Monday, July 20, 2009

Harvest, by Tess Gerritson

A review of one of Tess Gerritsen’s novels may seem as though I’m straying from my original "debut author" theme. After all, to date Gerritsen has sold more than 15 million copies of her books worldwide.
Let me explain: In an interview in the September, 2008, issue of The Writer magazine, Gerritson shared that after years of writing romantic suspense, she got the idea for a thriller based on the idea of a black market for human organs. Like most writers, a conversation sparked the "what if" neurons in her brain, and the book that was originally called The Harvest was born. For Tess Gerritson, it was her debut into the field of medical thrillers.
Harvest features Dr. Abby DiMatteo, a surgery resident on a cardiac transplant team. She's an appealing heroine, with just enough quirks to take her beyond the typical woman-on-the-run genre that most thrillers seem to require. She and chief resident Dr. Vivian Chao, make a bold decision to direct a crash victim’s heart to a seventeen-year-old dying charity patient instead of a wealthy forty-six-year old woman. That decision and the way they carried it out was heart-stopping (pun intended).
But in the aftermath, another available heart suddenly turns up for the waiting woman. Where did it come from? Who was the mysterious "doctor" who delivered the heart to the transplant unit at midnight?
Harvest kept me breathless until the very last, and that doesn’t happen often. There were still surprises coming within three pages of the ending. If I had a star system of ratings on my blog, I’d give Harvest five big ones.
One thing I wish, though. I want another novel featuring Abby DiMatteo, so I can learn what happened to the characters after the story ended.