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
"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)
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...............!?
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.
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.
"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.
"one wild ride! Hang onto your seats!"
great narrator, thriller plot
Natalie's lifesaving receipt of a healthy lung at story's end
no I haven't but I will definitely do so now!
when Natalie almost lost her niece in the fire
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!
"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.
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.
A little predicable in parts but overall an enjoyable listen
"4 Hours Left? I Quit!"
No. I can think of no single reason TO recommend it.
Very badly is how it compares. I think it wins the worst-so-far award from me.
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.
No, but if it was it would have to be better than listening to the book!
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!
"An excellent book that will keep you guessing"
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.
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
The content was shocking, but then again also very believable of a story that could actually happen.
"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.
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.
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