There are no virulent viruses or emerging epidemics, but Michael Palmer's latest medical mystery thriller, The Patient, will keep you glued to your speakers and headphones. The "patient" here is an extremely nasty fellow, a vicious international mercenary who will blow up a plane or blow away a world leader for the right price. Unfortunately for him, he has a brain tumor that must be removed; unfortunately for a brilliant brain surgeon in Boston, the patient knows that the doctor has developed an extraordinary, minute robotic device that can save his life. The patient, and his intimate and equally nasty entourage, will go to any lengths to insure the success of the procedure; the surgeon must make sure that those lengths do not become a reality. Reader Lisa Harrow is an odd choice, but you'll probably be too engrossed to notice.