by Robin Cook
Book 2 in the Marissa Blumenthal series (1991)
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Here is Robin Cook’s most controversial medical thriller-the shocking story of experimental fertilization, the passion to create life, and the power to destroy it.
Where life begins, terror lurks…Only Robin Cook, acknowledged master of the techno-medical thriller, could have written this supremely chilling novel about the passion to create life—and the power to destroy it.
Millions of readers met crusading epidemiologist Marissa Blumenthal in the pages of the bestselling Outbreak. Now Robin Cook brings back his feisty heroine in a gripping new tale, Vital Signs—a roller-coaster ride into the unexpected and the utterly unconscionable.
In the eyes of her envious peers, Marissa has it all: a superb professional reputation, a flourishing pediatrics practice, even a fairy-tale marriage with the man of her dreams—Robert Buchanan, an entrepreneur involved in health-care administration and research.
But there is one thing Marissa does not have: the child she desperately desires. And when tests confirm that her sealed fallopian tubes have rendered her infertile, her perfect world begins to crumble. Obsessed with becoming pregnant, Marissa barely even notices the disastrous effect her idée fixe is having on her marriage and career.
When a little medical sleuthing points to suspicious origins of her infertility, Marissa boldly challenges the law. Along with Wendy, a new friend with a similar infertility problem, she breaks into a fertility clinic, travels to Australia, a center of in-vitro fertilization, then on to Hong Kong.
The two women’s exploration of the brave new world of reproductive technologies takes a shocking turn when Wendy is violently killed—and Marissa’s own life is mysteriously threatened. But personal danger does not deter her, and she allows herself to be drawn into the dark vortex of the baby-making business, where a woman’s dearest dream turns slowly, agonizingly to dread…