Book Review: “The Last Surgeon” by Michael Palmer

the last surgeon

Genre:  Medical Thriller

Rating:  4 WaterTowers (Terrific!!!)

This is an ARC sent to me, and signed, by Michael Palmer.  It will be in stores Feb 16, 2010.

Before you read my attempt at writing, read the Prologue to “The Last Surgeon” at this link.


This is far and away the most frightening, disturbing death (of Belle Coates) / murder scene I have ever read.  In fact, I read it online before I got the book, and could not (and still have not) re-read it.

Dr. Nick Garrity (aka Dr. Nick Fury) is an ex-Army trauma surgeon struggling to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Nick and June Wright both work with the Helping Hands organization in a mobile medical facility.  From that RV they help those who cannot otherwise get medical attention.

Really quickly, Nick’s PTSD is the result of a terrorist car bombing at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Savannah in Afganistan, that killed 28 including his fiancee.  Only Nick and Umberto Vasquez survived, thanks to Umberto’s quick action.  As “The Last Surgeon” opens, Umberto has been missing for 4 years…Nick is still looking for him.

Franz Koller is a mild mannered substitute teacher (like me!).   He knows Chemistry, probably better than the teachers, and loves the flexibility of substitute teaching so he can pursue his other profession:  as an assassin.  Franz is a master of the “non-kill” (killing someone so it looks like a natural, or accidental, death), and loves what he does.   Belle found out.  A secret government organization, Jericho, employs Franz when the need arises.  Very scary guy.

Jillian Coates is Belle’s sister.  She is a psych nurse at Shelby Stone Memorial Hospital.  She also does not believe her sister would kill herself (you need to read the Prologue!) and starts her own investigation.  Starting with the comic books of Nick Fury she found in her sisters apartment (some of which had handwritten Dr., Doctor, written on them), she sets out to find Dr. Nick Fury and her sisters killer.

Unfortunately, her investigation gets the attention of the all knowing Jericho and, thus, Franz.  Her life is in danger.

Eventually, Jillian, June, Reggie (June’s teenage foster child and computer whiz), and Nick team to try to find Umberto, Belles killer, and an ever  growing conspiracy involving ….hmmm, you will just have to read “The Last Surgeon” to find out more.

Michael Palmer is another author that I had not read until now, but, had been on my list.   He is now definitely on my list, and if / when, I get time, I will go back to read his other books.

“The Last Surgeon” is fast, brutal, and intriguing.   A first rate Thriller.

Mark this day on your calendar:  Feb 16, 2010 then head out to your local bookstore and pick up a copy of “The Last Surgeon”.  If you love Medical (or just plain) Thrillers, you will love this book.


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