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.
Gerritsen (Harvest, LJ 6/1/96) has hit another home run for the summer reading team. In her latest novel, widowed Dr. Claire Elliot takes her son Noah away from bad companions and potential trouble in Baltimore. She buys a practice in the summer resort of Tranquillity, ME, aiming for a new start. Unfortunately, mother and son land in a town straight out of a Stephen King novel. Every 50 years or so when the rains are heavy and summers hot, the community's teenage boys, come autumn, boil over with uncontrollable rage. Desperately hoping all the violent occurrences have medical causes, Elliot comes up with a variety of theories, all of which involve placing a quarantine on Locust Lake, the town's main source of income. The real cause of the terror is even more ominous and frightening than Elliot ever imagines. Buy multiple copies for the pool, beach, and picnic crowd. They won't be able to put this one down. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/15/98.]‘Dawn L. Anderson, North Richland Hills P.L., TX
People [An] intricate thriller...a tale sure to fascinate.
YA-Tranquility, ME, sounds like the perfect place for Dr. Claire Elliot to relocate with her teenage son and help him deal with his father's death. However, as she begins her practice, so begins an epidemic of teen violence. The shooting of the school biology teacher and the violent ending to the big dance have Claire and the town police chief, Lincoln Kelly, searching hard for clues and answers. Are the blue mushrooms growing in the forest where local teens hang out the cause? Or is the mysterious green phosphorescence that appears on the lake where many of the young people swim the culprit? Claire's son suddenly and mysteriously becomes as wild and uncontrollable as his friends. This is a gory medical thriller that will keep YAs totally engaged.-Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Middle School, Burke, VA
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. (Aug.)