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Publisher's Summary

Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were roommates at the Naval Academy in Annapolis years ago. Today, Gabe is a country doctor and his friend Andrew has gone from war hero to governor to President of the United States. One day, while the United States is embroiled in a bitter presidential election campaign, Marine One lands on Gabe's Wyoming ranch, and President Stoddard delivers a disturbing revelation and a startling request. His personal physician has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, and he desperately needs Gabe to take the man's place. Despite serious misgivings, Gabe agrees to come to Washington.
It is not until he is ensconced in the White House medical office that Gabe realizes there is strong evidence that the President is going insane. Facing a crisis of conscience - as President Stoddard's physician, he has the power to invoke the 25th Amendment to transfer presidential power to the vice president - Gabe uncovers increasing evidence that his friend's condition may not be due to natural causes.
Who? Why? And how? The president's life is at stake. A small-town doctor suddenly finds himself in the most powerful position on earth, and the safety of the world is in jeopardy. Gabe Singleton must find the answers, and the clock is ticking.
©2008 Michael Palmer (P)2007 Brilliance Audio
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Critic Reviews

"[An] over-the-top yet endlessly entertaining thriller....The roller-coaster ride of a plot builds to an undeniably shocking conclusion." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Audiophile on 08-15-09

OK airplane novel. Excellent narration

Another one of Michael Palmer's semi-medical thrillers about the U.S. President's personal physician who becomes embroiled in a sinister plot that has lead to the disappearance of his predecessor. Palmer does not write as good a medical thriller as Robin Cook, nor as good a political thriller as David Baldacci, but does a passable job. The plot would make a great "made-for-TV" cable movie. The characters are not very engaging but who cares as long as the chase is on. The narrator, Phil Gigante, is one of my favorites. He does his novels in different voices so they tend to come across like a radio play rather than a narrative. I particularly like his European accents in the Dan Silva novels. His southern accents are a little too strong for my taste, but it is always clear who is speaking. I bought this one on the one-penny per minute sale and it was worth every cent if you want a good listen for the beach or the plane.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Carol on 05-29-08

The First Patient (unabridged)

this book is just ok. the actual plot line is interesting and could have been gripping, if not for the relentless use of cliches; too much aimless banter between the President and his doctor; and the sudden rush to tie up lose ends in the last few moments of the book. as it is, the solving of the mystery is predictable with the characters rarely allowed to venture beyond the sterotypical outlines imposed by the author. the president's character comes off looking like a thoughtless idiot and few of his actions or conversatons ring true. a potentially wonderful character is killed off before any of her potential can be developed, i think is book is sort of a chick-lit book, except for men.

the audio reader used a totally unrealistic southern accent for all the President's bits which was off putting to someone from the south.
Dick Ezell's read on Radio Reader was much better.

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6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Helen on 07-22-10


Stunning book and very well read. One of the best.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By faye on 01-14-15

predictable but still enjoyed it.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Perhaps not

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

A little less obvious. There was no doubt as to the "baddie".

Have you listened to any of Phil Gigante’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not sure voice is familiar. Not bad at all as a narrator.Very clear.

Could you see The First Patient being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Possibly - sort of thng I can see as a film with Martin Sheen as the dad.

Any additional comments?

I will try other books by this author despite finding it very predictable. I read, listen to hundreds of suspense/mystery books and really there are only so many stories to be told. Others might find it less obvious.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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