Life Support, by Tess Gerritsen

Toby Harper is a surgeon working in the emergency department of a hospital. One one hectic night, an elderly man is admitted after being found wandering the streets naked, and in a confused state. After finding him a bed, Harper is called to another emergency but later on the man has vanished, presumably having found his way out of the hospital. Partly out of guilt, and partly out of a fear of lawsuits, she begins trying to find out about the man - where he came from and where he might have gone. Soon she uncovers other cases of elderly patients who've suddenly developed similar symptoms. And they all seem to live in the same retirement estate and have the same doctor.

This was written some time before Body Double but looks like it's been re-published since Gerritsen enjoyed success with that book. For this edition there's a forward by the author which spoils things a bit: not only does it give away bits of the plot but it's a little bit self-congratulatory in tone - although maybe that's just an American thing.

In her forward, Gerritsen talks about her medical expertise (she previously had worked as a doctor), and that's rather too much in evidence in the book: it's as if she has included lots of technical detail about aortas etc. in order to emphasise that she knows what she's talking about.

But it was effective enough writing: an easy read and quite exciting. The story was a little far-fetched, but it was easy to suspend disbelief and get caught up in it. Would read more by her, although probably wouldn't bother reading the same one again.

Completed : 12-Aug-2007

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