Review: Nano

Nano by Robin Cook
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book further carries the adventures of Pia Grazdani, a headstrong, focused young woman, who graduated medical school, but due to the circumstances in “Death Benefit” decided to take some time off from her approaching residency to take a position at Nano, working on some bioengineering problems with their nano medical issues, to see if she wants to become a researcher or a doctor, or both.

The head of the company is a self-made billionaire, Zach Berman, who although he is not a scientist, has managed to learn a lot about the business and secured the services of top scientists in his quest to use molecular nanos in everything from paint and coatings, to medicine. His father died early from Alzheimer’s. His mother is in the last throes of it, and he has tested for the gene, so with this sword hanging over his head, he is pushing the bonds of medical ethics in a effort to make strides beyond what anyone else is doing. He has enlisted the help of some Chinese businessmen and representatives of the country, who, once they see the strides he has taken in developing some of the medical uses, will provide him with enough capital to continue his research, while they take the information on many of the other developments home with them. He is mostly interested in the microbivores, tiny little nano machines that eat “bad” things, like cancer cells, and the plaques that form on the brain in Alzheimr’s patients.

Pia is again alone, having dumped her sometime boyfriend George in LA, where he is doing is residency in radiology, and come to Boulder, lured by the exciting new work being done. But as Berman becomes more and more infatuated with her, she stumbles onto some things that she finds questionable, and being Pia, is like a dog with a bone – can’t let it go, until she knows the truth. She enlists the help of a gay ER physician to help her, but he is only willing to go so far, not to bend the law. So she strikes out on her own, testing the security and patience of Nano. Once again she must be rescued from herself, which is the reason I gave it only 3 stars. her antics were enough for one book, and while I appreciated the bio-ethical implications of this new technology, I wish they had spent more time on that, and ramped up the tension, instead of concentrating on Pia, Berman, and her capers. She can be tiring in larger doses, and I guess, reading the two books back to back, I’d had enough. And the ending left you hanging, something I don’t recall as much in his previous books – sure, there have been loose threads, what thriller doesn’t have them, but this one had way too many completely dangling sections.

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