Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Michael Palmer's New Novel: Oath of Office

Last week, I gave space to friend and fellow author Mark Young, who has jumped into the self-publishing model. This week, it's a New York Times best-selling author who has made it via the conventional route.

Physican-author Michael Palmer and I became cyber-friends through a chance set of circumstances. Not long thereafter I read my first Palmer novel and immediately became a fan of his writing. I've been fortunate enough to receive an Advance Reading Copy of his latest medical thriller, Oath of Office, set for release on February 14, and I think it's one of his best. I'd like to give my readers a preview of my thoughts on this book.

Michael's last three books have not only featured medicine but have a political bent, and this one goes them one better. It not only has a doctor as a protagonist (two, if you count the President's wife, a no-longer-practicing pediatrician) and is set in Washington DC with a President who has a rather unusual mindset, but it also discusses a social issue that most of us don't even think about: genetic modification of the food we eat. Frankly, I had never considered the implications of this, but after reading Oath of Office, I certainly will.

Michael juggles all these subjects superbly, and keeps the reader turning pages--at least, that's what I did. The action is rapid, the scenario chillingly believable, and the end was unexpected but satisfying. The book occasionally makes use of a few words you didn't hear in Sunday school, but the plotting is excellent and the message of the book makes worthwhile reading. I give it five stars.

I'll be posting an interview with Michael on Friday, and we'll discuss his work with the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, working with physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues and chemical dependency. Michael's son, Daniel, is now a respected novelist himself, and I'll be asking Michael how he feels about that. And you'll want to see what Michael says about the role money plays (or doesn't play) in his writing.

Oh, yes--there's a bonus. Via my trusty random number generator, I'll  choose one of the comments responding to this post or the interview on Friday to receive an autographed copy of Oath of Office (courtesy of Michael and his publisher). So be sure to leave a comment, and make sure I can get your email address, either from your blogger profile or by leaving it in the comment body.


Carol J. Garvin said...

I'm looking forward to Friday's interview! After reading your review here I went to Michael's website to check his bio and laughed to read the opinion of his first book was that its writing was "God-awful". I like medical suspense and thrillers and am looking forward to reading OATH OF OFFICE.

Jackie S. said...

I love medical reads and would love to read this one! Count me in the drawing, please.

Richard Mabry said...

Carol and Jackie, You're in. Thanks for your comments. And don't miss Michael's interview here on Friday.