First edition.
Publisher, Date:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2018.
342 pages ; 23 cm
Other Author:
9781250107428 (hardcover)
System Availability:
Current Holds:
Control Number:
Call Number:
F Pal
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Author Notes
Michael Palmer authored twenty-one novels of medical suspense before his death in 2013, all international bestsellers. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages. Extreme Measures was the basis for a movie starring Hugh Grant and Gene Hackman.Daniel Palmer is the author of numerous critically acclaimed suspense novels. He received his master's degree from Boston University. Daniel lives with his wife and two children in New Hampshire where he is at work on his next novel.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Geoffrey Hilliard (Male), President of the U.S., Married, Father, His teenaged son is threatened by potentially fatal illness
Cam (Male), Student, Chess champion; experiences extreme fatigue; moodiness; violent outburst
Karen Ray (Female), Secret Service agent, Guards the president's family; worried about Cam's symptoms; gets a second opinion
Lee Blackwood (Male), Medical doctor, Karen's ex-husband; makes a diagnosis from array of symptoms he's never seen before
U.S. presidents
Fathers and sons
Children of presidents
Sick children
Secret Service agents
Children in peril
Search for truth
Washington, D.C. - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Paper-thin characters and a hard-to-swallow plot mar bestseller Palmer's self-described homage to his late father Michael's The First Patient. Karen Ray, the Secret Service agent primarily responsible for the safety of Cam Hilliard, the U.S. president's teenage son, consults her ex-husband, Washington, D.C., family practitioner Lee Blackwood, after Frederick Gleason, the head White House physician, suggests that Cam be treated for a mental health problem. Lee is brought in for a second opinion, and, after his exam, clashes with Gleason over Cam's treatment. Lee's suspicions that there's a physical basis for Cam's symptoms are eventually validated and lead him and Karen to look into the True Potential Institute, "a unique educational center dedicated to helping D.C.'s most gifted children develop mastery in a variety of disciplines," where Cam, a chess master, studies chess and where he routinely receives medications intended to boost mental acuity. The plot never generates much suspense. Readers can only hope that Palmer (Mercy) will return to form next time. Agent: Meg Ruley, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

  Booklist Review

Daniel Palmer writes suspense fiction under his own name, and medical thrillers that carry on the brand established by his late father, Michael (1942-2013). This one falls into the latter category and effectively extends the Michael Palmer legacy, nicely mixing elements of hard science with traditional thriller elements. Cam Hilliard, the son of the U.S. president, is a chess prodigy, but he has begun showing signs of depression and is losing his competitive edge. The president's doctor initially sees therapy as the answer, but a second opinion yields a surprising result. While the two doctors argue over what's best for Cam, it soon becomes clear that the president's son might not be the only one who has this affliction. Murder and political machinations play out in the background, but what makes this story shine is the mix of compelling characters and intriguing science. Michael Palmer and Robin Cook fans are the natural audience for this one, which should reconfirm the fact that Daniel is as adept as his father was at finding suspense in the intricacies of medicine.--Ayers, Jeff Copyright 2018 Booklist
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.
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