Talking with Robin Cook -- The author of ''Vital Signs'' tells us about his new novel

Is the medical profession exploiting fears about infertility?

Yes. It’s one of those areas that fall between the cracks — no one regulates what’s going on. People feel a certain amount of desperation because they’re unable to conceive, and these clinics recognize that desperation and act on it. You’ve got them popping up everywhere. They invariably claim the statistics of the best centers, even though many of them have never had a live birth. Infertility is one of the best examples of the fact that business and medicine make bad bedfellows.

So that’s the main message of your thriller?

There are more insidious aspects too — for example, the enormous negative aspect infertility has on relationships. I wanted to explore all of that.

How do you choose the subjects for your books?

I like to take issues in medicine that most people don’t know much about — or that they have a misconception about — and then I come up with a story line. I do try to keep current, to write about things just entering general discussion. I want the person who drives a bus down Michigan Avenue in Chicago to read my books and learn something from them.

Vital Signs
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