The Fifth Vial

  • by Michael Palmer
  • Narrated by J. Charles
  • 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Get drawn into a novel of medical suspense that begins with these chilling questions: Who ends up with the blood samples you routinely give for tests? What else are they being used for? Why don't you know?From Boston, a disgraced medical student travels to South America to deliver a research paper that could save her career and becomes a victim of an unspeakable crime....Thousands of miles away, a brilliant, reclusive scientist, dying from an incurable disease that threatens to make each tortured breath his last, is on the verge of perfecting a serum that could save millions of lives, and bring others inestimable wealth....In Chicago, a disillusioned private detective, on the way to his third career, is hired to determine the identity of a John Doe, killed on a Florida highway, with mysterious marks on his body.Three seemingly disconnected lives, surging unrelentingly toward one another. Three lives becoming irrevocably intertwined. Three lives in mounting peril, moving ever closer to the ultimate confrontation against a deadly secret society with godlike aspirations and roots in antiquity.Medical student. Scientist. Private eye. Three people who will learn the deeper meanings of brilliance and madness, truth and deception, trust and betrayal.Three lives linked forever by a single vial of blood: the fifth vial.


What the Critics Say

"A terrifying vision of the Hippocratic oath gone very wrong." (Entertainment Weekly)
"Palmer taps a real medical issue for storytelling thrills." (Boston magazine)
"A tale set at the very edge of our medical knowledge. I loved it!" (Tess Gerritsen)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

accents, oh dear

the narrator ruined it for me. Unfortunately, the story calls for a wide variety of foreign accents, all of which are affected by the narrator as a sort of transylvanian vampire/swedish chef.
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- Amazon Customer


This book seems to be only a rearrangement of some core concepts found in his other books with simple modifications. While the concept is very intriguing, the dialog is simple and the plot twists can be seen miles away. The ending is especially ridiculous, complete with warriors sacrificing their lives, good guys double-crossing and turning out to be evil, bad guys getting their comeuppance, and the heroine saving the day and all turning out wonderfully for her. More cheese than a pound of Velveeta.
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- PSinger

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-06-2008
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio