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Side Effects

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,766 Ratings  ·  78 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 January 1st 1985)
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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.
Lyda Van Den Bos
Leuke medische thriller met spannend einde.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Unsatisfying ending
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!!
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
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed his first book, the Sisterhood, so much I went straight into this, his second. It was a bit slow to start with but it was only building up the background to all the characters and his attention to detail does keep the pace slow at times. I strongly recommend you keep going because the second half of the book is breathtaking. This is a superb medical thriller with the central characters, Kate Bennett and her husband, Jared Samuels dominating the plot with all the nasties (and a few good ...more
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I like the idea of this book, a doctor fighting against the system that is concerned only with making money and also using human patients as guinea pigs. However, the execution of the plot was not Palmer's best. Too much going on, too many poorly written characters. Did the thing with Tom really have to happen? That bothered me for the rest of the book. Her marriage seemed hollow. The father-in-law was a ridiculous character, as were the crooked assistant and the guy sleeping with her. I've read ...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
Kara Peterson
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book was a 3 1/2. I listened to it on audio. There was always something going on...always something happening to the main character Kate that it was dizzying. Even though she was right and even though she had everything in her favor, the book kept stacking it all against her to make her look crazy and I became exhausted reading/listening to the book. I didn't believe in her marriage, so that became hard for me. I guess, it was a big disconnect. The story itself was exciting, just didn't pul ...more
Samantha Williams
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a great medical mystery. It had many twists and turns and had me glued to all parts of the book. My only complaints was the ending. It left me hanging and as far as I can tell there's no sequel.

When I first started the book the first couple of chapters had me wondering what kind of book I had gotten. It was slow and a little confusing at first but then I realized it was just the background for some important characters in the book.
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fast-paced medical thriller. This genre is pretty much predictable overall, nevertheless quite enjoyable due to my interest in the medical field. Mysterious illnesses, complications or side effects of certain surgeries or medications, all tied up with the crimes of big pharmaceutical corporations; one brilliant doctor who figures it all out and then suffers a series of life-threatening actions against his or her existence.
Will Hudson
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was really good for the most part. I felt the heroine was a bit on the naive side, even after being blindsided over and over, she still didn't see what was in front of her face. And while the ending was probably more true to life, I would really have liked if it had turned out a little different. Can't say more without adding spoilers.
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
THANK GOODNESS IT'S OVER!!! The story FINALLY got better but the characters, like the overall book, were shallow and strained. The plot eventually worked into a decent story but the lack of character definition, pointless characters, mindless dialog, and mind numbing voice of the reader (it was an audio book) made it un-enjoyable. But, hey, I have never written a book.
Feb 15, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was good, but it made me feel like I had the disorders that the author was describing. I didn't like that. It hit too close to home. Also, it seemed to take forever to reach real action that made the bits and pieces come together. When it finally did, it wrapped up the story too quickly and left me with many questions.
May 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very good medical suspense. Kate is a bright and upcoming pathologist. When strange medical anomolies start effecting the women that Kate comes into contact, including a good friend. Kate soon starts to make enemies as she investigates and finds that secret and subversive medical trials have been performed without anyones knowledge. Now she just has to survive long enough to tell someone.
Sharon Porter-Moxley

I love to read Michael Palmer's medical thrillers. Side Effects however, was not a page turner for me. The research of a Natzi in WWII survives and is used in medical trials with unexpected side effects. The best parts of the book were when the the female doctor was in immediate danger. But there was too much down time I had to wade through to get to the exciting parts.
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  • Mindbend
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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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