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Bloodstream Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 221 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gerritsen leaves the urban hospital setting of her first two successful thrillers (Harvest; Life Support) and steps into Stephen King territory?the troubled Maine town of Tranquility?with mixed results. The former doctor's ability to create credible characters and make medical details accessible and exciting provide the book's strongest moments, as Dr. Claire Elliot?recent widow from Baltimore?tries to make a go of her new life in Tranquility, where she has moved to get her son Noah, 14, away from dangerous influences. Irony of ironies: the country turns out to hold more savage dangers for the teen than the city ever did. Claire's struggles with the boy, her failure so far to win a place for herself in the hearts of prospective patients and a possible romance with the town's police chief are straightforward and moving. Harder to swallow is the book's premise?that savage outbreaks of violence among Tranquility's teenagers occur every 50-odd years, caused by natural or even supernatural factors. It's Claire who makes the connection between recent murders and older attacks, and of course there's the old "enemy of the people" subplot about not scaring off the tourist trade. The fact that Tranquility's teenage problem has a scientific solution lets Dr. Elliot have a final moment of triumph, but you can't help feeling that King would have made the story more powerful?and more fun. Major ad/promo; author tour; Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild super release; Mystery Guild main selection; simultaneous Simon & Schuster audio.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-Tranquility, ME, sounds like the perfect place for Dr. Claire Elliot to relocate with her teenage son and help him deal with his father's death. However, as she begins her practice, so begins an epidemic of teen violence. The shooting of the school biology teacher and the violent ending to the big dance have Claire and the town police chief, Lincoln Kelly, searching hard for clues and answers. Are the blue mushrooms growing in the forest where local teens hang out the cause? Or is the mysterious green phosphorescence that appears on the lake where many of the young people swim the culprit? Claire's son suddenly and mysteriously becomes as wild and uncontrollable as his friends. This is a gory medical thriller that will keep YAs totally engaged.
Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Middle School, Burke, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reissue edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671016768
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671016760
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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By Helena S on September 17, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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By A Customer on November 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
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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