Harvest, by Tess Gerritsen

Abby Di Matteo is a surgeon working in the ER department in a busy hospital who gets involved with the cardiac team after her good work there is recognised. One day, as she's couriering a heart to be used to save the life of a young boy, she's ordered to turn round and bring the organ to be used for a different patient, the elderly wife of a super-rich businessman. With the backing of the chief surgeon, who's subsequently suspended, she disobeys. But her suspicions are raised and as she seems to stumble over more sinister events, she finds herself first accused of malpractice, and then pursued by people who want to shut her up.

The casual reader might notice some similarity between the story here and that in Life Support. And that's because, basically, it's pretty much the same story, even to the end, where Abby is eventually captured by the baddies and rescued in the nick of time before they complete an operation to harvest her vital organs (in Life Support, the rescue took place just before the heroine was buried alive).

Perhaps this one is a little less plausible: there are an awful lot of high-ups in the hospital who are involved, and only vague justification is given for why they go along with the plot. As in Life Support, there was a lot of medical jargon used, but what surprised me was that there was hardly any mention made of the follow-up care required after a heart transplant. From what I know, such patients have to have significant post-operative care and are obliged to remain on a strict regime of anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. But from reading this you get the impression that you go home a few days after the operation and will soon be back to normal.

Again, it was quite readable, but I think that's probably enough plucky female surgeons uncovering sinister plots.

Completed : 7-Sep-2007

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