Medical Thrillers Like Coma
Thrillers have always been a firm favorite of the literary world and often it is the medical niche of the genre that grabs the most attention. Sometimes it is the fact that the stories are so grounded in reality that makes them so thrilling. On the other hand, some readers prefer medical thrillers because unlike reality there is always a satisfying resolution at the end. One of the most well-known authors to combine the thriller genre with medical writing was Robin Cook. His novel Coma was first published in 1977 and is often credited with kickstarting the medical thriller genre. For more thrillers featuring murder, mystery, and medicine, check out the following books like Coma.
by Michael Palmer
Michael Palmer is another well-known name in the medical thriller field as he drew upon his knowledge as a physician while writing. He also had an interesting connection to Coma by Robin Cook. Palmer graduated from the same university as Cook and decided after reading Coma that if Cook could write a novel, then so could he. All of his medical thrillers are worth reading, but Extreme Measures is one of his most famous and was turned into a film starring Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, and Sarah Jessica Parker. The novel was published in 1991 and tells the story of a young doctor named Eric Najarian joining the White Memorial Hospital. An elite clique of medical professionals at the hospital has their eyes on Eric as they think he has what it takes to join their secret club. However, Eric has already seen too much and if he refuses to join in he will become the next victim of their sinister practices.
by Kelly Parsons
Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons is a medical thriller that has earned praise from Stephen King, Ridley Pearson, Steve Berry, and other authors. It is the first novel by Parsons who is a board-certified urologist and the protagonist is a surgeon named Steve Mitchell. The future is bright for Steve who is not just molding a group of medical trainees into doctors, but he is also in line for a coveted job. All of this changes when a patient dies under mysterious circumstances and it becomes clear that a killer is stalking the hospital. However, this killer holds information that could ruin Steve's career and marriage, forcing him into a deadly game. With nobody else to turn to Steve has to work alone in an effort to outwit his opponent and find a way to save the killer's next victim.
by Michael Crichton
Michael Crichton was known for his science fiction and techno-thriller novels, but he was no stranger to the medical thriller genre either. One of them is A Case of Need, which was published in 1968 under the pen name of Jeffrey Hudson while Crichton was busy with his third year of medical school. The protagonist is a Boston pathologist named John Berry who has to prove the innocence of his friend, a brilliant surgeon named Arthur Lee. Arthur stands accused of murdering the teenage daughter of a famous heart surgeon while performing a botched abortion on her. Lee is known for carrying out illegal abortions, so it is up to Berry to uncover the secret behind the gruesome death his friend is accused of.
by Victor Methos
Fans of both the legal and medical thriller genres will enjoy An Invisible Client by Victor Methos. The protagonist is Noah Byron, a high-powered personal injury attorney. Noah only represents cases where he knows he will cut a big payout, but decides to meet with the mother of a twelve-year-old boy named Joel as a favor to his ex-wife. Joel was poisoned by tainted children's medicine after a psycho tampered with bottles. At least that's the official story, which Joel's mother is not so quick to believe. Instead, she thinks that something more sinister is at work and that a pharmaceutical company might behind it. This prompts Noah to dig deeper into the case while also, against his better judgment, striking up a friendship with young Joel. Noah quickly finds himself in between the most menacing of opponents and the most vulnerable of clients.
by F. Paul Wilson
In The Select by F. Paul Wilson, a young woman named Quinn Cleary manages to gain acceptance to the Ingraham College of Medicine. Normally this medical school is extremely selective about who they let in, but Quinn managed to manipulate her way towards acceptance. Since the school is completely subsidized by the Kleederman Foundation Quinn looks forward to a four-year full-ride scholarship with room and board included. Unfortunately, after gaining entrance to this seeming dream school, Quinn and her new friend, Tim Brown, discovers that the place hides a darker secret. F. Paul Wilson is a part-time family physician, so he knows how to keep the medical aspects of the novel thrilling.
by Geoffrey M. Cooper
Geoffrey M. Cooper explores the human side of science and drug discovery in his novel The Prize. The protagonist, Pam Weller, is certain that she has made the discovery of a lifetime with a drug that has the potential to treat Alzheimer's disease. However, not everyone is eager to see her succeed, especially no tone of the leading figures in Alzheimer's research, Eric Prescott. The only thing Eric cares about is winning a Nobel Prize and the accolades that come with it, which causes him to see Pam as a threat. This results in him coming up with a plot that not only threatens Pam's career and freedom but even her life.