Throughout "The Widowmaker", Forbes shows a furiously-counting ticker, clicking off the number of deaths per year from heart attacks, the number going up and up and up. The ticker provides a sense of urgency, the urgency we all know personally. Not one of us has been untouched by this disease. Packed full of diagrams and technology, scientific language and medical terms, "The Widowmaker" is welcoming, comprehensible and clear.
The development of various technologies to both prevent and stop heart attacks makes up the bulk of "The Widowmaker," and fascinating stuff it is. We meet Julio Palmaz, a radiologist from Argentina, living outside San Francisco, who worked in his garage on a kind of mesh tube that could be inserted into arteries to hold them open. This would eventually be known as the "stent," the most common interventionist technology used today to stop heart attacks.