A Case of Need

  • by Michael Crichton, Jeffery Hudson
  • Narrated by Nick Podehl
  • 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Boston, 1968
When one doctor is accused of murder, it takes another to set him free.
In the tightly knit world of Boston medicine, the Randall family reigns supreme. When heart surgeon J. D. Randall's teenage daughter dies during a botched abortion, the medical community threatens to explode. Was it malpractice? A violation of the Hippocratic Oath? Or was Karen Randall murdered in cold blood?
The natural suspect is Arthur Lee, a brilliant surgeon and known abortionist, who has been carrying out the illegal procedure with the help of pathologist John Berry. After Karen dies, Lee is thrown in jail on a murder charge, and only Berry can prove his friend wasn't the one who wielded the scalpel. Behind this gruesome death, Berry will uncover a secret that would shock even the most hardened pathologist.
A Case of Need was adapted to the screen as The Carey Treatment, directed by Blake Edwards and starring James Coburn.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting in unexpected ways

This is one of the early Michael Crichton books he wrote as a med student, but it's clear that his talent for novel writing (the structure and language) is there already. His books zip along with interest and speed, without being too light and frivolous, and without being too heavy and ponderous. Good beach reads, and that's a talent of it's own.

The facts and social opinions of the day are dated and/or outmoded.....pre- Roe vs Wade and the national discussion on abortion, doctors' wives who keep homes, raise children, and gossip with each other, almost everyone smoked (including doctors), and doctors were referred to as almost exclusively male (as was the case in the late 60s, when med students were still 90% male). Still, I find that doesn't matter much to my enjoyment of the book.......none of those things really impact the narrative or the plot of the book except for the hesitancy of people to discuss abortions.

I found some unexpected things to be very interesting - the argument that the one of reason abortions were illegal was that they were relatively safe, and that if the morbidity and mortality rate were higher, there would be more pressure to allow them to be done (and obtained) legally. Also the depiction of how doctors truly do make the worst patients, and how doctors use language, knowledge, and a "one of the guys" code to protect themselves. Oh, and that it seemed everyone, including doctors, smoked.

Listen to the appendices - there's some interesting information and insight that Michael Crichton probably wanted to include but couldn't find a way -- but it's still very interesting.
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- Calliope

Nick Podal you rock !

he is an amazing voice actor well one of them. I would listen to any book he reads anytime
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- charro

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-04-2015
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio