Title: Outbreak
Author: Cook, Robin
Published: New York: Berkley, 1988
Length: 340 pages
ISBN: 042510687X
Keywords: cdc, ebola 
Review by: Don Kuenz

Robin Cook

Page under construction, check back soon


Title, teasers, cover, characters, & blurb


“Who’d have ever thought the peaceful practice of medicine could be so exciting? It’s a good, fast read.”
—The Denver Post
“The underlying theme—how easily could someone start an epidemic—is answered in a pretty chilling way.”
—The Birmingham News

Character list:

  • Dr. Bouchard, Health Commissioner, Dr. Lugasa, District Health Commissioner for the Bumba region,
  • Dr. Rudolph & William Richter–Cofounders of the Richter Clinic in Los Angeles.
  • Dr. Navarre–Richter Clinic Chief of Medicine.
  • John Nordyke–Yale biology student north of Bumba, Zaire.
  • Dr. Cyrill Dubchek–Centers for Disease Control employees.
  • Tad Schockley–microbiologist Ph.D. at CDC.
  • Dr. Ralph Hempston–ophthalmologist.

The phenomenal bestselling author of Coma, Fever and Mindbend presents the ultimate medical thriller. Murder and mystery reach epidemic proportions when a devastating plague sweeps the country, killing all in its path. Dr. Marissa Blumenthal of the Atlanta Center for Disease Control investigates - and soon uncovers the medical world's deadliest secret. Disturbing, compelling and shockingly real - OUTBREAK is Robin Cook at his heart-stopping best.



So much for that "zebra" diagnosis, thought Marissa, referring to a medical maxim that when you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras.

So, our protagonist Marissa, actually goes there with Roueché:

Sipping the hot liquid, Marissa recalled the Berton Roueche medical detective stories in The New Yorker. She wished that she could be involved in a case like the one solved by John Snow, the father of modern epidemiology: A London cholera epidemic was aborted when Snow deductively isolated the problem to a particular London water pump. The real beauty of Snow's work was that he did it before the germ theory of disease was accepted. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be involved in such a clear-cut situation?


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