Friday, July 8, 2016

Tess Gerritsen - Life Support

Dr Toby Harper’s quiet night is disrupted when a severely ill man stumbles into ER. She suspects a viral brain infection. But shortly after trying to treat him, he disappears without a trace.
When a second person is admitted with the same symptoms, she starts to trace the deadly infection backwards. And begins to suspect foul play.
And that she may be on borrowed time . . .

Comment: I'm a fan of Tess Gerritsen. Her books always surprise me, if not for the plot itself, at least by the way they are written. Many authors might have the knowledge to give medical or crime thrillers but that doesn't mean the fictional side of things could be told in a captivating way. Thankfully, Gerritsen is a master of both.

In this book we meet doctor Toby Harper, a woman in her late 30s that has a controlled life but is getting tired of her worries and when a new case threats her position at the hospital, everything seems to go even worse from then on. But Toby can't put aside her dedication as a doctor and she tries to do what she can to help her patients.
Bu when strange things start to show and cases mix up, can Toby really get past that? And what about the threat to her own home?

I love the pace of Gerritsen's books. She gives the information in the right moments which makes everything run smoothly and with apparent ease. I'm sure she did a lot of research and had to think about how to include everything timely but it seems so effortless, so easy, like anyone could have thought about this but Gerritsen does it with her eyes closed.

The story is very interesting. I don't usual look for medical thrillers but I've read them and it's a genre I wouldn't mind reading more of. In fact, this book got me in the mood and I'll try to buy one or two  by other authors in the future. The ideas are amazing and because medicine is such a large area that can be explored, the possibilities are endless. 
I had never heard of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease before but the little details one gets as the plot moves along are intriguing and I wanted to know what would happen to the patients and why was that such an important part of the thriller part.
As usual, there are some hints about experiments that may be real or not but I was fascinated and morbidly captivated by the consequences of the disease and what would it be important for someone to use it on people or making someone have it. When the explanation comes it's shocking alright. One can't really be aware of the limits of ethics and science but is frightening things like this can be happening. Some details of the plot were so weirdly disgusting, especially when it was related to the character Molly. It's worrying if reality can have this, stuff we don't have the access to nor the knowledge if it's going on. This book reminded me of Brain by Robin Cook, a story with similar topics which impressed me a lot years ago.

As usual, the characters are greatly depicted by Gerritsen. Dr Harper is losing control, someone is after her reputation because she dared ask questions and her daily life and routines are getting out of control. It was suffocating to go through so many challenging moments along with the character. Amazing how the author can do this when her book is not on a first person narrator.
I liked the tiny bit of romance hint we got and this makes me hopeful for what we don't see after the book ends but I can always imagine and the author has given me the tool to do so.
I like the balance between medical things and the domestic side of the personal lives of the characters. We are not islands and we rarely have the luxury of just focusing on one thing at a time. Gerritsen does this perfectly.

Overall, I liked this book. I think some situations were slightly over the top and there's a certain lack of reality when it comes to some medical situations that I found difficult to ignore. I also think one or two situations were clearly too dramatic for plot purposes and didn't really offer much to the story.
I liked the main idea here, should we really want to postpone death, should we aspire for the fountain of youth? Is it really worth it and all the consequences that can come out of it? But it's a now topic, something our society can't brush aside. 
I recommend this book a lot.
Grade: 8/10

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