“A Case of Need” was the first book Michael Crichton wrote. Nonetheless, it has the many characteristics that make Crichton’s later books enjoyable. It is not a science fiction novel. It is a medical thriller filled with details and suspense.
Art Lee is a well-known surgeon. He also performs abortions. (They were illegal when this book was written). When Karen Randall, the daughter of an influential Boston family, dies of what looks like a botched abortion. Lee is accused of murder. He is believed to be guilty by almost everyone, including his co-workers and attorney. It is up to John Berry, a pathologist and Lee’s friend, to prove Lee’s innocence. But Berry soon finds there are many secrets and hidden data that must be uncovered before Lee can be let off. Berry must confront not only Karen’s family, but also his co-workers.
Faced with strong testimony from the prosecutors, Lee’s only hope lies in Berry finding the person who actually performed the abortion. This is almost impossible, and the only way is to find out the secrets of Karen’s not-so-perfect past.
This book is written well. Crichton, as always, does a wonderful job of building the story to its climax. The plot moves quickly and has many twists and turns to keep it exciting. The attention Crichton pays to detail makes the story seem authentic and believable, and the book is more enjoyable because of it.
Don’t worry if you don’t know any medical terminology. The footnotes in the book make it so anyone can read the book and get the full effect.
So, if you have a little time, pick up this book. But don’t expect to put it down until you have turned the last page. This book will capture you and hold you until the very end.
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