PCR past banners
Now in our ninth calendar year!
PCR #425 (Vol. 9, No. 20) This edition is for the week of May 12--18, 2008.

The Tampa Film Review for May  by Nolan Canova and John Miller
"The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"  by Mike Smith
Book Review: The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer  by Lisa Ciurro
The Yellow Submarine Chronicles Part Three: All Together Now!  by ED Tucker
Favre Headed South?... NFL vs Arlen Specter ... Kasmir Signs Extension ... Sean Taylor’s Killers Will Not Fry ... Hornets Fans Bring Eva to the Game  by Chris Munger
Patriot Games; Bad Reporting Style .... Hillary Wins Big Time .... .... a  by Matt Drinnenberg
Movie Notes .... Music Notes .... Passing On .... Mission Accomplished .... .... .... .... .... And The Oscar For 1977 Should Have Gone To... o  by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2008
Archives 2007
Archives 2006
Archives 2005
Archives 2004
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR
FANGRRL by Lisa Ciurro

Book Review:
The Fifth Vial
by Michael Palmer

Plot Summary:
Palmer’s previous books made me nervous about doctors, nurses, hospitals and surgery. After reading The Fifth Vial, I’m now freaked out about having my blood drawn at the local lab.

Former track star turned medical student Natalie Reyes goes to Brazil to speak at a medical conference. En route, she is kidnapped, shot, hospitalized and has a lung removed in an emergency, life-saving surgery. While trying to adapt to her limited breathing capacity and her altered health status, Natalie looks into the details of her accident. She encounters corrupt Brazilian policemen, mysterious and greedy corporations, a secret medical cabal, desperately sick patients awaiting organ donation, egomaniacal doctors, organ thieves, sneaky phlebotomists and a hunky private detective who’s searching for the same thing but for different reasons.

Be careful the next time you have your blood drawn. The fifth vial could be sent for illegal and unauthorized tissue typing and stored in a mysterious warehouse. Your name could be in the illegal registry for the mysterious cabal to select for “organ retrieval” as needed.

You’ve been warned.

About the Author:
Michael Palmer, M.D. is the New York Times-bestselling author of multiple books, including Flashback, Side Effects, Natural Causes and Fatal. I had a chance to briefly correspond with him on MySpace a few months ago and learned than in addition to being a doctor and author, Palmer’s also a nice guy who cares about his readers. Visit www.michaelpalmerbooks.com to learn more.

What I Liked:
I thoroughly enjoyed the subject matter (organ donation and transplants, medical record privacy) and found it all very relevant and a little scary. Palmer brings together three separate lead characters with very different storylines to create a cohesive, solid medical thriller. I really liked Palmer’s epilogue, in which he encourages everyone to become organ donors and provides a list of resources for anyone interested in learning more on this topic.

What I Disliked:
While entertaining, The Fifth Vial is not Palmer’s best work. The secret medical cabal was a little over the top at times to be believable.

Bottom Line: A decent medical thriller that tackles a real-life, potentially scary situation. Do not read this while sitting in a doctor’s office (as I did!).

Rating: B+

"FANGRRL" is ©2008 by Lisa Ciurro.   All graphics, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2008 by Nolan B. Canova.