The world of popular fiction lost one of its best craftsman eight years ago: on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013, Michael Palmer passed away. He was one of the innovators of the thriller genre: he wrote medical thrillers — intense, fast-paced mysteries featuring a medical doctor as the Everyman hero who gets caught up in a perilous adventure.
I read many of his novels as I was preparing and writing my own variation on the genre — a veterinary medical thriller, in which the medical Everyman is a small-town animal doctor who finds herself mixed up in a corporate whistle-blowing scheme against a big, bad pharmaceutical company.
Palmer was known for being an extraordinarily generous writer, so naturally helpful and encouraging that he included his own agent’s contact info on his website and invited aspiring authors to send in their work to the agency. His website also features excellent “how-to” tips for beginning and experienced writers alike, not just in the medical thriller genre but in all types of storytelling. Unfortunately, his website has been taken off-line since his death. I, for one, would welcome the posthumous re-publication of his website articles.
He also conquered drug and alcohol dependency and became an advocate for his colleagues in medicine who faced similar struggles. Read this brief but touching tribute from a fellow medical professional, the former CEO of a large urban hospital.
Books of his that I read and enjoyed include:
…with thanks to Chicago-area author Joelle Charbonneau for introducing me to Palmer’s novels.
a tribute to Michael Palmer on The Big Thrill.
The Big Thrill (the website of the International Thriller Writers association.