Bloodstream
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 1999
As someone who's read all of Ms. Gerritsen's romantic mysteries and medical thrillers, "Bloodstream" was a true thrill. This is the book I've been waiting for her to write, to show mainstream readers what she's capable of. I actually bought it last September, but put off reading it because I was worried about being disappointed again. I shouldn't have worried. Unlike the painfully predictable "Harvest" (apparently my review was so negative Amazon refused to post it) or the relentlessly depressing "Life Support," "Bloodstream" is a tense, engrossing read that never reveals too much of its hand and always keeps you on the edge of your seat. It never fails to shock, and the hospital scenes and science at its core give it a solid grounding in reality that's impossible to ignore. Real characters and understandable dilemmas add extra dimension to the tale. My only concern was that the ending was awfully abrupt (was I the only one who wanted to know what would happen to the town, the reaction of the townspeople, etc. after everything?), and yes, the worms were a bit much (why do parasites always turn out to look like worms?). For anyone looking for truly spine-tingling, can't-put-it-down escapist entertainment, this is the one for you. Ms. Gerritsen, welcome back.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2001
I bought this book used and written inside the front cover was "Exceptional! 8/2/00." I agree. The first six pages give you an inkling of how you will feel as the story progresses.
The characters are well defined and the physical setting reminds me of a place where I spent my childhood summers and some winter holidays in upstate New York. Remembering the polio epidemic and later times from illnesses said to have been caused by goose droppings or septic overflows made it difficult for me to separate fact from fiction. Even the attitude of the local doctor was a reminder of something that had tragic consequences in our family.
There were times when I held my breath and times when I actually gasped as I was reading this book. Occasionally, it does get unpleasantly descriptive but hang in there because it's worth it to get the picture of what is going on.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 1999
I started reading medical thrillers a few years ago. I started with Michael Crichton, then onto Robin Cook and Michael Palmer. Tess Gerritsen has entered the rankings of a top medical thriller author. I love this book! The rural settings, the characters, and the plot come together for a riveting ride! I highly recommend this book!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2002
Bloodstream takes place in a small town in Maine where every 50 years the teenagers in the town become extremely violent for no apparent reason. Dr. Claire Elliott, recently arrived with her teenage son from the big city of Baltimore after the death of her husband, suspects that there is a biological cause for the epidemic of violence and is determined to find it no matter the risk to her life if she continues to search for the truth.
Overall, I didn't find Bloodstream quite as gripping as Life Support, also by Gerritsen, which is the main reason I gave it three stars instead of four, but it is still well worth reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
For those who fancy their thrillers fraught with forensic detail and mixed with medical information best-selling author Tess Gerritsen (Harvest and Life Support) has proffered another page turner.
Heroine Dr. Clair Elliot is attempting to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. Her predicament and the challenges that follow are vividly traced by champion voice performer Jan Maxwell.
Primary in Clair's mind is her 14-year-old son, Noah. It is with his good in mind that she chooses a small town, Tranquility, Maine, as the perfect spot to relocate. There, she reasons her impressionable son will be removed from the potentially damaging influences of big city Baltimore.
We mentioned that the name of the town is "Tranquility" - what a misnomer! It's not long before teenage violence is running rampant through these once quiet streets. It seems that such an episode occurs once every half century. What causes this, could the culprit be a supernatural force?
Claire works in tandem with the local police chief in order to solve this mystery.
Another home run for author Gerritsen and one more listenable chiller for audio audiences.
- Gail Cooke
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2001
Bloodstream, by Tess Gerritsen, is an awesome book. It is about a mother and son who move to a new town called Tranquility after the tragic death of their husband and father. The mother is the new town physician.
After about eight months of living there, very weird things start to happen. A virus starts to infect the blood of the younger teenagers who later go berserk and kill or hurt other people. For instance, one boy who is infected goes to school, shoots and kills a teacher, and shoots two other kids.
Later on, the doctor's son is infected and goes psycho. She puts him in the hospital to have tests run, to see what is wrong. The tests come back normal, so the reason for kids going berserk is still unknown.
I like this book because the descriptions of the events are good. It tells exact details of every incident that occurs. Booklist calls it "a fascinating, well crafted, fast-paced medical thriller" with "a crdible, creditable ending."
Another book the author has written is Harvest, which I plan to read next. I've heard from some of my classmates that this is as good as Bloodstream.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2005
This is the first book by Tess Gerritsen that I read. After much soul searching I have decided that I love this author! Must be why I pick up a copy of her books as soon as they hit the market.

This is a story about a doctor (Claire) and her son (Noah) who move to a small town in Maine as they try to rebuild their lives after the death of Claire's husband and Noah's father. Claire is the outsider trying to establish her medical practice and sees an outbreak of violence among the juveniles in town. She feels there's a biological reason for the violence and is met with skepticism. Many of the locals are trying to cover everything up, including the history of a similar outbreak 42 years before. As Claire struggles for answers to these questions, she also struggles with rebuilding a relationship with her son.

This story has a little bit of everything -- romance, intrigue, mystery and medical thriller subjects. Gerritsen shows a tremendous amount of skill in pulling most of the sub-plots together in a way that doesn't leave the reader wondering why they are on a bumpy road type of book. There are a few loose ends that she doesn't tie up that does leave the reader wondering who and why.

Bloodstream is definitely a smooth ride and a very enjoyable book. I agree that this is definitely an author to add to your reading list!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Dr. Claire Elliot has moved from Baltimore to the small village of Tranquility, Maine to make sure that her adolescent son does not get into trouble. However, what is gets is not exactly "tranquility": after a wet spring and a warm summer autumn arrives and all the teenagers in the village seem to go berserk: there is violence everywhere and the reason for it is totally unclear at first. In addition, the locals do not trust the "outsider" Claire and that only gets worse when she tries to convince the population that the problem is coming from one of their main income-generating landmarks. Finally, she finds the solution, but it nearly costs her all that is dear to her.

A good book: the suspense slowly builds up and the possible solutions keep coming up and being turned down all through the book. Comparable to such medical detective authors as Robin Cook.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 1999
I have read Harvest and Life Support by Gerritsen, and I was anxiously waiting for this to be released. I was just as impressed with this novel as I was with her others. I love her medical thrillers and I can't wait for her next one. I have read a ton of books in this genre - Patricia Cornwall, Michael Palmer, Kathy Reichs, etc. - and Gerritsen is my favorite. If you haven't read anything from her yet, you will be in love with her writing once you do.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2011
Bloodstream is Tess Gerritsen's 11th stand-alone novel. The action is set in the small town of Tranquility, Maine, where Dr Claire Elliott has relocated with her son, Noah, to remove him from less-than-desirable influences in Baltimore. After the discovery of some human bones at nearby Locust Lake, followed by a shooting at the high school Noah attends, Claire begins to suspect something is affecting the behaviour of the local youth population. Are they being affected by drugs, or is it some natural phenomenon? Claire even begins to wonder about a parasitic infestation. But the town displeased with her investigations, and Claire starts to feel persecuted. Tess Gerritsen is the master of medical detective drama, and once again shows her skill and knowledge in this novel. Characters, dialogue and plot are all excellent, and there are a few twists to keep it exciting. Another Gerritsen winner.
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