Cover image for The cure
The cure
Shobin, David.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
341 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


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The all-natural Restore Tabs are very popular with women as they not only help to lose weight but also increase their sex drive. Doctor Steve McClaren is the drug's spokesman but when his female patients suddenly turn ill, and all signs point to Restore Tabs, he starts to investigate.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A nutritional tablet may seem too flat to be the mainspring of a thriller, but when it leads to the hysterectomy of a 13-year-old, an attack by a poisonous jellyfish that carries halfway around the world, and bodies littering Indonesia and a New York research lab, it serves well enough. Shobin's fictional nutrient is derived from marine plants that are secreted in South Pacific coral reefs. The reefs are blown up, dried, pulverized, and sent to New York for processing; and clinical trials are conducted on poor Indonesian women. Unfortunately, the basic substance in the tablets is a too-potent estrogen. As the plot thickens and the pace accelerates, anxiety, desire, and advertising lead to overdoses, cancer, and death. The principals include unsure but persistent physician Steve McLaren, single mom Julia, and ex-marine turned "enforcer" Jack Buhlman. Shobin's style and characterization skills help keep the yarn lively and believable, the kind that fans of medical thrillers, detective novels, and other action genres should enjoy. --William Beatty

Publisher's Weekly Review

Shobin's latest medical thriller seizes on the recent surge in the use of herbal supplements in large doses and takes the potential danger to its lethal extreme. Dr. Steve McLaren, a Long Island M.D. with a troubled past, displays herbal supplements made by Ecolabs in his office and touts them in TV ads as a favor to Ted DiGiorgio, a med-school dropout friend who founded the herbal supplement company. A hot new product is Restore-Tabs, a miracle weight-loss supplement that also enhances female sex drive and counters the effects of aging. Steve calls Ted when some patients using the product develop extreme vaginal bleeding, but Ted pleads ignorance. When the situation worsens, Steve is put on to the Ecolabs PR head, the alluring Francesca Taylor, who suggests that he do his own field test with his patients using Restore-Tabs and placebos. Romance ensues, but when Steve contacts the FDA, attempts are made on his life, scandalous rumors about him begin to circulate and patient files are stolen. As Ted grows erratic and paranoid, Francesca offers to sneak Steve into Ted's office to retrieve secret information to build a case for the FDA. Shobin (Terminal Condition), a physician himself, builds a credible medical plot with unscrupulous Third World field tests and greedy entrepreneurs. The parallel narrative unfolding in Indonesia is at least as engrossing as the American section of the book, but the writing throughout tends toward ham-fistedness, and readers may have a hard time swallowing many of the outlandish plot twists. (Feb.) Forecast: This run-of-the-mill medical thriller should perform adequately, but no more. Word of mouth won't breathe vitality into sales, and it's questionable whether a novel that the publisher compares to "Robin Cook meets Michael Palmer" can develop a market personality all its own. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This seventh novel by Shobin (The Provider, Terminal Condition) is a formulaic but well-written and affecting medical thriller. Steve McLaren, a Long Island physician who has endorsed the use of Restore Tabs, a herbal supplement for women, becomes concerned when he begins to suspect that it is causing seriously adverse reactions in his patients. Youthful, handsome, and dedicated to those in his care, Steve embarks on a risky journey that leads to the discovery of the origins of the supplement and to a horrifying understanding of the true goals and character of its producers and distributors. Steve is an appealing protagonist, and it is his personal and family relationships that give this novel some depth and readability. There's also an educational aspect to this book, which raises issues about natural and herbal supplements as well as the regulatory loopholes that govern their availability. A worthy addition to fiction collections.DLinda M.G. Katz, Florence A. Moore Lib. of Medicine, MCP Hahnemann Univ., Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.