Sunday, November 23, 2008

Harvest - Tess Gerritsen

I guess it was the week of Tess's for me! This time the author is Tess. Harvest is the first book by Tess Gerritsen I've read/listened to. According to the audio case, Harvest is Gerritsen's debut novel.

Abby DiMatteo is a top-notch second-year resident at Bayside Hospital in Boston. Dr. Wettig, the supervisor of the residency program, is known to be a hard-nose who never compliments any of the residents, but he shows a lot of respect for Abby. In addition to the respect she is receiving from her supervisor, the organ transplant team is also showing interest in Abby. They want her to be a part of their team when she finishes her residency.

Abby is ecstatic about the attention she is receiving from the transplant team, and even more excited when her boyfriend Mark, who is also on the transplant team, asks her to marry him. But all the wonderfulness starts to fade after Abby helps a teenage boy get the heart transplant that is rightfully his over a 40-year-old woman who's husband is wealthy and wants to "pay" for the heart. The teenage boy is saved but the cost may be Abby's life.

I'll just start this review by saying Tess Gerritesen knows how to write a thriller! Even though she writes the story so that the reader can make connections early on, the approach doesn't deter from the anticipation or excitement at all. It is kind of like watching a scary movie where someone enters a dark room with eerie music playing. You KNOW something is going to jump out at the person, but you still jump out of your seat when it happens. That is what this book easily compares to.

The concept of buying and selling organs in this book is nothing short of terrifying. Gerritsen writes in such a way as to evoke a tremendous amount of emotion from the reader: fear, horror, anger, mortification.

Gerritsen also has a gift when it comes to characterization. I absolutely fell in love with Yakov, a young Russian orphan who was so smart and had so much curiosity. He yearned for companionship, looking for it where ever he could find it.

And Abby is another great female character. She is faced with multiple lawsuits that the wealthy husband is arranging with all his money. She is a resident; she has no money to even begin to try to fight them, but she feels that she must do something. I found myself identifying with her frustration over the fact that money is the controlling factor, not what is RIGHT. Abby isn't a superwoman, she doesn't have the super powers to trump the evils of money. And sadly, everything doesn't turn out happily ever after. But it turns out believable, which in the end makes the book that much more frightening.

Again, I listened to this book on audio. This one is a Recorded Books version, read by George Guidall. One of the elements of Guidall's reading that stood out for me was how his pace increased with action that was taking place in the plot. I find myself doing that when I read myself, so I appreciated his tendency to do the same thing. While I enjoy Guidall's readings and I think he did a very nice job on this book, I also think his sound is a little too old for the characters that this book centered on. And I'm also a little curious why they chose a male reader over a female reader for this particular book. But, as with In Big Trouble, these factors aren't enough for me not to highly recommend it. I had a great experience listening to this audiobook.

Happy Reading!


DAVID BURKE July 8, 2014 at 2:43 PM  

I just finished listening to the Audiobook ( of "Harvest"
I very much like the novel which reads like a medical version of Tom Clancy novel, where separate stories get linked somewhat toward the end of the story.
My only critic is that I would have liked to learn what happened to Abby after her ordeal, did she complete her surgical residency?, did she adopted the boy, did she have a relationship with the detective etc....
Any way very good book,


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