Ever have a relationship go bad, but you can’t stop checking his Facebook page? My relationship with Robin Cook is similar. He has written about 30 books, and I’ve read or listened to most of them, but I no longer experience pleasure when reading his material. I keep doing it. I can’t look away. I see his name prominently displayed and my hand reaches for the book despite knowing I shouldn’t. It’s like he has me bewitched.
But, alas, I am swearing before you all, “Nano” was my last time reading Mr. Cook. I just can’t do it anymore. I love a good medical thriller. Despite some science which I may not understand, who among us can’t relate to illness, doctor visits, hospital stays – and one of Cook’s ultimate nemesis – insurance company greed. After dozens of these novels, though, I am beginning to question if he is actually doing the writing, or if as speculated by others on the world wide interweb – are ghost writers now employed to keep churning out these novels?
“Nano” has to be the worst of all the Cook books I have read. The story centers around a female medical researcher, Pia, with a mafia connected father and a social detachment disorder who is employed at a mystery facility where something is going on. Much of the novel centers around the kind of research being done (evil), but too much also concerns how completely desired Pia is by the men in the novel. As a reader, her character was so dull, so unlikeable, so non-personable, I found it hard to believe she could be the object of desire by a bazillionaire and another doctor. Seriously? Suspend reality much? She lacked the depth of the desk on which I am now writing.
Her boss, Zach, runs this evil empire which is on the verge of potentially earth shattering research, but he is so enthralled with this robot woman that he risks everything to convince her of what a catch he would be as a man?
The dialogue is stilted and none of the characters speak in a voice which is either natural or convincing.
From one chapter where Pia is trying to trick Berman into access throughout his house:
“Let’s turn it off” Pia said. “Excuse me”. “I want it off. I don’t want to feel inhibited knowing a recorder is operating.” A slight smile appeared on Berman’s face. He loved it. She had miraculously transformed herself into the woman of his dreams.“
blah blah blah. Ugh.
Now, as to the ending. I am almost 100% confident, Cook had vacation plans or some sort of his own medical crisis, and just turned in the chapters he had finished. There is no conclusion. The book just stops. I visited other reviewers to get their take on this abrupt ending to hundreds of pages and most are in agreement that the author simply got tired of typing. I understand the concept of building a character to be continued in the next novel, but I will just pretend all these characters died in some sort of natural disaster and will never be heard from again. The end. Thank goodness.