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Medicine, politics lethal mix in 'Oath of Office'

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 02:12 AM

"Oath of Office" (St. Martin's Press), by Michael Palmer

A doctor violates his oath to save lives in this shocker from Michael Palmer.

Dr. John Meacham was given a second chance after he overcame his addiction to prescription drugs, thanks to his counselor, Dr. Lou Welcome. Then one day, Meacham, now in private practice again, upsets a patient. After the patient storms out, Meacham starts saying he cannot have any witnesses. He shoots all his staff members and the patients in his waiting room. Then he turns the gun on himself.

Welcome's reputation as a counselor is ruined, and what triggered Meacham's outburst becomes an obsession. As Welcome investigates the cause of the violence, the path leads directly to the White House — and a president bent on re-election.

Palmer knows how to get the reader to turn the pages, and the science behind the conspiracy proves to be timely and controversial in "Oath of Office." Some of the story elements don't come together like they should, including a forced romance and a few major characters who aren't realistic.

However, these minor criticisms aside, Palmer has crafted a book that will have readers fearful of doing something as simple as taking a bite of food.

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