in the middle of a horrifying situation when a young woman is suddenly deathly ill during a perfectly normal labour. Two other similar cases lead to the death of the seemingly healthy women. On the surface, the only thing the women have in common is Sarah's prescription of prenatal herbal vitamins. Sarah becomes desperate to prove her vitamins have nothing to do with the untimely deaths, but she is up against a huge conspiracy. This book was quite captivating and kept ...more
Rebecca McNutt
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Similar to Robin Cook's Coma, this book takes all of society's fears about the modern-day hospitals and healthcare systems and creates a nightmarish view on just what the wrong drugs can do. Human life hangs in the balance as one doctor risks her career and possibly her own life to unravel a conspiracy. This book was well-written, eerie, suspenseful and complex, everything a medical thriller should be.
I hate abridged books! I generally listen to unabridged audiobooks, but this one was not available unabridged. I feel like I missed a whole lot of the end of the story :-(. Things were no longer as well connected as they should be, and I'm not 100% sure how it ended - except that I know it was a happy ending :-). The next book I will listen to by this author will be UNABRIDGED!!
It WAS a good story, but the details got sparse as the story progressed. Sigh.
Feb 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Well, for the most part I liked this book! It did take me a long time to get really interested. I thought about putting it down many times and starting another book. This was my first Michael Palmer book..onece I started getting more used to his writing style I became more interested. For me there was just a little too much hospital politics in this book. He seems to be a very knowledged writer which was what kept me reading.
Cathy Smith
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. What a great book! The plot kept twisting and turning and you didn't know who was involved till the end. And more than you would have thought! Sarah is a smart doctor, and I like her and Matt getting together. It was a very thought provoking book, with many ideas - conventional medicine and homeopathic...very, very interesting facts for each side. But who really wins in the end? Read and find out! Loved it!!!
Jeff Brateman
Mar 18, 2010 rated it liked it
I actually liked this book, even though it reminded me a lot of the movie, "Extreme Measures," which was based on another novel by this author. There was quality action, suspense, and, of course, a surprise villian at the end. My only hope is that all his books aren't written the same way. I may go back to this author sometime again in the future to check out more medical thrillers.
Dec 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Another good who done it medical story, but I fear that all of his books are starting to have the same plot. Reminds me of "House"...some bizarre patient shows up, some doctor is puzzled, there is the obligatory romance that develops between said doctor and someone involved in the case, and then at the end it is a shock who really did it.
Nov 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was pretty long, and yet I still wish the author had written another page or two to tie things up at the end. The ending was a little abrupt. Otherwise, I really liked this. Good, mystery, good twists and I liked the medical and legal aspects. Although I was dismayed to find a romance aspect, it wasn't that bad and didn't distract from the plot.
Deborah Hamilton
Jun 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book was a great thriller. The book focused on a female doctor who uses alternative medicine in her medical practice and the tribulations she faces when 3 of her patients die during child birth. A fantastic read that kept me guessing! A little romance to lighten some scenes but over all a great page turner.
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Michael Palmer, M.D., 1942-2013, was the author of Political Suicide, Oath of Office, A Heartbeat Away, The Last Surgeon, The Second Opinion, The First Patient, The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages.

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