The Silent Cradle

Margaret Cuthbert
Pocket, 1998. 348pp
ISBN: 0-671-01513-3

review by Harriet Klausner

Dr. Rae Duprey, head of the Berkeley Hills Hospital OB/GYN department, learns that the board is considering shutting down her section for economical reasons. Apparently, Rae's department is losing money because it is unable to compete with the Birth Center, run by her ex-boyfriend Bo Michaels. However, a bigger crisis occurs when a rash of Birth Center patients begins to arrive at Berkeley Hills' emergency room with deadly complications. Rae is blamed and subsequently fired.

Not one to sit back, Rae begins to investigate the abnormal amount of emergency deliveries. As she digs deeper into the mystery, Rae realizes that someone, who knows obstetrics and the hospital from an insider's perspective, is making money via medical vandalism.

The Silent Cradle is an intriguing medical thriller whose characters need CPR to turn them from caricatures to people. The story line is interesting and moves forward at a rapid pace, a happenstance which ensures the audiences' undivided attention. Margaret Cuthbert demonstrates she has plenty of talent (see the ER scenes), but needs to humanize her heroine, support cast, and villain. Still fans of the sub-genre will enjoy the cut-throat (literally) competitive edge to the health industry, especially when it comes to the baby boom business.

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