Did anyone ever warn you that sometimes you will reap what others sow? I’m not talking agriculture; this “Harvest” is within a medical thriller. This novel is a chilling, heart-pounding look into the world of transplant medicine. And especially a look into what is reaped when a system goes unthinkably wrong.
Dr. Abby DiMatteo is a medical resident at Boston’s Bayside Hospital, with a bright future ahead. Her career path, her personal life, and her love life are all exciting and promise fulfillment and joy. She has her choice of positions after her residency. She has friends and she is in a relationship with a handsome, successful transplant surgeon at the hospital. She is a happy person, for awhile.
Then Dr. Abby runs head on into an ethical question about a patient at the hospital. She takes action to help this patient, a teenage boy, receive a donor heart. He is in critical need of a transplant. He is next on the list to receive a matching heart, so why is the available heart being diverted to a wealthy, elderly woman patient? Abby’s actions have repercussions that turn life threatening for her when she uncovers dark secrets. These secrets may hide a tragic, unimaginable nightmare.
Or is Abby imposing herself in procedures she’s just not qualified to understand? Abby is determined to do the right thing, as she sees it. Others are determined to stop her. Who are they? Who at Bayside Hospital remembers to uphold their Hippocratic Oath, their promise to practice medicine honestly?
The author, Tess Gerritsen, is well qualified to write this book, one of the most suspenseful novels I’ve discovered. She studied medicine at University of California at San Francisco, was a practicing physician for years, and is now retired and continues to successfully write. “Harvest” is the first of several medical thrillers that she’s published. In 2001, she published her first crime thriller, “The Surgeon,” which introduced the character of homicide detective Jane Rizzoli along with another character, medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. You may know these characters from the television series “Rizzoli & Isles.”
Gerritsen’s characters are smart and passionate. Some pursue what they believe is right. Others pursue what is profitable. And others pursue power. The question is, who can Abby trust? And how can she prove the incredible accusations she suspects? Discovering proof while in this fever-pitch chase requires great stealth and deception, neither of which are Abby’s strengths. She relies on some help from her friends, but as she uncovers information she begins to wonder who her friends truly are, and so will you.
Thereby hangs a tale . . . .
— By Wendy Kendall
Wendy Kendall is a writer, project manager and volunteer at the Edmonds Library. She’s enjoyed living in Edmonds for over 20 years. Follow her via her blog here or on Twitter @wendywrites1.