Thursday, November 7, 2013

Girl Missing, by Tess Gerritsen

The demand for more Tess Gerritsen at Malaysian Association for the Blind is still high, so I reached for the next in the stack -- Girl Missing. This was one of Dr. Gerritsen's earlier novels, predating the Rizzoli and Isles books. Her very first novels were romances, and she's been making the shift to medical thrillers -- Girl Missing sits in the middle of the two genres:  Attractive and feisty Medical Examiner meets dashing, handsome pharmaceutical company executive, and a string of corpses and nefarious plots throw them into each other's arms.

The ME in this case is Kat Novak, a young doctor who had a rough childhood in the inner-city projects. When corpses begin arrive in the city morgue having overdosed on some new drug that the labs have never seen before, Kat wants the mayor to issue a press release.  Since he's due for re-election, he is reluctant to do so, and besides -- they're only junkies from the projects. Is it really so important?

Enter Adam Quantrell, the flawless and wealthy director of Cygnus Pharmaceuticals.  Things get tangled when Kat discovers that the substance which put the bodies into her morgue is actually a new, experimental drug under development at Cygnus, and more tangled still when romance flares up between them.

The missing girl of the title is Maeve, Adam's troubled step-daughter, who is now living in the projects and has shadowy connections to the dead drug-users.  And, yes, who had worked in the Cygnus R&D lab for some months before disappearing.  Adam wants to find Maeve in an effort to redeem her, Kat wants to find Maeve to learn more about the overdoses, the police want to find Maeve in connection with the murder of her former boss, the research director at Cygnus, and Maeve does not want to be found.

I'm glad Dr. Gerritsen made the choice to move toward the medical thrillers. The Rizzoli and Isles novels show the fruits of more experience, more attention to detail and more emotional and intellectual involvement on her part. Girl Missing just has a few adolescent growing pains.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.