Categories of Suspense: Medical Thrillers

Again, I’m probing the depths of wisdom in T. Macdonald Skilman’s book, WRITING THE THRILLER. Today we’re looking at the definition of Medical Thrillers.

It’s pretty self-explanatory. Skillman says: “Doomsday viruses, chemical weapons, research scientists run amok, terrorists in possession of anthrax and God knows what other twentieth- and twenty-first-century plagues. Other plots that fit this category might involve managed care providers who decide senior citizens should die early as a cost-cutting measure, or otherwise manipulate the system for the sake of the bottom line. Unethical medical personnel, power-huntry surgeons, nurses with vendettas, aides prematurely sending terminal patients to their final reward.”

Sometimes the genres blend a little. A medical thriller dealing with politics could easily be labeled a political thriller. A medical thriller that takes place in space is science fiction. But if the primary focus is medical crisis, it’s a medical thriller. A few books from this category are HARVEST and LIFE SUPPORT by Tess Gerritsen, COMA by Robin Cook, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN by Michael Crichton, and PANDORA’S CLOCK by John J. Nance.

For what it’s worth,

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