With her acclaimed novels Harvest and Life Support, Tess Gerritsen has injected a powerful dose of adrenaline into the medical thriller. Now, in a new blockbuster, Gerritsen melds page-turning suspense with chilling realism as a small-town doctor races to unravel the roots of a violent outbreak -- before it destroys everything she loves.
Lapped by he gentle waters of Locust Lake, the small resort town of Tranquility, Maine, seems like the perfect spot for Dr. Claire Elliot to shelter her adolescent son, Noah, from the distractions of the big city and the lingering memory of his father's death. But with the first snap of winter comes shocking news that puts her practise on the line: a teenage boy under her care has committed an appalling act of violence. And as Claire and all of Tranquility soon discover, it is just the start of a chain of lethal outbursts among the town's teenagers.
As the rash of disturbing behavior grows, Claire uncovers a horrifying secret: this is not the first time it has happened. Twice a century,the children of Tranquility lash out with deadly violence. Claire suspects that there is a biological cause for the epidemic, and she fears that the placid Locust Lake may conceal an insidious danger. As she races to save Tranquility -- and her son -- from harm, Claire discovers an even greater threat: a shocking conspiracy to manipulate nature, and turn innocents to slaughter.
Gerritsen leaves the urban hospital setting of her first two successful thrillers (Harvest; Life Support) and steps into Stephen King territory--the troubled Maine town of Tranquility--with mixed results. The former doctor's ability to create credible characters and make medical details accessible and exciting provide the book's strongest moments, as Dr. Claire Elliot--recent widow from Baltimore--tries to make a go of her new life in Tranquility, where she has moved to get her son Noah, 14, away from dangerous influences. Irony of ironies: the country turns out to hold more savage dangers for the teen than the city ever did. Claire's struggles with the boy, her failure so far to win a place for herself in the hearts of prospective patients and a possible romance with the town's police chief are straightforward and moving. Harder to swallow is the book's premise--that savage outbreaks of violence among Tranquility's teenagers occur every 50-odd years, caused by natural or even supernatural factors. It's Claire who makes the connection between recent murders and older attacks, and of course there's the old "enemy of the people" subplot about not scaring off the tourist trade. The fact that Tranquility's teenage problem has a scientific solution lets Dr. Elliot have a final moment of triumph, but you can't help feeling that King would have made the story more powerful--and more fun. Major ad/promo; author tour; Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild super release; Mystery Guild main selection; simultaneous Simon & Schuster audio.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Holy Cow. This was one of the best books I've read from Tess! I read this book in less than one week. I was so, how do I want to put this, emotionally attached. I was almost in tears during multiple parts of this book. Tess went into so much detail I felt like I was right there in the pages.
I would recommend it!
Tess Gerritsen is a great writer. And she wrote some great books (e.g. The Surgeon!). Unfortunately, she is wave riding her success by a high volume output. This just-in-time production of one book after the other still reflects solid craftsmanship (why she is a great writer). But here again, she is far away from her best. Let's hope that she will trade time for content once again in the future.
"Bloodstream" is based on a very simple story, which is drawn very much in length. If it would have been one out of five stories in one book, it would have made up for a qualified addition. But to take it as the only base for a whole book, needs a lot of filling material. So the book is good as a start for a good night's sleep. But certainly it's not a page burner/turner.
Her writing style reminds me of Robin Cook and Michael Chriton medical thrillers. They were very intriguing and the use of her medical expertise entwined in storyline kept me hooked. Another good one of hers was Life Support.