Picks and Pans Review: Bloodstream

updated 09/07/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Tess Gerritsen

Internist-turned-novelist Gerritsen administers a heavy dose of suspense in this intricate thriller filled with biotech sleuthing and parental angst. Thirty-eight-year-old widow Dr. Claire Elliot moves her medical practice and disruptive teenage son Noah from Baltimore to tiny Tranquility, Maine (pop: 910), hoping to start life anew in the isolated lakeside resort town. But you don't actually expect a town called Tranquility to stay tranquil, do you?

After one teenager guns down his teacher and another inexplicably slaughters his family, the tenacious Claire runs her own sophisticated scientific tests on the boys. What she finds leads not only to murderous secrets buried in Tranquility's past but also to an insidious evil that threatens the town's future—and could spell death for the likable Claire and her increasingly dangerous son.

The pace sometimes slackens. Still, Bloodstream keeps the action graphic and the science straightforward in a tale sure to fascinate—provided you go with the flow until the end. (Pocket, $23)

Bottom Line: A Crichton-like medical thriller set on Stephen King's home turf

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