Tess Gerritsen left a successful practice as an internist to raise her children and concentrate on her writing. She gained nationwide acclaim for her first novel of medical suspense, the New York Times bestseller Harvest; she followed her debut with the bestsellers Life Support and Gravity (both available from Pocket Books.) Her other novels includes Body Double, The Sinner, The Apprentice, and The Surgeon. Tess Gerritsen lives in Maine.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Robin Cook is going to feel just swell after taking a look at Gerritsen's first novel. It's been 19 years since Cook published Coma as his own first novel, but that book's basic elements‘as a tale of medical terror in which a feisty young female doctor in Boston foils a medical conspiracy involving the murdering of innocents to harvest their organs‘are found in Gerritsen's novel as well. Along with the requisite amoral medical types goaded by greed, Gerritsen includes Russian mobsters, orphans at deadly risk, a ruthless industrialist, murders disguised as suicides, a bloody climax aboard a Russian freighter in Boston Harbor and some graphic surgical scenes. Surgical resident Abby DiMatteo is on the fast track at Boston's fictional Bayside Hospital. But after she disobeys orders so she can give a heart transplant to a failing 17-year-old instead of to a failing middle-aged, rich woman, her career options look slim. Fighting back against hospital administrators, shyster lawyers and violent thugs, Abby‘spunky but angst-ridden and also rather whiny‘finds major discrepancies in the records of Bayside's organ-transplant procedures. Shocked, she finally learns the truth, experiences a major betrayal and, in the climax, must herself face the final harvest. Gerritsen's crisp pacing and adept handling of the medical background‘she's a retired internist‘add sizzle to the tale, but her characters need life support, the climax is too drawn out and the final revelations will surprise only readers who move their lips. Major ad/promo; film rights sold to Paramount; simultaneous Simon & Schuster Audio; foreign rights sold in the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Holland, Finland, France, Korea, Denmark, Norway, Spain and Italy. (Sept.)
Boston Globe Harvest left me clutching my head in an
ecstasy of terror.
USA Today Harvest will make your heart skip a beat.
James Patterson The best medical thriller I've read since Coma.
Gerritsen, a romance writer (e.g., Thief of Hearts, Harlequin, 1995) who will broaden her appeal with this thriller, tells a heart-stopping story of terror. While serving as a second-year surgical resident at Bayside Hospital, Abby DiMatteo meets 17-year-old Josh O'Day, who is desperately in need of a new heart. An accident victim with severe head trauma comes to Bayside and is a match. All systems are go, but at the last moment Nina Voss, beloved wife of zillionaire Victor Voss, arrives at the hospital for heart transplant surgery, and Josh goes back on hold‘a clear violation of National Organ Registry policy. With the chief surgical resident, Abby engages in some fancy footwork, and Josh gets the heart after all. This is not pleasing to the Bayside cardiac team, the hospital bigwigs, and most of all Victor Voss, who begins a campaign to harass, discredit, terrorize, and ruin Abby. Nina Voss eventually gets another heart, but the organ's suspicious origins prompt Abbey to investigate, and the terror escalates to a truly surprising ending. This is a good spooker that will make for excellent summer reading. For most popular collections.‘Dawn L. Anderson, North Richland Hills P.L., Tex.