Also by this author: Resistant (Dr. Lou Welcome #3)
Published by Macmillan Audio, St. Martin's Press on April 17, 2018
Genres: Medical Thriller
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A riveting new medical thriller from the critically acclaimed novelists.
Cam Hilliard is, in addition to being the President’s sixteen-year-old son, a chess prodigy. A year into President Hilliard’s second term Cam inexplicably stops playing the game he loved and becomes withdrawn. The First Lady is convinced that the senior White House physician is wrong in diagnosing Cam’s issue as a psychological one, and she demands that Dr. Lee Blackwood be brought on to provide a second opinion. Lee’s opinion is dismissed, until Cam’s spleen ruptures and it becomes obvious that something is horribly wrong.
Lee informs the President and First Lady that to make a diagnosis they need to find other people with the same symptoms to conduct additional testing. From there, it’s possible to identify the gene defects and correlate those to the missing enzymes. Only then can a diagnosis be made and treatment begun. For now, they must face the harsh reality that Cam’s genes are producing a mutation that appears to be entirely new to science.
As Lee delves into this medical mystery, he comes to believe Cam is not the first case of this presentation of an inborn error of metabolism. But when two young people Lee has found, each with exceptional gifts, are murdered, Cam’s condition suddenly takes on a terrifyingly new dimension. Is someone out to murder the President’s son? If so, why? As Lee searches for answers he will uncover unimaginable secrets and dark betrayals that breach the highest levels of security.
#FLOTUS #POTUS #MedicalThriller #FirstFamily #SecretService #WhiteHouse #Chess #MusicProdigy @danielpalmer @TheFredBerman @MacmillanAudio
I am a long time fan of the late Michael Palmer, a physician known for his compelling medical thrillers. I was excited, but a bit skeptical, when I learned that his son Daniel Palmer intended to carry on his father’s legacy by writing Michael Palmeresque novels. The First Family is my first of these books and, I must say, Daniel Palmer does his father proud. As a bestselling author in his own right, he successfully “ghosts” Michael Palmer’s gift for writing characters that we care about who are caught up in medical drama. Plausible or implausible, the stories are frighteningly realistic and The First Family is no exception. Gifted children are under attack and one of them happens to be the son of the president. Even with the ever-present Karen Ray as his personal Secret Service nanny, Cam Hilliard is rapidly descending into what really nasty and unlikable White House physician Dr. Fred Gleason passes off as depression. To add to the drama, the malevolent Dr. Gleason happens to be the father of Cam’s best friend, Taylor. Neither Karen nor FLOTUS Ellen Hilliard buys the depression diagnosis and with the help of her ex-husband, Dr. Lee Blackwood, Karen searches for the truth about Cam’s condition. Along the way, she encounters a variety of characters, some of whom are just a bit flawed like the rest of us, but some of whom are evil, corrupt, and downright crazy. In addition to the unscrupulous Dr. Gleason, we have drug-dealing biker dudes, dirt-bike-riding would-be assassins, and murderers slinking through hospital corridors posing as maintenance men. Thanks to Dr. Blackwood’s ability as a diagnostician, startling physical anomalies are discovered which may explain Cam’s symptoms. Even more startling is the fact that Susie Banks, a well-known music prodigy, is displaying similar symptoms. Most startling of all is the web of lies, deceit, and unethical behavior that explains what is happening to Cam and Susie.
This is my first experience with narrator Fred Berman. He is a master with voices. I never had a problem discerning which of the characters was speaking. I’m impressed with how perceptive he is about using the author’s written description of a character’s voice in his performance.
I am proud to say I figured out who the chief villain is before it’s revealed. That’s not unusual for me and certainly doesn’t detract from the suspense. The mystery in The First Family doesn’t so much lie in the “who” as in the “why” and, even more so, in the methods used to achieve an end result that is so bizarre and self-serving only a psychotic could imagine it. Some listeners will find their heads spinning with the use of technical and medical terms, but I love that aspect of the Palmer books. As a retired healthcare professional and adrenaline junkie, my heart beats faster when I listen to the familiar words that tell me a “Code Blue” is in progress. Thank you, Daniel Palmer, for keeping your father alive!