Set in 1985, Gussin’s mildly engrossing third medical thriller featuring Dr. Laura Nelson (after 2007’s Twisted Justice) finds the thoracic surgeon facing Tampa City (Fla.) Hospital’s first-ever HIV/AIDS case. In addition to her patient, Matthew Mercer, Laura must also deal with infectious disease researcher Victor Worth, who has only recently discovered he is Matthew’s father. Angered that his former employer, Keystone Pharma, has passed up a drug that could save Matthew’s life, Victor plots to experiment on hospital patients. CDC researcher Charles Scarlett, meanwhile, draws up an even less safe prescription, this one consisting of flesh-eating bacteria, on behalf of a white supremacist group, the Order. Also included among the plethora of characters and plot twists are Laura’s woes over an illness suffered by her daughter, Natalie; a bit of romance; and the difficulties of single motherhood. There are too many organisms in the petri dish, but Gussin manages to bring it all together for a slam-bang finish. (Nov.)
Patricia Gussin is a physician who grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, practiced in Philadelphia and now lives on Longboat Key, FL. She is also the author of Shadow of Death, Thriller Award nominee for "Best First Novel", Twisted Justice, The Test, and And Then There Was One. She and her husband, Robert, are the authors of What's Next For ... You.