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Monday, October 12, 2020

'Just Get Lost In The Story'

“I just want people to get lost in the story and at the end kind of sag and say, 'That was fun.' It's hardly my desire for them to sit and think, 'What a great literary image.'” – Michael Palmer


Palmer, born on Oct. 9, 1942, leveraged his medical background (he was an Emergency Room doctor and Internist) into writing 21 medical thrillers, a number of which made the New York Times bestseller List and many that were translated into other languages for worldwide distribution. 


Best known among his works were Side Effects, a novel based on covert Nazi medical testing in WWII, and Extreme Measures, featuring a promising young doctor who discovers criminal activities by his hospital’s leadership team.  Extreme Measures was also made into a popular movie.


In addition to his writing and his regular medical practice, Palmer served as an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society Physician Health Services, which is devoted to helping physicians troubled by mental illness, physical illness, behavioral issues, and chemical dependency.

Palmer, who died in October of 2013, dealt with substance abuse issues of his own, and said writing helped get him back on track.  He told the Associated Press that writing suspense thrillers and working out the internal logic of their intricate plots became a kind of long-term therapy before it became his profession. “I loved the feeling of being in control when my life was not.”


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