In both Marker and Shock, the female protagonists say, "My word," often enough to start a drinking game. You could also have a drinking game everytime one character uses full names and titles to speak about a person to another character that they both know - but since the reader doesn't, our girls have to become Cook's version of the Greek Chorus. They also function as the Interlocutor, especially when the girls use their own "Cookspeak", a language used to educate the reader and each other, repeatedly and most times redundantly, which is uh...stilted, formal English.
But I am used to his dialogue now, unlike most people complaining about the effect being new, I found it in almost every book I read by him over the years, so I was just resigned to it. And it does make for a good drinking game.
Enough about the unrealistic chatter, the point is to get the story moving along and learn a little something painlessly in the process. It may not be as much fun as a Chrichton novel, but once you can get past your dislike for cardboard cutout dolls there is a story there and it is a nice timewaster, plot holes and all. Throw in some suspenseful action and some good imagery,and you may enjoy learning a little something along the way.
Some teachers are very dull and dry and detached and it is hard to care about the subject matter, but Cook at least tries to make his points with characters who almost try to sound like real people he may have once overheard talking. Hey, it's a Robin Cook book, you should know what to expect. I am a skimmer reader anyway, so that may explain why I don't get myself bogged down in too many extraneous details or formal dialogues.
This is edutainment, even Dan Brown can have his characters start talking on stilts now and then, but it doesn't mean I won't listen to what they say. Maybe most of these medical/theological mystery writers need to take a crash course from Jeffrey Deaver, if he were to offer a class in, oh, how about Basic Character Speech Patterns 101, with emphasis on current cultural language development. Anyway I give this 3 stars because it was a good waste of my time, and am going to start reading Seizure now to see if that will add anything to the drinking game. My word, I hope it shall!