Cover image for Vector
Title:
Vector
Author:
Cook, Robin, 1940-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
404 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.7 20.0 126134.
ISBN:
9780399144714
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

New York City cab driver Yuri Davydov is a disgruntled Russian emigre poised to lash out at the adoptive nation he believes has denied him the American Dream. A former technician in the Soviet biological weapons system, Biopreparat, Yuri possesses the knowledge to wreak havoc in his new home. But before he executes his planned piece de resistance of vengeance, he experiments first on his suspicious live-in girlfriend, then on a few poor-tipping fares....Dr. Jack Stapleton and Dr. Laurie Montgomery (both last seen in Chromosome 6) begin to witness some unusual cases in their capacity as forensic pathologists in the city's medical examiner's office: a young, healthy black woman dies of respiratory failure, a Greek immigrant succumbs to a sudden, overwhelming pneumonia. At the same time, the pair are pressured from above to focus on a high-profile string of suspicious deaths of prisoners in police custody. When an unexpected breakthrough persuades Jack that these seemingly unrelated deaths are really connected murders, his colleagues and superiors are skeptical. Only Laurie is somewhat convinced. But the question soon becomes whether the pair will solve the puzzle before Yuri unleashes into the streets of New York the ultimate terror: a modern bioweapon.With signature skill, Robin Cook has crafted a page-turning thriller rooted in up-to-the-minute biotechnology. Vector is all-too-plausible fiction at its terrifying best.


Author Notes

Robin (Robert William Arthur) Cook, the master of the medical thriller novel, was born to Edgar Lee Cook, a commercial artist and businessman, and Audrey (Koons) Cook on May 4, 1940, in New York City. Cook spent his childhood in Leonia, New Jersey, and decided to become a doctor after seeing a football injury at his high school. He earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1962, his M.D. from Columbia University in 1966, and completed postgraduate training at Harvard before joining the U.S. Navy. Cook began his first novel, The Year of the Intern, while serving on a submarine, basing it on his experiences as a surgical resident.

In 1979, Cook wed Barbara Ellen Mougin, on whom the character Denise Sanger in Brain is based.

When Year of the Intern did not do particularly well, Cook began an extensive study of other books in the genre to see what made a bestseller. He decided to focus on suspenseful medical mysteries, mixing intricately plotted murder and intrigue with medical technology, as a way to bring controversial ethical and social issues affecting the medical profession to the attention of the general public. His subjects include organ transplants, genetic engineering, experimentation with fetal tissue, cancer research and treatment, and deadly viruses. Cook put this format to work very successfully in his next books, Coma and Sphinx, which not only became bestsellers, but were eventually adapted for film. Three others, Terminal, Mortal Fear, and Virus, and Cook's first science- fiction work, Invasion, have been television movies. In 2014 her title, Cell made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In Cook's twenty-first novel, the People's Aryan Army (PAA) is planning a major terrorist attack against a big government building in New York, hoping that that will spark nationwide revolution. PAA founder Curt recruits immigrant Russian technician Yuri to prepare bioweapons for the attack. Yuri sets up a basement lab to produce anthrax, and a package "bomb" becomes the vector for the anthrax when Yuri tries it out on a Greek rug dealer. Desiring proof of the merchant's death, Yuri meets Jack Stapleton from the medical examiner's office, and Jack's sidekick, Laurie, gets involved. Seasoned with plenty of startling incidents--a government plant in the PAA is crucified, Yuri tries out his botulinum toxin weapon on his wife, Jack's pick-up basketball chums save his life a couple times--the plot cooks right along. The terrorist attack works, but Yuri has double-crossed the PAA, and nobody dies. Vector is Cook at his best, providing both thrills and an urgent message. In an endnote, Cook suggests that the story was written in an effort to alert U.S. organizations and individuals to the likelihood of bioweapon terrorism. --William Beatty


Publisher's Weekly Review

In this age of lethal bioweapons, there's a frightening logic in the idea that your next breath might kill you. Alas, Cook's latest, about an impending bioterrorist attack in New York City, is more ho-hum than horrifying. The premise has promise: cab driver Yuri Davydov is a disillusioned Russian immigrant haunted by his involvement in a tragic accidental release of government-produced anthrax that killed hundreds, including his mother. Armed with hatred for America and practical skills in how to build a biochemical weapon, he's joined forces with Curt Rogers and Steve Henderson of the People's Aryan Army. This catastrophic coalition aims to attack the Jacob Javits Federal Building and the Upper East Side; but for starters, Davydov tests his weapons on his own much-maligned wife and random, innocent rug merchant Jason Papparis. When medical examiner Jack Stapleton (last seen in Cook's Chromosome 6) does an autopsy on Papparis, the first of a series of plot-deadening coincidences occursÄhe meets Davydov, who just happens to be cruising by to see if Papparis is dead. Too much "just happens" throughout this novel; worse, the investigators maddeningly bumble around obvious clues the reader has long since pieced together. Stapleton just happens to play basketball with the brother of Davydov's murdered wife; when autopsying the body of Aryan Army informant Brad Cassidy, he has a contrived hunch, and tests the body for anthrax poisoning. The whole plot, including the finale, hinges on happenstance, and Cook seems to know itÄhis characters say things like, "What kind of weird coincidence could this be?" Cook's biotechnology research is rewarding, the pace is as pleasingly hectic as you'd expect from the author of Toxin, etc., and some of the characters are well drawn. But in the end, this potentially spine-tingling premise is undermined by a disappointing plot manifesting authorial machination rather than authentic, character-driven events. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Medical thriller master Cook (Toxin) explores the ramifications of biological weapons as forensic pathologist Jack Stapleton deals with three seemingly unrelated deaths. The first involves a rug importer mysteriously infected with anthrax. The second is a particularly horrific murder of a white supremacist, while the third begins as a routine asthma death that becomes suspicious. Attempting to find the asthma victim's actual cause of death, Jack races against time when he uncovers a plot masterminded by a neo-Nazi group working with a bitter Russian immigrant to release anthrax spores into New York City. Although some of the plot developments are implausible and some of the characters stereotypical, the chillingly realistic premise combined with Jason Culp's accurate portrayals of a large cast of characters makes this a compelling tale that will be popular in all fiction collections.ÄSusan McCaffrey, Haslett H.S., MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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