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Isolation Ward by Joshua Spanogle

>> Saturday, August 11, 2007

Published: 2006
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 516
Challenges: Medical Mystery Challenge #3, Summer Mystery Reading Challenge #5

I enjoyed this first novel by Joshua Spanogle.

From the back cover:
Dr. Nathaniel McCormick had never seen anything like it before: three female patients, all residents of Baltimore’s group homes for the mentally impaired, their bodies racked by a baffling and unstoppable virus. As a young investigator from the Centers for Disease Control, Nate’s job is to peer into the lives and habits of the victims . . . and what he finds chills him to the very bone. Teaming up with an old colleague and former lover, Nate follows a twisting trail of clues to an unimaginable discovery. And as a circle of treachery tightens around him, he is about to confront the most chilling revelation of all – and a past he himself has been desperately trying to escape.

Nate is both likeable and unlikeable all at the same time – he probably describes himself well in this quote:

Not to be arrogant, but I’m a smart guy, I understand how the human body works, I understand the way microbes attack it, I’m even beginning to understand how bugs work their way through a population. But people, I do not understand. Their motivations and hidden agendas. The events of that day and the days following would show me just how severe a liability that is.
This was not the best debut I’ve read, but it was a pretty darn good page turner. I was hooked from the first few pages. It kind of lost momentum in the final third, but all in all it was good enough for me to put Spanogle’s second book on my TBR list.


twiga92 8/12/2007 5:26 AM  

Good to know! I have this on my TBR pile.

Bookfool 8/12/2007 6:12 PM  

I've never heard of this author. Love the quote.

SuziQoregon 8/12/2007 8:02 PM  

Twiga: will be looking forward to hearing what you think.

Bookfool: I hadn't had it on my radar at all till I started searching for Medical Mysteries for that challenge.

Crystal 8/13/2007 2:03 PM  

Sounds like a good book. Never read anything by this author before. Looks like something else to add to my purchase list.

SuziQoregon 8/14/2007 7:07 PM  

Crystal: it was pretty good for a first novel. A bit rough in patches, but overall I think he's a promising writer.

twiga92 11/29/2008 2:39 PM  

I accidentally read Flawless before reading this one which was a bit of a drag as I hate reading books out of order. A few things were alluded to in Flawless from this book but it was still suspenseful and a good read. Even reading out of order, I did enjoy it. It did start dragging near the end and was kind of like, alright already wrap this up. But all-in-all a good read and recommended for suspense fans.

SuziQoregon 12/02/2008 10:15 AM  

Twiga: exactly - that final part was kind of a drop in momentum. I chalked it up to first novel growing pains. How was Flawless???

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