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Side Effects

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,981 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Kate Bennet. A bright hospital pathologist with a loving husband and a solid future. Until one day her world turns dark. A strange, puzzling illness has killed two women. Now it endangers Kate's closest friend. Soon it will threaten Kate's marriage. Her sanity. Her life. Kate has uncovered a horrifying secret. Important people will stop at nothing to protect it. It is a te ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 1st 1995 by Bantam (first published May 1st 1986)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,981 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While admittedly I am a suspense/thriller freak, I must confess that out of over 30 different writers of this literary genre, I certainly grade Plamer’s style, tope, unique and most interesting. While each story starts with a short ‘background’ prologue which becomes clear only quite late into the novel, each story is completely different without any resemblance or repetition to others by Palmer, a practice too common by most writers of this genre.
A doctor himself by background, all Palmer’s sto
Jerry B
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Medical Chiller with great plot and characters!

We thought Michael Palmer's medical thriller "The Sisterhood" was quite good, especially for a first novel; this one, his second outing, just might be great! An interesting prologue from Nazi Germany sets the stage for a story about illegal (and of course, unethical) testing of unapproved drugs on unaware human subjects. Incredible suspense and tension are generated through a number of faceted story lines:

- Leading lady Dr. Kate Bennett, a hospital
PennsyLady (Bev)
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Side Effects
by Michael Palmer

Published January 1st 1995 by Bantam (first published January 1st 1985)
medical thriller

Considering the publication dates, this novel seemed very
contemporary to me.
The basic elements developed in the story are timeless.
By that I mean power, greed, manipulation and so forth.

A web of deceit is woven around Kate Bennett and it effectively jeopardized her sanity, her personal life and her profession as a hospital pathologist.
May 16, 2012 is currently reading it
So far, if this book was not due for an anatomy project, I would have been reading it more intently. But when i do open the pages, it amazes me how intricate Michael Palmer gets with the medical terms as well as the family aspect of the book with the main character and her husband.
Paul Weiss
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: medical-thriller
Brilliant doctor faces off against big mean pharmaceutical machine!

Dr Kate Bennett's future looks very bright indeed. She's a talented pathologist at the Metropolitan Hospital of Boston and is the likely successor to the chief of the department. Her loving husband is a political star and stands a strong chance of winning a seat in the US Congress. But as she investigates the untimely death of two women and faces the possible death of her best friend from an undiagnosed bleeding disorder, she fin
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was my first medical thriller by Michael Palmer, but it won't be my last. It was quite the wild, and at times terrifying ride that had me in the edge of my seat, madly turning pages because I just had to know RIGHT NOW if things were going to turn out okay. I was hoping against hope that they would. This author really knows how to ramp up the tension and suspense. I enjoyed the character of Dr. Kate Bennett, and loved how tenacious she was. She reminded me a bit of myself. Like her, I can b ...more
Pamela Tracy
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Very interesting... I had to remind myself of the publishing date. Very suspenseful the ties to Germany and today (the today of the book).

I didn't identify with the lead character. She was a bit too hard, to driven.

That being said, there was a lot to be fascinated with and I liked that not only did she wind up with a very real, personal reason to care about the outcome, I liked how someone she knew was at risk, too.

The husband redeemed himself at the end, but needed to clash with his father soo
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Another page turner. The drug industry is not as bad as described here, but they do take advantage of the laws they helped write. I try not to take any new medication on the market. My physician great uncle told me that was his rule in his practice. (Only drug and needed to save a life? That was his exception.)
I am not a physician, but I still follow it as a patient.

The books should only be read by people with phenomenal self control or people who have plenty of spare time, They are very hard
Dec 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Besides the large amount of complex terms, at least for a non-medical professional, this book, while engaging, had too many characters to keep track of. I found it a bit difficult to keep track of some of them and I found myself looking back over portions of the book I had already read to refresh my memory of who they were. Good story line but somewhat hard to follow.
Geraldine K. Grines
As with all the other Michael Palmer books I have read, i was thoroughly engrossed reading this book. The subject matter is current and also a little scary. The pharmaceutical business is in the news a lot and I can only pray this doesn’t happen in real life, but I imagine it has a lot of truth to it. You can’t go wrong reading anything this author wrote.
Laura Poppenwimer
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another medical thriller by Michael Palmer, one that is hard to put down. There are many plot twists that change the nature of characters, good guys become bad guys. The characters are full and well developed making a connection that keeps you interested. A very good read, not a dull moment throughout.
Ellen Marchessault
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Palmer book

I really loved the plot of this book. It had me hooked almost immediately. However, I didn't love the main character. It was hard to even like her. Overall great book.
Leslie G
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Michael Palmer writes with excitement ! His books are all about medical “side effects” but this one made me realize you could make a very good movie out of all his books that would be suspenseful & exciting with the right actors/actresses ! 5th book checked off ! On to the next ! ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medical
This novel and one other are the only Palmer novel's I have't read. I'm so glad I went back to finish reading all books by this author. He is one of a very few author's which I wish I could have meet in person.
Robert Henry
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I didn't like this book. It was my first M. Palmer book.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another goody from Michael Palmer....couldn't hardly put it down!!!
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Page Turner

Even if it was written in the 1980’ was riveting..just couldn’t put it down. Love all of Palmer’s books and look forward to more.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Whoa! What a rollercoaster ride! This was definitely a worthwhile read. It was a little creepy in subject matter - a little too possible, but we'll done!
Linda Hughes
Ok, didn't grab me as much as I expected it to. Oh well, not every book is going to appeal to every person.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Kept my interest but a little unbelievable.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Formulaic, especially if you've read anything else by him, but it did keep me turning the pages.
Laura Levko
Sep 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Not a single redeemable character.
I’m proud of myself for even finishing it.
JoAnn Ainsworth
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well written medical research drama, heavy on evil and greed.
Mohammad Musadiq Laghari
Fantastic medical thriller. Would love to read more books by the author.
Bob Box
Sep 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Read in 1985. Terrifying plot, breakneck pace and vivid characters.
Jane Cullen
Jul 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This one had been in my book shelf for the last 30 years probably. It’s so strange to read a crime story and to notice how much the world has changed since the book was written.
Carl Alves
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
In Side Effects, Kate Bennet is a pathologist at a New England hospital, who has two female patients who have inexplicably bled to death. A third patient, a friend of hers, is exhibiting the same symptoms, and Kate must figure out why this is happening, although nothing is readily apparent. Meanwhile, she is going through marital issues with her husband.

There was very little to like about this novel. First of all, the characters are weak. Kate is mildly interesting as a character, but most of th
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
Kate Bennett is a young pathologist at a big Boston hospital. Her husband was just narrowly defeating in a bid for congress. She is offered a chance to be he department head, but her husband wants to start a family. Then a couple of odd related cases of women with strange ovary defects and blood problems get her attention and she is trying to find out if s big drug company is involved. Seemed like an interesting premise, but it just didn't turn out. Characters were underdeveloped and stereotypic ...more
Deborah Hamilton
May 15, 2008 rated it liked it
As I continue on my Michael Palmer obsession, I recently completely one of his earlier novels, Side Effects. This book was an excellent read that showed the life of a woman trying to balance work and life. When female patients start dying of very strange and usual blood disorders, Dr. Bennett makes it her mission to try and solve the mystery surrounding these mysterious deaths, before her friend is next. Although, Dr. Bennett focuses her work on saving her friend's life, her home life is rapidly ...more
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