Inside Boston Doctors Hospital, patients are dying. In the glare of the operating room, they survive the surgeon’s knife. But in the dark, hollow silence of the night, they die. Suddenly, inexplicable, horribly. A tough, bright doctor will risk his very life-for a dedicated young nurse who unknowingly holds the answers.
Begun in 1979 and published in 1982. After my agent, Jane Berkey read the manuscript for my first effort, The Corey Prescription, which I wrote a page or so a night over a year, she decided that my dramatic instincts were far better than the book. In her opinion it was certainly publishable, but there was no way to fix it so that it would be anything more than a “mid-list” paperback–one that the publishers put at the middle of the list their sales force took to the book buyers. She asked for other ideas, and I sent her ten or so. One of those ideas was “Secret society of doctors dedicated to mercy killing.” Nothing more than that. She liked that idea but wondered about something. Did I know that 75% of those who buy and read books in this country are women? Was there any way I could make the secret society nurses? The moment she said that, my brain exploded with ideas. I had stumbled on the essence of fiction writing: CONFLICT (see writing tips) Ultimately, I wrote a 70-page OUTLINE (again, writing tips) and also the prologue. The book was sold in that form to the late Linda Grey at Dell. Soon after, she left for Bantam and took me and The Sisterhood with her. I have been with Bantam Books ever since. After four or five major rewrites, while Linda taught me the basic essentials of the writing craft, the book was published as a paperback original. Skipping hardcover made the book much less of a gamble for Bantam, so they were able to get the book to the public in large numbers. To date it has had more than 30 printings and has been translated into 36 languages.