Monday, October 29

Trouble - Jesse Kellerman

Jonah Stem's a medical student - physically and mentally exhausted from long hours at the bedside, he stumbles out into the New York night to buy new shoes after a patient's bowels exploded over his current pair while assisting in theatre. When Jonah hears a woman scream from a nearby alley he goes to investigate, and finds a beautiful brunette, blood pouring from one shoulder, crawling away from a black man armed with a knife. Terrified but protective, Jonah tackles the man and, more fluke than intent, kills him.
Apart from some ribbing at work (the papers dubbed him "Superdoc"), Jonah's life gets back to normal. His roommate, the wealthy, eccentric and flighty Lance is now fixated on a career as a film maker and raves on about technique, the patients keep coming, and when he has a little time off Jonah visits his ex-girlfriend, the one time love of his life, now irreparably damaged beyond his ability to help.
Then he bumps into the brunette from the alley. Eve Gones (pronounced "Jones") is gorgeous, sexy and grateful for his help. He bumps into her a second time, and they hook up. She's fascinating, adventurous, wild, secretive, and then things start to get weird.
Kellerman has crafted a fascinating portrayal of manipulation and pathology, and he creates a claustrophobic nightmare that tightens inexorably around his hero. Jonah is complex, well meaning, intelligent and naive, and his efforts to protect those he cares about while fending off a growing threat are believable but ineffective. This was not what I expected, but was possibly all the more involving for that. Kellerman is an author to watch, with a style (as I believe I've said before) quite different from his more well known, for now, parents. - Alex

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