Take a medical thriller about a strain of bacteria immune to antibiotics, add a disgraced protagonist and a surprising political angle and the result is a terrifying page-turner that will make readers reluctant to visit a hospital any time soon. Palmer passed away in October and has left us a legacy of fine thrillers set in the medical world that tackle moral issues. He will truly be missed.
A young cheerleader breaks her elbow during a routine, and what should be a simple fix becomes tragic when she develops a massive infection followed by amputation and eventually death. Dr. Lou Welcome and his friend, Cap Duncan, are attending a conference in Atlanta when Duncan falls and breaks his leg. While in the hospital, Duncan develops the same infection that’s resistant to antibiotics. Welcome works with the Center for Disease Control and soon uncovers the terrifying truth behind the germ and the people who created it. (ST. MARTIN’S, May, 400 pp., $27.99)