Bantam, August 2004, 25.00, 351 pp.
He practices medicine to help people but Dr. Will Grant is becoming increasingly frustrated with the way managed health care is short changing patients. The HMOs have absolute power in telling a doctor what they can and can not do if they want reimbursement for services rendered. Will is a member of the Hippocrates Society, an organized movement to effect change on the health care system.
Someone apparently agrees with Will's assessment on the state of healthcare in America because to date four CEOs of different HMOs have been murdered. Detective Polly Moriarity at first believes that Will is a likely suspect but when she gets to know him she believes he is a dedicated doctor who wants to change the health care profession. When Will passes out in surgery, it is discovered he has a powerful narcotic in his system. Although he denies taking anything stronger than Tylenol, he gets suspended from the hospital and his medical license is revoked. While investigating a medical anomaly, he and Polly are kidnapped and are going to be killed unless Will turns over damaging x-rays that could cause certain HMOs to be in trouble with the law.
Michael Palmer has written an exciting medical thriller that gives insight into what doctors have to go through to practice good health care in spite of HMOs and insurance procedures. The protagonist of THE SOCIETY is a true hero, willing to fight for good health care for the public. He believes a National Health Care plan that is similar to England and Canada is the best way to have quality healthcare. Michael Palmer knows how to write quality thrillers that entertain as well as educate the audience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner