"Wanted: Eggs from Ivy-league coeds. Will pay $45,000."
An advertisement to this effect catches the attention of two Harvard graduate students, the protagonists of Robin Cook's new medical thriller, "Shock" (Putnam, $24.95, 370 pages).
They wonder if the ad is a prank, but decide the advertiser, the Wingate Infertility Clinic, must be serious.
Enticed by the generous pay, roommates and Ph.D. candidates Joanna and Deborah go to the clinic and donate.
With the money they earn, they spend a year and a half in Italy, writing their theses. When they return to the States, Joanna is seized by a compulsion to find out what has happened to her eggs.
When the clinic refuses to release the information, Joanna and Deborah get jobs there under false identities.
No bullets fly and no cadavers roll in this novel, but the terror it exudes is just as intense as or even more than some action-packed thrillers.
"Shock" is one of Cook's most memorable medical thrillers.