Saturday, 27 March 2021

Seizure by Robin Cook (Book 12/52 Books in 52 Weeks)

 This week in 52 Books in 52 Weeks I decided to pick a book by my favourite medical mystery-thriller author Robin Cook. I first encountered his writing in Namibia when I was in high school and read Coma a New York Times best seller and Brain. This week I read Seizure

Siezure by Robin Cook

  • First published in 2003
  • Number six on The New York Times Best Seller list.
  • Format Paperback | 448 pages 
  • Dimensions 106 x 172 x 30mm | 255g 
  • Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc 
  • Language English Edition 
  • ISBN10 0425197948 
  • ISBN13 9780425197943

From Book Depository - "In a novel as timely as it is terrifying, New York Times-bestselling author Robin Cook explores the controversial clash of politics and biotechnology. When Dr. Daniel Lowell and his partner, Dr. Stephanie D'Agostino, discover a new cloning procedure that utilizes stem cells to treat otherwise incurable and degenerative diseases, they know they've hit the medical jackpot. But with their cutting-edge method pending approval, they run into a roadblock by the name of Senator Ashley Butler, who views their technique as an attack on traditional American values. Then Butler is diagnosed with rapidly progressing Parkinson's disease, and he must make a Faustian pact with the very doctors whose groundbreaking technology he is trying to destroy: treatment in exchange for unwavering support. But the DNA transference procedure has never been tested before, and working under less than favorable conditions to keep the premature trial under wraps, the doctors place their careers--and their patient's life--at risk, all in the name of scientific progress. Once they hit the point of no return, they feel invincible, but when Butler starts experiencing violent, horrifying seizures, they realize their luck may have run out..."

My Thoughts - This novel explores concerns raised by advances in therapeutic cloning (The technique consists of taking an enucleated oocyte (egg cell) and implanting a donor nucleus from a somatic (body) cell.).  The book is written with sit on the edge of your seat keep you coming back for more.  The characters are rich and deep.  He takes you deep within their personal thoughts and feelings and helps you see the plot from both sides giving you ample to consider and broaden your understanding in this not so simple debate of bio ethics and engineering.

The three main characters are: 

  1. Senator Ashley Butler a quintessential Southern politician.  He supports traditional American valuses which includes negative reactions against vertually all biotechnology.  He is called to chair a subcommittee introducing legislation to ban a new cloning technology (developed by Dr Daniel Lowell).
  2. Dr. Daniel Lowell the scientist and inventor of the HTSR technology and is the main character and sees the committee as the roadblock to his biotech startup company and the development of his new technique.
  3. Dr Stephanie D'agonstini is a scientist who works alongside Daniel and is his partner.
  4. Carol Menning is Senator Butler's assistant and travels alongside him.

This medical thriller is where politics, religion and bioscience collide! At the subcommittee hearing on health policy these two major personalities clash as Senator Butler introduces legislation to ban the new cloning procedure that uses stem cell research.  Dr Lowell is frustrated that this is a blow that is targeting his new therapy which holds so much promise in targeting specific therapies for individuales. This therapy is customized and can help bring the cure to so many life altering diagnosis's.

However, little do the two men know that they share a common desire. Seneator Butler has been diagnosed with a progressive form of Parkinsons's disease and his hunger for continuing political power outstrips his concern for the unborn. Dr Lowell's pursuit of personal wealth and public acknoweledgement overrides his consideration for the patients well being. This in turn creates a perfect atmosphere driving the two into a faustian pact.

Dr Lowell and Dr D'agonstini work together to prematurely harness this new technology to bring about a cure for the senator, however the therapy leaves the senator with horrifying effect of temporal lobe epilepsy with seizures of the most bizarre order. 

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book was the information on the Shroud of Turin.

You can read/watch more about it here

My Completed Reading list for 2021

  1. The Reading Life by C.S. Lewis
  2. Joseph Dreamer of Dreams by E. Traylor
  3. The Good Master by Kate Seredy
  4. The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert 
  5. False Impression by Jeffrey Archer
  6. To Ride Pegasus by Anne McCaffrey
  7. Pegasus in Space by Anne McCaffrey
  8. The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey
  9. Damia by Anne McCaffrey
  10. Damia's Children by Anne McCaffrey
  11. Lyon's Pride & The Tower and the Hive  by Anne McCaffrey
  12. Siezure by Robin Cook 

Do you have a favourite author in the medical mystery-thriller genre?



  1. I have never read anything like this, but it sure looks interesting. I've been trying to figure out something new to read, thanks!

    1. You're welcome. Let me know what you think...

  2. I haven't read any medical thrillers - would probably make me too paranoid but it does sound interesting. Great reading list. I saw the C.S. Lewis book in Koorong and nearly bought it but I already have a few of his books I haven't read yet. Not that that's ever stopped me before but I'm making an effort to get through the books I own!

    1. I used to think the same. Although his books did not make me feel that way.

      I am the same I have a few other titles by CS Lewis on my shelves I've never read. Before this one the only one I'd ever read was the Chronicles of Narnia. I always thought they would be too weighty however this one was not. It was very encouraging and I'm so pleased I read it to kick off the 52 in 52 challenge.

      I highly recommend you aquire a copy and read. It's a super easy read.


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