Author Michael Palmer was himself an emergency room doctor, before switching to a writing career. He wrote fiction based around what he knew best: medicine and hospitals. “Critical Judgment” is Mr. Palmer’s seventh novel. In it, Dr. Abby Dolan has just started her new job at a small California hospital north of San Francisco. At first she is nervous about the amount of responsibility she has been given in the emergency department. But before long, the nervousness is replaced by a concern about the high number of patients that have been showing up with unexplained symptoms: blinding headaches, confusion, skin ailments, and personality changes.
Much of the small town’s jobs are wrapped up in the manufacturing company Colstar. Could there be a link to the medical ailments of the community? The more she tries to investigate, the more trouble she finds herself in.
The MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) machine plays a prominent part in this novel. At the time that Mr. Palmer wrote the book, MRI’s were still fairly new. Now, of course, people expect there to be an MRI machine at every hospital.
If you like books with a hospital or medical research theme, “Critical Judgment” should be an enjoyable read.