A Quick Snapshot

Medical Thrillers may take place in hospitals, laboratories or other medical facilities, or out in the wide, wide world. The main characters are typically doctors, nurses, patients, medical students, scientists, or officials from such agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Plots may revolve around Angels of Death, viral outbreaks or plagues, strange diseases, grievous medical error or malpractice, lethal parasites, deadly poisons, mysterious comas, illegal organ harvesting, dangerous medications, surgeries gone awry, or a host of other medical-related subjects.

The standout author in this sub-genre is Robin Cook, who wrote COMA and OUTBREAK and a slew of others.

LIFE SUPPORT by Tess Gerritsen

When a delirious man with a possible viral brain infection is admitted to Springer Hospital, it happens to be on the overnight shift of Dr. Toby Harper. Unfortunately the man barely responds to treatment, then vanishes.

While Harper is trying to locate him, another similar case occurs and she realizes something terrifying. The virus is being spread by direct tissue exchange.

Now as she follows a death trail that leads from a pregnant teenage prostitute to her own home, Harper discovers something even more horrifying…

The epidemic didn’t occur by accident. Someone unleashed it deliberately.

COMA by Robin Cook

More than a dozen patients admitted to Boston Memorial Hospital for routine procedures have become victims of the same tragedy. They simply never woke up after their operations.

Susan Wheeler, a third-year medical student doing her residency at the hospital, experiences the tragedy up close and personal when two patients she’s working with fall into comas right after their operations. Investigating the causes of these unexpected and highly disturbing comas, she discovers an oxygen line in one of the operating rooms was  tampered with to make it emit poisonous carbon monoxide.

Then Susan discovers something else that rocks her world. An intensive care facility where it appears patients are being kept alive suspended from the ceiling, until their organs can be illegally harvested.

OUTBREAK by Robin Cook

People panic and run amok when a devastating plague races through the country.

And as Dr. Marissa Blumenthal of the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control investigates the origin of the plague, she uncovers the medical world’s most horrifying secret…

PANDEMIC by Robin Cook

It’s the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic. And when a young woman suddenly collapses on the New York City subway with no apparent cause and dies right afterward at the hospital, medical examiner Jack Stapleton finds her case to be a disturbing reminder of that tragedy.

Autopsying the woman within hours of her death, Jack discovers she’s had a heart transplant and that, against all odds, the DNA of the transplanted heart is a match to her own.

Two other victims experience a similar rapid, unexplained death, and although tests don’t indicate any strain of the flu, Jack finds himself racing against time to determine what type of virus could be so deadly and destructive.

But nothing adds up until his investigation leads him to a new gene-editing biotechnology linked to some of the most unethical members of the medical community…

CHARLATANS by Robin Cook

When an anesthesia error during a routine surgery at Boston Memorial Hospital causes the death of an otherwise healthy man, chief resident Noah Rothauser suspects the egotistical world-class surgeon is to blame. But the surgeon claims the anesthesiologist, Dr. Ava London, is at fault.

When more patient deaths occur due to problems that appear to be related to the anesthesia, Noah is forced to question all the residents on his staff, including Dr. London. But he soon realizes there’s something not right about her. Among other things, she turns out to be a social media addict who’s created a number of alternate personas for herself online.

Now with his own job and reputation at stake, Rothauser has to determine which doctor is really at fault, and who he can trust before more innocent lives are lost…

CELL by Robin Cook

Thanks to a smartphone innovation called iDoc, medical treatment as we know it is on the verge of an amazing paradigm shift. With the availability of iDoc, a completely customizable virtual physician that can diagnose and treat patients more reliably than its flesh-and-blood counterparts, human doctors may wind up taking a back seat.

But Dr. George Wilson, a radiology resident in Los Angeles, has a devastating encounter with this new technology. Shortly after his fiancée participates in an iDoc beta test, he awakens to find her dead in bed beside him.

Then several of Wilson’s patients die after having imaging procedures. And it turns out they were all part of the same beta test.

Now as Wilson desperately tries to determine what led to the tragic deaths and prevent any more, he finds himself entangled in what may be a deadly conspiracy involving hackers and a cover-up by the U.S. government…


Pia Grazdani, a gifted but socially isolated medical student, is assisting with a revolutionary project at the Columbia University Medical Center to create replacement organs for patients in critical condition. But tragedy strikes in the hospital’s supposedly secure biosafety lab, and Pia, with the help of a fellow classmate, delves into what went wrong.

Meanwhile, a couple of former Wall Street whiz-kids think they’ve found a new way to make a financial killing, in the multi-trillion dollar life insurance industry. Their plan revolves around finding ways to control actuarial data and securitize the policies of elderly people who are in poor health.

Now, as Pia and her colleague pursue their investigation into events at the lab, they’re forced to confront a startling question…

Is someone rigging the system to enable insurance industry investors to benefit from the deaths of others?

BLINDSIGHT by Robin Cook

Book #1 of the of the Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery series.

Organ transplants that once were considered medical miracles are now taken for granted. But unfortunately the supply can’t meet the demand. Which raises the question… how far are people willing to go to find donors?

Now, as forensic pathologist Dr. Laurie Montgomery investigates the tragic fatal “overdoses” of a number of young professionals, she realizes she just may have found the answer to that question.

Too far…

CONTAGION by Robin Cook

Book #2 of the of the Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery series.

In New York City, a series of lethal illnesses strike people seemingly at random.  And soon forensic pathologist Dr. Jack Stapleton realizes the city has an epidemic on its hands.

That’s terrifying enough. But to make matters worse, Stapleton suspects a deadly conspiracy is at work…

CHROMOSOME 6 by Robin Cook

Book #3 of the of the Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery series.

In the dark jungles of equatorial Africa, cutting-edge biogenetic manipulation and cloning are taking place. But one unintentional mistake could bridge the gap between man and ape.

A mistake that could change our genetic map forever. And our destiny…




See other types of thrillers

Please feel free to share your comments or questions below. I’m always happy to hear from you!

Thrillingly yours,

Kristy Dark


Hey, check out my suspenseful thriller novel…

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