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The Fifth Vial | [Michael Palmer]

The Fifth Vial

From Boston, a disgraced medical student travels to South America to deliver a research paper that could save her career and becomes a victim of an unspeakable crime...Thousands of miles away, a brilliant, reclusive scientist, dying from an incurable disease that threatens to make each tortured breath his last, is on the verge of perfecting a serum that could save millions of lives.
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Publisher's Summary

Get drawn into a novel of medical suspense that begins with these chilling questions: Who ends up with the blood samples you routinely give for tests? What else are they being used for? Why don't you know?

From Boston, a disgraced medical student travels to South America to deliver a research paper that could save her career and becomes a victim of an unspeakable crime....Thousands of miles away, a brilliant, reclusive scientist, dying from an incurable disease that threatens to make each tortured breath his last, is on the verge of perfecting a serum that could save millions of lives, and bring others inestimable wealth....In Chicago, a disillusioned private detective, on the way to his third career, is hired to determine the identity of a John Doe, killed on a Florida highway, with mysterious marks on his body.

Three seemingly disconnected lives, surging unrelentingly toward one another. Three lives becoming irrevocably intertwined. Three lives in mounting peril, moving ever closer to the ultimate confrontation against a deadly secret society with godlike aspirations and roots in antiquity.

Medical student. Scientist. Private eye. Three people who will learn the deeper meanings of brilliance and madness, truth and deception, trust and betrayal.

Three lives linked forever by a single vial of blood: the fifth vial.

©2007 Michael Palmer; (P)2007 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"A terrifying vision of the Hippocratic oath gone very wrong." (Entertainment Weekly)
"Palmer taps a real medical issue for storytelling thrills." (Boston magazine)
"A tale set at the very edge of our medical knowledge. I loved it!" (Tess Gerritsen)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (13 )
5 star
 (7)
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4.0 (1 )
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4.0 (1 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Niels Co.KilkennyIreland 23/03/2009
    Niels Co.KilkennyIreland 23/03/2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "What a surprise"

    Having had a few books that we did not like much I had chosen this one. What a surpise, Enjoyed it thouroughly, suspence, murder, baddies and goodies, and it grips you right to the end. It may even be possible...............!?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie loughboroughUnited Kingdom 29/01/2009
    Leslie loughboroughUnited Kingdom 29/01/2009 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Would make a great movie"

    Power corrupts and this book talks about how power corrupts the medical profession. Lots of tangled webs and interweaving of stories. I enjoyed it immensely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Patricia Singer
    Old Town, Maine United States
    01/07/08
    Overall
    "Cheesy"

    This book seems to be only a rearrangement of some core concepts found in his other books with simple modifications. While the concept is very intriguing, the dialog is simple and the plot twists can be seen miles away. The ending is especially ridiculous, complete with warriors sacrificing their lives, good guys double-crossing and turning out to be evil, bad guys getting their comeuppance, and the heroine saving the day and all turning out wonderfully for her. More cheese than a pound of Velveeta.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Hutchinson, MN, United States
    20/06/08
    Overall
    "accents, oh dear"

    the narrator ruined it for me. Unfortunately, the story calls for a wide variety of foreign accents, all of which are affected by the narrator as a sort of transylvanian vampire/swedish chef.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Carrie
    Burlington, ON, Canada
    30/07/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "one wild ride! Hang onto your seats!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    great narrator, thriller plot


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fifth Vial?

    Natalie's lifesaving receipt of a healthy lung at story's end


    Have you listened to any of J. Charles’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no I haven't but I will definitely do so now!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    when Natalie almost lost her niece in the fire


    Any additional comments?

    if you're looking for a story which has many twists and turns, and lots of surprises, get The Fifth Vial! It took me awhile to like the private detective in the book; he didn't seem too inteligent! But by the time the story ended, he had my respect. J Charles was a new narrator to me, and I wasn't sure how he sounded. But, he was great! Get The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer, you will not be sorry!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Beverly
    Santa Cruz, CA, United States
    08/01/11
    Overall
    "I realy wanted to like this book..."

    In general, I love medical mystery / dramas but this one just didn't do it for me. First, it was poorly written; the author frequently would repeat words and phrases - like, "She ___ to anyone and anything," and the word "conflagration" which I can only assume the author came across in the thesaurus and fell in love with, hence the repetition. Unnecessary words are added too, which I think the author added to give it a more "medical" feel, but just had me shaking me head and chuckling sadly, like "She felt for a pulse in her carotid artery." Couldn't he have just said, "She felt for a pulse"? Second, he throws in completely un-related scenes, many of which had me thinking they had something to do with the story, so I slogged through them - only to find out that they were, in fact, pointless. What a waste of time!

    Lastly, the narrator sounds like he's suffering a terrible head cold. I kept wanting to yell at him "just clear your throat already!!" And as if all that wasn't so bad, the voices the narrator uses to distinguish one character from another are just terrible. The accents he puts on are poorly done and the woman-voices he affects are laughable.

    Terrible experience, all around. Like my review title says - I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mary Jo
    Germantown, WI, USA
    22/05/10
    Overall
    "Reader ruinous"

    The story was interesting...as far as I got. This is the worst reader ever. I do not understand how an author or Audible publishes audiobooks with such terrible readers when there is so much talent out there. Do not waste your credits. Go to the library and read this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie
    United States
    07/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "4 Hours Left? I Quit!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I can think of no single reason TO recommend it.


    If you’ve listened to books by Michael Palmer before, how does this one compare?

    Very badly is how it compares. I think it wins the worst-so-far award from me.


    Would you be willing to try another one of J. Charles’s performances?

    Yes if I believed in the book. I would not seek him out. For this title his narration served only to contribute to the confusion and droning book. I was unable to differentiate his characters-male or female. The plot was jerky, did time jumps which Palmer should not attempt! It became one droning nothingness. Palmer consistently uses too many characters. In this title he really confused me; then add the narrator? I could sleep to it if I had insomnia.


    Could you see The Fifth Vial being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, but if it was it would have to be better than listening to the book!


    Any additional comments?

    In theory the author had an interesting topic. He should have at least researched and added relevant info. I picked up not a single scientific fact or factoid and we are talking about illegal human transplants? And somehow done in part on kidnapped people in an RV? And no sadly it was not an amusing book either although it sounds like it could have been!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jim
    15/04/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent book that will keep you guessing"
    What made the experience of listening to The Fifth Vial the most enjoyable?

    Michael Palmer delivers in this book with his style and knowledge of writing. The plot is enjoyable and never dull. I could not stop listening until the book was completed.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The private investigator, who I could feel my self relating to with his pasts. Plus the drive and ambition the character had in the book


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The content was shocking, but then again also very believable of a story that could actually happen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jason
    Poteau, OK, United States
    04/08/11
    Overall
    "Pretty good book."

    This book had everything I expect in a good novel; 1) Characters I grow to care about 2) An interesting plot 3) Enough action/events to keep the story moving. You are pulled into the story quickly and not let go. Good narration. Not the best out there... I recommend Chris Ride's books. Worth a credit though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lia
    Sutton, Australia
    09/09/09
    Overall
    "Good listen"

    A little predicable in parts but overall an enjoyable listen

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Amy
    Baltimore, MD, United States
    03/02/09
    Overall
    "Pure Cheese"

    I'm not the type that wants all the good guys to be saints and all the bad guys to be demons. I'm the type that likes the protagonist to have a really humanistic personality where the good does out way the bad but he/she is not perfect. This book is one of those predictible cheeseball books where good always prevails and it's perfectly obvious that it's going to no matter how the odds may be against the good guys. Narration was good. It was brutal to get through though.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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