Robin Cook~~4 1/2 and 5 Star Reviews

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Death Benefit

Robin Cook
G.P. Putnam
     Innovative technology invades stem cell research in this compelling novel by Robin Cook who weaves a tale of suspense in his latest novel Death Benefit. Cook does not need much identification, as his many novels have earned him accolades from a vast audience of readers.
     The many issues, which permeated our use of stem cell research in the political arena a few years back, take a back seat to the good this research can do. Creating body parts is the message this book delivers. Imagine people living longer if organs like kidneys, pancreas, and liver are laboratory cultured so that those in need of them could have them transplanted immediately. Waiting lists would become passé. 
     Nobel Prize winning research scientist Tobias Rothman and his assistant Dr. Yamamoto mysteriously die! Pia Grazdani,  having worked with this pair for three years, knows how meticulous they were in their handling of toxic substances, and she cannot believe the scientists would have been careless enough to have caused their own deaths. 
Greed is introduced through Wall Street types who error in calculations of a new money-making scheme they hope will replace the real-estate fiasco. Their involvement leads to the hiring of mob types to assassinate the Columbia University Research scientists without suspicion. The entanglement of the mob leads George and Pia on dangerous escapades as they seek to find out more about the deaths of the scientists. Threatened are their careers to become doctors as they break University rules in their quest to get answers.  Pia Grazdani is a strong hero and her voice is clear throughout this book.
     Robin Cook earns kudos in his ability to portray Pia's feminine side.  Death Benefit is very satisfying with its surprises, revelations, and suspense. All loose ends cleverly tie together in this book's finale so that readers are not left feeling this is a prelude to a subsequent novel.
Clark Isaacs

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