Picks and Pans Review: Outbreak

updated 03/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Robin Cook

The author of Coma, Brain, Fever, Mindbend and other mystery thrillers with a medical setting strikes again. The disease this time is a rare African virus that kills over 90 percent of those infected. There is no cure. Marissa Blumenthal, a beautiful 31-year-old pediatrician, goes to work for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. When the virus turns up in California, then St. Louis and Arizona, Marissa is sent to the scenes to find out what triggered each outbreak. The first victims are doctors, and the only link they have is that they were mugged shortly before they became ill. Slowly the heroine, who has three men in love with her—two doctors and a lab technician—realizes that there is some kind of evil plan underway. This novel has more or less the same plot as the earlier Cook books. The heroine is chased by thugs and runs right into the arms of the loathsome villain himself. If Cook were a good writer, Outbreak could cause nightmares, but this is formula fiction of the most perfunctory, routine order. (Putnam, $17.95)

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