book cover of 


 (Jack Stapleton / Laurie Montgomery, book 9)


Robin Cook

Author: Robin Cook
Best Sellers : Coma, Chromosome 6 and many others

It's been more than thirty years since New York City medical examiner Jack Stapleton's college graduation and almost as long since he's been in touch with former classmates Shawn Daughtry and James O'Rourke. A post mortem on a young college student who had recently been treated by a chiropractor leads Jack to investigate alternative medicine. What makes some people step outside the medical establishment to seek care from practitioners of Eastern philosophies and even faith healers?

Jack's classmate Shawn Daughtry is now a renowned archaeologist and biblical scholar. He has recently obtained permission for a final dig beneath Saint Peter's in Rome- despite a long-standing grudge against the Catholic Church- and has made a startling discovery with huge ecclesiastical and medical implications.

When James O'Rourke, now Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York, gets wind of Shawn's findings, he's desperate to keep them from the public. James has strong political ambitions within the church, but his association with Shawn threatens to undermine them. James turns to his old friend Jack to help protect an explosive secret- one with power to change lives forever.

"What about the bones?" James asked. " What did you learn from the anthropologist? Are they human? Are they female? Is it more than one person?"
Shawn responded," They are definitely human, without doubt female, and it is only one person."
"And there is suggestion that the individual was multiparous," Jack added. "Infact, significantly multiparous, like more than five, maybe even up to a dozen children."
James felt his pulse hammer at his temples and for a moment he was overheated, thinking of removing his sweater. After taking a sip of wine to relieve his suddenly parched throat, he asked, "What about the age of the individual?"
"That's difficult to ascertain, but the anthropologist was willing to guess over fifty, probably more like eighty plus."
"I see," James said simply. Doing a quick calculation in his head, he realized with yet another start that such an age would have been entirely appropriate for the Blessed Mother, considering Jesus's birth around 4 BC and her death in AD 62. She would have been in her eighties..

Maithili Speak:

I took up this book expecting it to be another medical fiction by Robin Cook. I was in for a surprise when I realised what this book was all about. Unlike some of Robin Cook books which revolved around the medical fraternity, this book got into religion, archaelogy, alternate medicine and the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Jack is a medical investigator who has lost his wife and two daughters in a crash. His son , JJ, from his second wife Laurie , is all of 4 months and suffering from a deadly cancer. Jack considers himself unlucky for his loved ones and guilty for diverting himself in his profession to forget his pain. 
The death of a young student who was getting treated by a chiropractor ( someone who treats ailments by spinal adjustments) makes Jack plunge into alternate medicine and its harmful effects. Soon he realises why people would prefer alternate medicine and also he realises that people won't like to listen about the ill effects and he drops his efforts there.

Shawn Daughtry finds a codex in an antique shop in Egypt and to his utter amazement, it is an original. It contains information about the ossuary of the Blessed Mother which is dug with Saint Peters. Shawn an archaeologist and his wife Sana- an expert in mitochondrial DNA studies, set out to extract the ossuary. Sana wishes to identify the DNA sequence and find a similar code in a woman who would be of  a direct maternal  lineage of Mother Mary! 

James, the Bishop is aware of the work his friend Shawn has started and petrified of the consequences it would have on the masses if the work gets published. He asks for Jack's help to convince Shawn to not do so and when he fails he sends Luke, a man with childish angelic looks and who is dedicated to brotherhood of Virgin Mary, to change Shawn's intentions. Little does he know that Luke is fanatical with his faith..

It is almost at par with Dan Brown's genre.. I loved the build up and the shocking end of the book. .

Rating: 4 on 5. I would have liked a little more on chiropractor angle..

Price: Rs 299 /-


  1. wow. a medical thriller writer that deviates from his own genre...this sounds real good. I read 3-4 of his books and it never hooked me. Guess this will change that.

  2. I saw this book last week while shopping but thought to ask around a bit before buying .. As FL said , cook has disappointed twice before.. will read this for sure but.. thanks fr the review.. well written ..

  3. Maithili, I liked the review. Apt. Medical thrillers are intriguing but I have never read one before. Will try this one. :D :D


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