RogerBW's Blog

Whistleblower, Tess Gerritsen 01 December 2014

1992; romantic suspense. Catherine Weaver is a makeup artist for low-budget films who's driving to visit her pregnant friend on a rainy night, when she hits Victor Holland who's just stumbled onto the road having been shot. Then things start moving.

This is a very early Gerritsen, from before she started writing the medical thrillers for which she's better known. The story is formulaic: he's the man trying to get the word out about illicit viral research by his employer, she's the ordinary person who's got caught up in it all, and they fall in love while on the run, not knowing who's to be trusted and who isn't.

It's all a bit sketched-in, to be honest. Catherine's the viewpoint character, but we don't get much in the way of physical descriptions of anyone. Much of the narrative is concerned more with her thoughts than with external action; this is much more on the romance side than the suspense side, a balance that Gerritsen would hit better in later books.

There are old college friends and the memory of a dead wife (romantic complication!) for Victor, and a sleazy ex-husband for Catherine, but they're flat at best, and the villains are straight out of Central Casting. Catherine's professional skills do come into play, which is encouraging since otherwise she might be the drag on the men that she sometimes thinks she is. Even so, she's captured and used as a bargaining token late in the story, and comes perilously close to being a damsel in distress.

I still think Gerritsen's best work is Gravity, but even in this slight early book she brings through a sense of fun that's sadly lacking even in a lot of lightweight reading. Even so, it's strictly for Gerritsen completists.

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