Vector (Jack Stapleton Series #4)

Vector (Jack Stapleton Series #4)

by Robin Cook

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New York City cab driver Yuri Davydov is a disgruntled Russian emigre poised to lash out at the adoptive nation he believes has denied him the American Dream. A former technician in the Soviet biological weapons system, Biopreparat, Yuri possesses the knowledge to wreak havoc in his new home. But before he executes his planned piece de resistance of vengeance, he experiments first on his suspicious live-in girlfriend, then on a few poor-tipping fares.... Dr. Jack Stapleton and Dr. Laurie Montgomery (both last seen in Chromosome 6) begin to witness some unusual cases in their capacity as forensic pathologists in the city's medical examiner's office: a young, healthy black woman dies of respiratory failure, a Greek immigrant succumbs to a sudden, overwhelming pneumonia. At the same time, the pair are pressured from above to focus on a high-profile string of suspicious deaths of prisoners in police custody. When an unexpected breakthrough persuades Jack that these seemingly unrelated deaths are really connected murders, his colleagues and superiors are skeptical. Only Laurie is somewhat convinced. But the question soon becomes whether the pair will solve the puzzle before Yuri unleashes into the streets of New York the ultimate terror: a modern bioweapon. With signature skill, Robin Cook has crafted a page-turning thriller rooted in up-to-the-minute biotechnology. Vector is all-too-plausible fiction at its terrifying best.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101203736
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/01/1999
Series: Jack Stapleton Series , #4
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 102,079
File size: 569 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Robin Cook, M.D., is the author of more than thirty books and is credited with popularizing the medical thriller with his wildly successful first novel, Coma. He divides his time among Florida, New Hampshire, and Boston. His most recent novels include Host, Cell, and Nano.

Table of Contents


On Wednesday, March 10th, welcomed Robin Cook to discuss VECTOR.

Moderator: Welcome, Robin Cook! Thank you for taking the time to join us online this evening. How are you doing tonight?

Robin Cook: I am doing very well.

Margo from Philadelphia, PA: Good evening, Mr. Cook. Do you have any realistic fears that something similar to the events described in VECTOR could really happen? I know it happened in Tokyo with the nerve gas, but do you consider the scenario described in VECTOR to be possible?

Robin Cook: I think it is definitely going to happen, and unfortunately with a lot of my books what I have written about has happened. And now I am terrified after writing VECTOR that it will happen sooner rather than later.

Marie from Connecticut: Do you think groups like the People's Aryan Army really exist?

Robin Cook: Unfortunately, people like this organization do exist, and there are an estimated 40,000-50,000 people who feel so strongly that they are willing to commit violent acts to create panic and chaos.

Marco Aurelio from Fortaleza, Brazil: Hello there, Mr. Robin Cook! I'm thrilled to be able to chat with you. You are a very dear author to me. I loved all your books, especially CHROMOSOME 6. I have close friends who also loved each of your books, and my biology teacher is always mesmerized with them (as well as me). I have three questions for you: 1) Since I loved the character Candace, I'd like to ask: Do you have plans to write another book in which Candace will feature? She's very funny and smart! Please, give me hope! 2) What was your purpose when writing VECTOR? What's the message you want to give to the reader? 3) Do you read the books by Michael Palmer? What do you think about him? Thank you, Mr. Cook. Thank you for all the good times of reading and pleasure.

Robin Cook: I have been invited by my Brazilian publisher to come to Brazil in April for a large book fair in Rio. 1)Candace was in my book ACCEPTABLE RISK, which was a book that I liked because it involved the Salem Witch Trials. I don't presently have nay plans to use her again, not like I have used Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton, who are the main characters in VECTOR. 3) Michael Palmer decided to write medical thrillers after reading COMA, and I have to say that I have not read one, but I have encouraged many of my doctor friends to write.

Hank Gilbert from Austin, TX: Dear Mr. Cook: How are you tonight? Just wondering what your opinion of Hollywood is. Do you like to see your novels turned into movies? Are there any plans for VECTOR yet? Thank you and have a pleasant night. Goodbye.

Robin Cook: I have mixed feelings about Hollywood. I have had good experiences, and I have had bad experiences, but I still would like to see some of my important books turned into movies because then the message gets out to people who might not read. The biggest plan is that I just teamed up with Jerry Bruckheimer to use Laurie and Jack as the main characters for a new TV drama series -- that is new information.

Khusro Khan from New Jersey: Dr. Cook, as a bestselling author, what is the best piece of advice you can offer a budding novelist, such as myself, who is just starting out?

Robin Cook: The best advice I can give to an aspiring novelist is to read a lot and write a lot and have persistence, but I have also noted that most of the writers that I know have had some other career first that they can use as the background of their novels.

Rick from Orlando, FL: Dr. Cook -- I'm a great fan of your novels. Your ability to turn current health care issues into intriguing stories is remarkable. My question is, What are your thoughts about the recent attempts by some physicians to unionize their profession? Is this the step that is needed for them to wrest back the control of patient care from the insurance companies and malpractice attorneys and to rescue the American health care system?

Robin Cook: I do believe that physicians should be given the ability to deal appropriately with HMOs and insurance companies, and if that is the way it has to be then that is the way it should go, but my hope is that there would be a new association between doctors and patients, because they are the two groups that are left out of the current system.

Marco Aurelio from Fortaleza, Brazil: Have you ever been asked to cowrite a book with another bestselling author? If yes, who asked you? Do you still think that "creativity by committee" is not a good idea? Thank you, Mr. Cook!

Robin Cook: I have been asked several times to collaborate with a number of people, but I have always turned it down. I still feel that creativity by committee is an oxymoron.

Margaret McCrary from Albany, GA: How can I get an autographed copy of one of your books? I would love to obtain one. Will you be on a book tour that will bring you to Albany, Macon, or Columbus, Georgia? How could I get an autographed first edition if your touring doesn't bring you this way? Thanks!

Robin Cook: I will be in Atlanta at the Barnes & Noble, 2900 Peach Tree Road, on Wednesday, March 17th at 7pm ET.

Tom from Sudbury, MA: Was there any particular news story or incident that was a major inspiration for VECTOR?

Robin Cook: The major inspiration for VECTOR came from learning about a leak of anthrax from a secret Soviet factory in the Ural Mountains in 1979. It was in a city called Sverdlovsk.

Nicolas from Springfield, NJ: Are there ever any days that you wish you were still working in medicine?

Robin Cook: Actually, I still feel like a doctor who writes rather than a writer who is a doctor. I just feel like my patient base has gone from hundreds to millions.

Margaret McCrary from Albany, GA: Hello. I am enjoying reading your books. Thank you for sharing your talents with us. My first question is, When you begin writing a novel, do you have the entire work outlined in your head, or do you just begin writing and develop the plot as you go? Also, did you feel that the movie "A Civil Action" could have been a spin-off of your book FEVER? I couldn't help but think that as I watched the movie. Thanks for your time!

Robin Cook: Before I start writing my books I do a very complete outline that goes through three variations. For one book my outline was more than 250 type pages, and the resulting manuscript was only 600 pages. In regard to your second question, "A Civil Action" was shockingly like FEVER, and that is the reason I am so terrified about VECTOR.

Dennis from Martha's Vineyard, MA: I am a physician who recently attended the Bioterrorism Conference in Washington, DC, and I was curious as to your thoughts regarding the possible use of anthrax or smallpox as a weapon and also your thoughts regarding smallpox being maintained as opposed to being destroyed.

Robin Cook: I feel that both anthrax and smallpox are the two most probable organisms to be used in a bioterrorist event. So said, in retrospect I wish that smallpox had been totally destroyed.

Margaret McCrary from Albany, GA: Hello Dr.Cook, it's me again -- Margaret! After being loaned your book TOXIN in April '98, I have not been able to eat beef again. At all. Zip. None. Nada. Have you had other readers tell you this same thing after reading TOXIN? It was very vivid for me as well as the friend that loaned me the book. We laugh about beef checkups when we see each other, questioning if either one of us has had any since seeing each other last. Neither one of us has!

Robin Cook: I still eat beef, but I have changed my behavior when it comes to ground meat. If I eat it, it has to be well, well done. When I have a steak, I do not puncture the surface of the steak with a fork to let the marinade get inside.

Nancy from Miami, FL: Do you think there are many similarities between Robin Cook and Dr. Jack Stapleton?

Robin Cook: I do, actually. Both Jack and I enjoy playing daily basketball. We both have a latent antipathy toward bureaucracy, but I would never ride a mountain bike down Second Avenue in New York.

John from Good evening, Mr. Cook. Do you think your writing has changed over the course of writing so many books? Have you noticed a difference in writing from, just say, a book like OUTBREAK compared to VECTOR?

Robin Cook: As I have written more and more books, I believe my writing has become better because I have been forced to learn on the job. Unfortunately, although I went to a very good liberal arts college, I didn't take any of those difficult and tough courses like English or writing and had to stay with courses like plasma physics.

Khusro Khan from New Jersey: What is the harder job, being an eye doctor or writing a novel?

Robin Cook: Being a doctor and being a writer are completely different occupations. And that is one reason that they go so well together, because being a good doctor makes you look very closely at your patients as people, and being a good writer means that you have had a lot of experience with people and crises.

Hannah Pleasant from Birmingham, AL: What type of research do you do before you write a novel. Anything in particular for VECTOR? Keep writing great novels!

Robin Cook: I do a lot of research before any novel that I write. With VECTOR, I ended up doing much more research than I expected because I found the issue so terrifying and fascinating.

Marco Aurelio from Fortaleza, Brazil: Have you ever considered the possibility of having someone write a biography of you?

Robin Cook: No. It is an interesting idea because I think my life shows that hard work, diligence, and a little bit of luck really can pay off in our current society.

David from East Hanover, NJ: What contemporary authors do you enjoy reading?

Robin Cook: I enjoy reading many of the books on the bestseller list. Right at the moment I am reading a book by Michael Connelly -- BLACK ECHO.

Dennis from Martha's Vineyard, MA: Dr. Cook, why did you leave the practice of medicine and begin writing?

Robin Cook: I don't feel as if I have left the practice of medicine. I still maintain my connections with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and I continue to stay current in medicine.

Ken and Sharon from Lebanon, PA: We haven't even finished VECTOR yet, but we would like to know if you have any topics for your next book?

Robin Cook: My next book is actually already outlined and ready for me to start writing it. The one after that is in the initial research stage. I am usually working on several topics at the same time but at different levels.

Khusro Khan from New Jersey: What intrigues me most about writers are their routines, habits, and writing desks. What, if any, are your special rituals and what does your working space consist of?

Robin Cook: One of my rituals is to have the desk be completely clean before I start writing -- I have to clean it off. I can't have any other projects or mail or bills or anything like that in the same room, because it is too easy to put of starting to write, because writing takes a lot of discipline. from xx: Do you research much on the Internet?

Robin Cook: Yes, I do some research on the Internet, particularly to download articles that I am interested in, but otherwise I find that it is best for me to go the direct source.

Jessica from New York City: I read that you do extensive research before writing each novel. Did you research what it is like to be a cabdriver for VECTOR?

Robin Cook: Whenever I get into a cab I always look to see the name of the individual driver and try to play a game of guessing what country he is from, and I always have a conversation with the driver. I guess that is partly because I think if we become friends he will drive a little better.

Andy from Hoboken, NJ: What do you think of the book jacket for VECTOR? How much say do you have in the final jacket?

Robin Cook: I liked the cover for VECTOR. I had wanted to change the main direction of my covers to more of a design rather than an image, and yet, when I did the cover or saw the cover with just the V, I thought it needed something else to give it a nonfiction look, even though everyone knows it is a novel.

Moderator: Thank you for joining us this evening, Robin Cook. It's been a thrill having you with us. Before you go, do you have any closing comments for your online audience?

Robin Cook: I hope that people like VECTOR as much as I do. I think is the best ending that I have come up with for one of my novels, and I think it is the best ending that I have come across for a thriller like this, and I hope the general public feels the same.

Customer Reviews

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Vector 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robin Cook's Vector is a good thriller that held my attention to the end. I had a minor problem with noticeably hackneyed verbiage just one time. Telling most readers that orifice can be a malapropism for office detracted me from the author's craftsmanship. I had a major problem with Cook wanting me to believe that a single lab technician from Biopreparat's Sverdlovsk Compound 19 could produce both weaponized anthrax and botulinun toxin in quantity, in his basement, in a short time, all the while consuming prodigious amounts of vodka. It is not that easy. Many public documents, available to Cook and many readers, report Compound 19, and the connected Compound 32, employed close to 10,000 (15,000 people resided inside the two compounds). These scientists and technicians had help from institutes and universities throughout the Soviet Union. Cook's Yuri wasn't good enough to keep his job in this group. If fermenting anthrax using beer production methods could work, why didn't the Soviets (or Iraq, for that matter) just put a big fence around one of their many breweries? Cook could have made Yuri a lot more credible, and bio-weapons more real, with better research.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very interesting medical thriller that grabs your attention but I felt it was not quite as well written as others out there. I read this right before I read Critical Judgment by Michael Palmer and I found that Critical Judgment was a better novel overall due to the fact that the story seemed be very specific rather than being to general. Nevertheless, this is a very good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a good book. I read it during my freashman year in high school this year. Even though I put it down for a few weeks once I pick it back up and couldn't put it back down. It was the best book I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cmchavis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As others have said - predictable. Decent story and a very quick read, my first read from Robin Cook. I'll look into others to see if what I didn't like is prevalent in his writing or if only in this book. I didn't like how everyone was connected, it seemed like way too much coincidence - with 7 million people in New York, I cannot imagine everyone having that much in common with each other - it's like 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Otherwise, I'm glad the story wasn't overbearing on patriotism and presented the events in the story in a a well thought out, albeit contrived manor.
CarlaR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't give high praise to this book. If you are a fan of Robin Cook then you will like this one, and if you don't like his books then you won't like it.Personally I generally find his books to be fun, quick, and easy, for those times when I need a solid story to spend a day losing myself in. Once you start reading it the plot will keep you reading on.
fingerpost on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A New York City cab driver who was formerly a Russian biowarfare specialist (seems like a stretch, but that's Cook for you) pairs up with some white supremacists (OK, that's a stretch too...) to make a bioweapon to attack a federal building.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
interesting medical drama. very prescient really. An neo-nazi group get a disgruntled russian bio-chemical technican to make them a batch of anthrax to use on a government office. When Jack Stapelton of the New York Chief Medical office discovers a body that has died of anthrax little does he suspect the roller-coaster ride he's about to embark on.I really enjoyed this read. Even if Robin Cook is a little paranoid about the potential future of bio-terrorism. It was a really quick read. Having enjoyed this one I'd look for more by him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in high school and could not put it down. By far the best book I have ever read!!! Highly recommended!
GrammieSE More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Robim Cook since reading COMA...nice read for a lazy afternoon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable, but a little predictable. Very engaging.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Outstanding, well done Dr. Cook! More twists and turns than a bag of pretzels. I just could not put this book down it is a real edge of the seat read. The pages just fly by with intense entertainment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Vector by Robin Cook is forgettable at best. It's not that its really all that bad its just that its like a mediocre action film, theres nothing special here. In fact, I thought it was rather boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An okay plot that is somewhat hampered by the story's predictability, somewhat wooden characters, and convenient coincidences. The writing is better than some other recent Cook thrillers, but still not as well crafted as some of his earliest works. Rather than forging new ground, this once again follows the latest headlines.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another awesome book written by Robin Cook. A edge-of-your-seat thriller! I couldn't put the book down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the best thriller I have ever read. Its a pity that this is not made into a movie. It would be good for moral because of 9/11. It does hit close to home, and it scared me to know how easy it is to grow anthrax in your basement. This novel seemed realistic and I think that everyone should read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a big SK fan but i decided to take a break and i read vector. It was awesome! It had an interesting plot and a good ending! Even if you dont enjoy reading get this book and you'll want to read books like crazy(trust me).