Read Outbreak by Robin Cook Online


Murder and mystery reach epidemic proportions when a devastating plague sweeps the country. Dr. Marissa Blumenthal of the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control investigates--and soon uncovers the medical world's deadliest secret. ...

Title : Outbreak
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425106877
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 340 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Outbreak Reviews

  • Matthew
    2019-06-17 03:32

    2.5 - I'm feeling generous with the round up to three.First - if you are looking for an outbreak book involving the risk of an end of humanity while a group of intrepid heroes fight for survival - this is not that book! There is very little actual outbreak, it is only a side plot to the main story. I do enjoy the stories Cook is trying to tell, but sometimes it is a struggle to get through them. I feel like he really has a cool story and fascinating ideas, but that he is not a very good writer. There is a fine line between an enjoyable book without a lot of depth and a cringe worthy jumble of coincidences and forced plot points. Also - his formula seems to be the following: a bumbling but attractive female lead who lacks good common sense, makes poor decisions, and receives chauvinistic treatment from a slew of arrogant male leads (two or three of which she is considering sleeping with). Just switch the plot around and you have 3 out of every 4 Cook novels.I will keep reading Cook because I want to see if it gets better (and I am running out of Crichton novels).

  • Tagra
    2019-06-10 11:16

    That was pretty disappointing, really. I once read some advice that said if the author's name is larger than the title of the book, you should avoid it. This book may be evidence to support that. I mean, it was published in 1988 sure, but it was basically a Nancy Drew mystery with a medical setting. With the level of writing prowess to match...There isn't much of a synopsis I can provide that isn't covered by the book's description. There are outbreaks of Ebola, and a doctor from the CDC is investigating to find out why. That's really just about it.The first half of the book was really iffy. I've studied epidemiology and I find it very interesting, so I enjoyed it, but it really reads like a documentary discussing what would happen if a serious disease were to break out and what steps would be taken to contain it. Now, having studied epidemiology, it really wasn't saying anything new to me, either, but it felt like the author really wanted you to know that they know what they're talking about here. What's worse, it's re-described for every subsequent case. Each and every time she goes into a room with a patient, the book describes her putting on her protective gear bit by bit, observing sterile procedures, minimizing chances of spreading or contracting the virus, washing her hands once she's done... no seriously, we get it. They do the same fucking thing for each case.The second half of the book was a bit better, although it was your standard generic action movie style story of rushing to get to the evidence/whatever before the bad guys get to the protagonist. I have to confess I kinda skimmed through some of it because I was in a hurry to come write a bitchy review. Nothing new here, and nothing all that interesting either really, although it's not a complete waste of time if you're just looking for a distraction for a couple of hours. It also requires a bit of suspension of belief when you start delving into motives and whatnot, but as long as you're not looking for any real mental stimulation...Unfortunately for this book, the somewhat interesting descriptions of how to handle a virus outbreak is interrupted by cheesy romance drama. The entire country is at risk from a seriously infectious virus that has a 94% fatality rate, and her boss stops to hit on her. When she rebuffs him, he spends the entire rest of the book making her life (and very important job...) difficult because his nose is out of joint from the rejection. What's WORSE - She feels GUILTY about not going along with it and wonders (over and over again) if she should have just slept with him. Oh and also two other guys are hitting on her throughout the book but she's just so humble and self conscious that she doesn't really realize it. (view spoiler)[Gee I wonder if one of them will turn out to be the bad guy? Nah it couldn't possibly be... oh he was? I see. (hide spoiler)]Again, the book was written in the 80s, and it is an attempt at making a strong female lead. I suppose it was probably written before "Mary Sue" became a "thing", but I suspect Dr. Blumenthal wouldn't fare very well on the Mary Sue Litmus Test. She's so self conscious and has no confidence in her abilities, and meanwhile everyone around her is falling over themselves to describe how cute she is and how amazing she is at her job and oh also she is the only one who discovers all these links between things (because everyone else is too busy hitting on her to notice, I guess) and she manages to fight off assailants and come out smelling like roses on the other side of the door afterward. Every now and then it seemed like there would be an injection of an attempt to tone it down a bit, but every attempt at giving her a flaw just turns into yet another unexpected benefit for her. It was unfortunate because of how grating it became.And then there was the dog. For the first half of the book, each and every time a new outbreak happened, the book would spend a paragraph explaining how she got someone to take care of her dog. Then when she comes back, a paragraph describing how the dog is so happy to see her. There was no purpose for this dog except filler. Which made me very suspicious.(view spoiler)[Yep. The dog dies. Slain by the bad guys. Suddenly and without much warning, and no real mention afterward either, except when she gets a new one in the epilogue. (hide spoiler)]There was absolutely no reason for any of it to be included other than a transparent attempt at throwing sympathy to the character. Which, because it was transparent, just made me roll my eyes.A lot of it made me roll my eyes, really. It was almost good in a lot of ways, and I thought the disease aspects were handled really well, but the rest of it was just so shallow that it was difficult to really enjoy fully.

  • Elspeth
    2019-06-18 10:21

    This was a disappointing book. To its credit, the novel lives up to its reputation as a fast-paced medical thriller. The story begins with mysterious outbreaks of Ebola appearing in different hospitals of the country, with no initially obvious connection between them. A new doctor from the CDC is assigned to find out why the early outbreaks are occurring and help contain them, and she gets drawn into a political (mystery/thriller) plot. Why the mediocre review? I was turned off by the romantic drama, which seemed cheesy, sexist, and outdated. Although our female heroine is a very competent young doctor, I found it annoying that the author had to mention how beautiful and sexy all the men in the book found her on virtually every page. Multiple coworkers put the moves on her, and no man acts like merely a "good platonic friend" toward her. (The book was written in the 1980s not the 1950s, so I think he could have done better). The doctor's boss at the CDC even got angry after she refused to go on a date with him, and he subsequently started treating he poorly and took her off the case. Normally, I don't mind a good romantic subplot in a fast-paced thriller, but this one annoyed me and detracted from the overall flow of the novel!

  • Angus Whittaker
    2019-05-31 03:29

    This was a well written and gripping book, but I don't see it as a genre that I could really get into. Medical thriller? It's a bit too technical - a lot of medical jargon that I didn't get, although most of the concepts are explained in layman's terms - and it seems to be targeted to a small audience of doctors or other members of the medical profession who happen to like mysteries. On the other hand, Robin Cook is surprisingly adept as a writer, and his book stands alone without requiring the reader's prior interest in medicine. Dr. Marissa Blumenthal, the main character, is a very likable and realistic character, and by the end of the book the reader feels as if s/he is personally acquainted with her. The other characters are equally realistic. Overall, I thought this was a good book, but I don't know if this is really my type of genre. For those of you who like mystery, this book fits the bill, regardless of its medical theme. For people who are not particular fans of the genre, however, they may not like this book.

  • F.T. Moore
    2019-06-15 08:22

    Since I've read most of Robin Cook's books, and rate them all a 3, one would wonder why I keep buying them, right?I consider this an "Airplane book," that is, a good read when you're sitting in an uncomfortable seat and can't move your arms much, and need something to distract you from the world around you. A solid, fun, read, good for the beach, the deck, or a long airplane ride, when all you want is to escape to another world and another life. Something that holds your attention, and doesn't require a great deal of thinking or examining of your path in life.I rate books a 5 when they are life-changing, a 3 when they are just a good read. So regardless of my 3 rating, I will most likely continue to buy all of Robin Cook's books.

  • Roz
    2019-06-17 04:10


  • Jamie Jeffries
    2019-06-05 06:28

    I've read a lot of Robin Cook. Years ago, I developed a theory that he had a computer program that wrote his books after he selected names and a disease or medical issue. They are all the same, reliably so, and I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I can count on a well-written book with a gripping, suspenseful story. On the other, I can predict the outcome, not to mention the progress of the story, within the first few pages, so there's no real mystery there for me.A few books ago, I don't remember which, I realized that Cook uses his fiction to drive his political agenda. Nothing wrong with that, and it made the stories a bit more interesting for me. I don't always agree with his stance, but it's still interesting.To tell the truth, I don't remember this book as well as I remember Coma, or some of the earlier works. I don't remember when I read it - was just looking for something I recognized to get this genre in my recommendations listings. I can honestly say I liked it, because, despite the formulaic writing, I like most of them. Always good for escape reading that gets my heart rate up.

  • Marc
    2019-06-17 11:16

    Have you seen the movie "Outbreak"? Well this book... is NOTHING... like it. Yes, the Ebola virus is used as a weapon. Yes, someone from the CDC is investigating. The similarity ends there.A young CDC doctor is sent to an outbreak of what turns out to be Ebola virus in L.A. Then similar outbreaks occur in St. Louis, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and New York. She becomes convinced that someone is using the virus as a weapon. To find out who, she must deal with bureaucracy, a sexually harrassing boss, and murderers hunting her down, to say nothing of the virus itself.This was a good book, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. For a scientific-based book, it still reads well even twenty-one years after it was written. My main complaint with the book was that it is pretty short, and some of the scenes could have been fleshed out a little more. Even so, it is suspenseful and enjoyable, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a quick read.

  • Brian
    2019-06-10 08:17

    Inept only begins to describe all aspects of this book, since the author didn't take the time to properly write the book, I won't bother to write a proper review. If it was lack of talent that produced this talonless ogre called "Outbreak", I apologize and recommend a new vocation for Robin Cook.

  • Richard Farnsworth
    2019-05-29 06:11

    Robin Hook does a nice job of incoprating fairly solid medical event into a good story.

  • Saptarshi Ghosh
    2019-05-23 07:20

    Outbreak is a thrilling and a gripping read. Author has done a brilliant job in bringing an esoteric field like medicine and biology into a thriller/crime genre. The writing is lucid. The story started of brilliantly and carried the suspense and thrill till the end. However, i expected the story to be a more like medical thriller ( search for a cure and fight against a disease) rather than a crime thriller it turned out to be . Nevertheless, it was a good and a quick read.

  • Bhavishya
    2019-05-26 09:11

    I bought Outbreak to read on a long train journey. It's a fast paced medical thriller that is perfectly acceptable as a guilty reading pleasure. Yes, there are plot holes, weak characters and bad dialogues. But with all its flaws, the storyline keeps moving forward at a strong pace and that is enough to keep the reader like me hooked. I would have given this book three stars, if not for the blatant sexism displayed by the author in the way he depicts his female lead. Dr. Blumenthal is highly skilled at her profession but that is not enough. The reader has to be reminded at every page that she is also good looking and her co-workers can't look beyond that. At the top of that, after her boss sexually harasses her (which is obvious to the reader, but apparently, not to the author), she feels guilty about not going along with it (because when your hot boss sexually harasses you, that is the obvious thing to do apparently). Seriously?

  • Jessica
    2019-05-25 03:32

    This one ended up with its two stars for only the parts actually dealing with the Ebola outbreak. I also liked that it was about a young and untried female doctor at the CDC. I didn't love the carrying out of the young female doctor - she kept doing things that seemed unnatural, until I realized it was written by a middle-aged man, and it made more sense. Not to say men can't write women, but sometimes that's the case. The romantic elements were the most laughable and unnatural, and he sometimes seemed to forget that she was a trained doctor (like "RNA? You better stop talking, I'm not that smart" -paraphrase). The thriller/murder elements were a bit painful. The beginning, purely dealing with the outbreak, were my favourites.

  • Pat
    2019-06-09 09:30

    Meh.Robin Cook has only one plot: he just changes the names, the settings, and the medical conditions. But really, he's just recycling the same basic story.That said, this one did at least have some interesting points on how a massive disease outbreak might be dealt with by the medical community. It's worth a read on that basis alone, as long as you're not looking for an "involving mystery" -- because if you've ever read any of his other books, you know exactly who the "bad guy" is by the end of chapter 1 (and personally, I tend to get a little annoyed with the protagonists, for not being able to see it themselves... irrational as that may be!)

  • Pramod Ks
    2019-06-08 08:12

    The book is awesome. I always had an interest in Medical thrillers and Outbreak is always a pleasure to read. The book is fast pacing Medical and Action thriller and is a definite page turner. The way how Robin Cook keeps Ralph low key till the end adds up to the suspense. I was kind of predicting Ralph to be a head of the criminal ring but he turned out to be just one of the stakeholders and not the head. In the end, I was not able to figure out who headed the entire thing. So it is a bit of confusion. Albeit, the book has a good happy ending and I loved it.

  • Mariliis
    2019-06-09 08:30

    Something for desperate housewives out there. Cool story but so poor execution. And whats with combining something so cool as viruses, conspiracy,mucous and blood with stupid love affair? This actually was worst part, if I want to read syrupy love story then I would look it somewhere else right?

  • Tina
    2019-06-13 03:09

    This book is NOT good by any stretch of the imagination, if you're referring to quality or word choice or plausibility of the plot. However, it is an entertaining read and seeing as I knew Mr Cook's work going in, I wasn't disappointed. A fun, quick read for the holidays or if you need something mindless to distract you altogether.

  • P.S. Winn
    2019-06-05 04:24

    Amazing story, once again Robin Cook is taking readers on a thrill ride and one that is very close to non-fiction, With the way the government plays with germs who knows when the next outbreak may occur. Thanks to the author for always blending fact and fiction in a thoroughly fascinating way.

  • Chioma Uzoma
    2019-06-08 09:25

    It was had a weak end though...

  • Megan
    2019-05-29 08:31

    Predictable with average writing. Hopefully his novels improve as I go along.

  • Caroline
    2019-06-11 10:24

    AN ACCEPTABLE BOOK. I like disease books. I picked up this book because it was advertised to me as a disease book. There is decidedly LESS disease in this book than I want in my disease books. Qualify this as a medical thriller or as a mystery, and it is entertaining for sure. Today I finished One Hundred Years of Solitude, which took me 5 days on the beach to get through. I read Outbreak in the intermediary 6 hours before bed. It's fast paced, I wanted to know what was going to happen, and it kept me turning pages. A GOOD beach book. As a feminist, however, I am indignant. I was PAINFULLY aware, as I read, that Marissa was a female protagonist written by a man. Trivial things kept me aware of this fact, like how she constantly stopped to reapply her makeup, which would NOT HAVE BEEN A CONCERN of a real woman being pursued by people trying to infect her with Ebola. There is also the truth that none of the other significant characters in Outbreak are female. While the action follows Marissa and she gets to play sleuth, all the AGENCY in the book belongs to her male colleagues. They save an unconscious Marissa in the end, cutting short her final confrontation with the bad guys so that the men can be the heroes. The GREATEST offense to my feminist sensibilities, however, by far, is in the fact that Marissa ends up with her predatory boss. This is a man with a large ego who is so wounded by Marissa's initial rejection that he takes it out on her professionally. This is a man whose only virtue, besides finding it in his heart LATE in the book to listen to his female colleague and having the basic human decency upon finding she is correct to keep her from being shot, seems to be the fact that he is more attractive than one of the men Marissa is initially dating (who turns out to be implicated in the central conspiracy). Why doesn't she end up with the lab employee who has her back the whole time and listens to her from the very beginning? Why doesn't she end up without a romantic relationship proving to herself in the wake of the last breakup that launched her into deep depression that she can BE without a man? WHO CAN SAY? The other big flaw that made me uncomfortable while reading: black characters are referred to several times as "blacks." I get that this book is from the eighties but I am a young white liberal and I am still offended, as we are wont to be. All in all, a decent book. Fulfilled the purpose I had picked out: I liked reading it. It's a well constructed thriller and good science fiction. If you want terribly much else from your books, don't feel bad about passing on this one.

  • Alex
    2019-06-06 09:14

    Despite admiring Cook’s ability not to shy away from loading his book up with medical terminology, this one is so 80s. It’s fast, sensational, and has a weird way of depicting male and female relationships.Seriously, if you were a woman trying to contain a series of viral outbreaks across the United States, would you really be thinking about how attractive or unattractive the people you work with are? And if you were a military man meeting this woman for the first time, would the first words out of your mouth TO HER be about her looks? Marissa Blumenthal seems equally concerned about where her next sexual partner is going to come from as she does about how the virus in this book is spreading and how she’s going to stop it. It was cheesy, forced, and unrealistic at times.Also, once you realize this book is just a series of chase scenes, you start to feel a little tired and wonder how else Marissa will miraculously manage to get out of her present situation. Some of the stuff is just plain silly, including a scene where she’s fighting off an attacker while cowering under a hotel bed. Needless to say, more than a few eyebrows were raised.The best part of this book was the beginning. Everything that dealt with the initial 1976 African outbreak was really good, and I was excited for more along those lines, but I got a Hollywood action movie with a lame duck ending and an even worse epilogue where Marissa finds a man attractive who creeped on her and forced her to kiss him in a hotel earlier in the book...and she admitted that she was uncomfortable around him.Bah.The writing is fine in this book, but it never really takes the time to establish mood because its goal is to be in constant motion. There’s something to be admired in that, as that’s the essence of a page turner, but it can also burn you out if it’s just one hit after another after another after another...In 2018, there are far better and more entertaining books you can read that provide an equal amount of adrenaline without all the silly stuff mentioned above.

  • Anne
    2019-05-27 10:16

    Erinomainen kirja. Pidän lääketieteellisistä mysteereistä, ja kirja eteni sopivasti niin, ettei toimintaa ollut liikaa. Mysteereissä pitää jättää tilaa sille, että päähenkilö pohtii tilannetta ja tekee tutkimuksia, on epämiellyttävää jos koko ajan vain ryntäillään ympäriinsä. (view spoiler)[ Menettää pisteitä, koska lopun romanssi Dubchekin kanssa tuntui päälle liimatulta, etenkin kun hän ja Marissa olivat suuren osan kirjasta toistensa kurkuissa kiinni. Olisi ollut paljon luontevampaa, jos Marissa olisi mennyt yksiin Tadin kanssa. (hide spoiler)]

  • Scott Vandrick
    2019-05-25 08:25

    Exactly what I thought it would be; a by-the-numbers race between the innocent doctor who stumbles upon the a horrible truth and the greedy, bad guys trying to stop her. At times sexist and annoying at other times a thrilling chase. Cook’s writing is clean and to the point, but when he says “…she knew that he cares…” more than four times in 300 pages, let's just think a moment.

  • Holly
    2019-06-11 10:09

    Didn't expect it to turn into a political thriller. Kind of a fun read, but the ebola/epidemiology bits were almost an afterthought. Oh, and I'm not sure I've ever read a book that gave such a clear impression of the casual sexual harassment (that I'm told was) common in workplaces in the 1980s as this one.

  • Davon
    2019-05-31 11:16

    A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.

  • Arielle
    2019-06-16 05:16

    Very easy reading and exciting story. I would definitely considering reading more from Robin Cook.

  • Jan Grim
    2019-06-16 11:16

    Another great book by Robin CookI didn't know until the very end how it was going to end , that makes for entertaining reading. Enjoy every Cook book.

  • Reema
    2019-06-18 06:19

    Chilling thriller

  • Jannah
    2019-06-02 04:11

    Great book. Suspense from beginning to end. Based on believable medical facts and a story that seems like it rely could happen.