Murder and Medecine.
What is the Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery series about?
Written by American writer Robin Cook, the Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery series follows two pathologists as they work to solve various medical mysteries that come across their paths.
Jack Stapleton spends much of his free time focusing on those investigations to avoid thinking about his wife and children’s death. His relationship with pathologist Laurie Montgomery will evolve throughout the series.
They are at first colleagues, but they will become more and more as the series progresses.
How to read Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery Books in Order?
Every book in the Stapleton & Montgomery series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- Blindsight (1991)
- Contagion (1996)
- Chromosome 6 (1997)
- Vector (1999)
- Marker (2005)
- Crisis (2006)
- Critical (2007)
- Foreign Body (2008)
- Intervention (2009)
- Cure (2010)
- Pandemic (2018)
- Genesis (2019)
- Night Shift (2022)
- Manner of Death (2023)
What is the plot of the Jack Stapleton & Laurie Montgomery novels?
For more information about the books in the Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery series by Robin Cook, you’ll find below the official synopsis for all the books:
Blindsight – Today, organ transplants are common miracles of science. But if the supply cannot meet the demand, how far will people go to find donors? Dr. Laurie Montgomery, a forensic pathologist, learns the terrifying answer when she investigates a series of fatal “overdose” of young professionals. Some crimes are beyond comprehension. But seeing is believing…
Contagion – In a story of the dangers of managed health care, ophthalmologist-turned-foresic pathologist John Stapleton investigates a series of virulent and lethal illnesses targeting more costly patients of a giant for-profit medical conglomerate.
Chromosome 6 – The mutilated body of a notorious underworld figure leads forensic pathologist Dr. Jack Stapleton to a mysterious group in Africa that uses state-of-the-art medical technology for sinister purposes.
Vector – Dr Jack Stapleton begins to witness some unusual cases in his capacity as forensic pathologist in the City medical examiner’s office. A Greek immigrant apparently succumbs to sudden overwhelming pneumonia, while an obese Afro-American woman collapses with acute respiratory distress. When an unexpected coincidence suggests to Jack that these seemingly unrelated deaths are actually connected murders, his colleagues and superiors remain skeptical. Meanwhile he is taking himself deeper into deadly danger – but can he reach the heart of the puzzle before a modern bio-weapon is unleashed into the streets of New York?
Marker – A 28-year-old man seems the picture of health, until he fractures his leg while skating in New York’s Central Park. Within twenty-four hours of his surgical treatment he is dead. Next, a 36-year-old mother has knee surgery to repair a torn ligament in her knee – and within twenty-four hours she too has died. Confronted with a series of puzzling deaths of young, healthy patients after routine treatment, medical examiners Dr. Laurie Montgomery and Dr. Jack Stapleton begin to investigate. Up against resistance from her superiors, and also coping with a personal life that continues to fragment, precipitated by Jack’s inability to commit to their relationship, Laurie’s need for answers becomes even more urgent. Could all these deaths be intentional? With time winding down, she and Jack embark on a race to connect the dots.
Crisis – Shocked and humiliated by a medical malpractice lawsuit that compromises everything he has worked for, devoted physician Craig Bowman receives help from his estranged brother-in-law, medical examiner Jack Stapleton, who discovers a Pandora’s box of trouble after exhuming the body of Craig’s alleged victim.
Critical – Achieving a successful and profitable life in spite of a troubled past, doctor Angela Dawson pursues business opportunities in three major cities only to find her efforts compromised by a surge of drug-resistant staph infections, which are investigated by medical examiner newlyweds Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton.
Foreign Body – Shocked by her beloved grandmother’s untimely death a day after she travels to New Delhi to have affordable hip-replacement surgery, fourth-year UCLA medical student Jennifer Hernandez heads to India for answers and uncovers a series of unexplained deaths, a finding that forces her to turn for assistance to her medical examiner mentor, Dr. Montgomery.
Intervention – Jack’s classmate Shawn Doherty is now a renowned archaeologist and biblical scholar at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. He has recently obtained permission for a final dig beneath Saint Peter’s in Rome – despite a long-standing grudge against the Catholic Church – and has made a startling discovery with huge ecclesiastical and medical implications. When Kevin Murray, now Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York, gets wind of Shawn’s findings, he’s desperate to keep them from the public. Kevin has strong political ambitions within the Church, but his association with Shawn threatens to undermine them. Kevin turns to his old friend Jack to help protect an explosive secret – one with the power to change live forever.
Cure – With her son’s illness in complete remission, New York City medical examiner Laurie Montgomery returns to work-and finds her first case back to be a dangerous puzzle of the highest order, involving organized crime and two start-up biotech companies caught in a zero-sum game…
Pandemic – When an unidentified, seemingly healthy young woman collapses suddenly on the New York City subway and dies upon reaching the hospital, her case is an eerie reminder for veteran medical examiner Jack Stapleton of the 1918 flu pandemic. Fearful of a repeat on the 100th anniversary of the nightmarish contagion, Jack autopsies the woman within hours of her demise and discovers some striking anomalies: first, that she has had a heart transplant, and second, that, against all odds, her DNA matches that of the transplanted heart. Although the facts don’t add up to influenza, Jack must race against the clock to identify the woman and determine what kind of virus could wreak such havoc – a task made more urgent when two other victims succumb to a similar rapid death.
Genesis – When the body of twenty-eight-year-old social worker Kera Jacobsen shows up on Chief New York City Medical Examiner Laurie Montgomery’s autopsy table, at first it appears she was the victim of a tragic yet routine drug overdose. But for Laurie and her new pathology resident, the brilliant but enigmatic Dr. Aria Nichols, little things aren’t adding up. Kera’s family and friends swear she never touched drugs. Administrators from the hospital where Kera worked are insisting the case be shrouded in silence. And although Kera was ten weeks pregnant, nobody seems to know who the father was–or whether he holds the key to Kera’s final moments alive. As a medical emergency temporarily sidelines Laurie, impulsive Aria turns to a controversial new technique: using genealogic DNA databases to track down those who don’t want to be found. Working with experts at a start-up ancestry website, she plans to trace the fetus’s DNA back to likely male relatives in the hopes of identifying the mystery father. But when Kera’s closest friend and fellow social worker is murdered, the need for answers becomes even more urgent. Because someone out there clearly doesn’t want Kera’s secrets to come to light . . . and if Aria gets any closer to the truth, she and Laurie might find themselves a killer’s next targets.
Night Shift – When Laurie’s longtime friend, by all accounts healthy Dr. Sue Passero, dies mysteriously in the hospital parking garage, an autopsy is required, which falls squarely under Laurie’s purview as newly appointed chief medical examiner. So when Laurie asks Jack to take special care with the case, he can hardly refuse. What started out as an inquiry into Sue’s tragic passing soon turns into a deadly and dangerous chess game between Jack and the clever and deranged killer, who might just administer another lethal blow if Jack isn’t careful.
Manner of Death – Due to Jack Stapleton’s ongoing recovery from his near-death confrontation with a serial killer, his wife Laurie Montgomery, the NYC chief medical examiner, is carrying the load both at work and at home. When she insists an underperforming pathology resident named Ryan Sullivan assist her on a suicide autopsy, Laurie unknowingly provokes an emotional storm in the trainee. So, when Ryan himself appears on the medical examiner’s table days later, an apparent death by suicide, Laurie’s guilt compels her to try to understand why. Jack’s autopsy on the resident opens the disturbing possibility that the manner of death wasn’t suicide but instead a staged homicide. But staged by whom?
Bonus: Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery make an appearance in Robin Cook’s Death Benefit (2011) from his Pia Grazdani series.