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3.5 22
by Jesse Kellerman

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Saving lives is Jonah Stem's job-but he usually does it at the hospital, not at 3 a.m. on the dark streets of Manhattan. When he impulsively intervenes to save a beautiful woman from a man menacing her with a knife, killing the attacker in the process, he is transformed from an overworked medical student to a hero in the media spotlight. The woman, Eve Gones, is


Saving lives is Jonah Stem's job-but he usually does it at the hospital, not at 3 a.m. on the dark streets of Manhattan. When he impulsively intervenes to save a beautiful woman from a man menacing her with a knife, killing the attacker in the process, he is transformed from an overworked medical student to a hero in the media spotlight. The woman, Eve Gones, is profoundly grateful, and wants to show it. Before long, they're engaged in a wildly passionate love affair. An affair that Eve doesn't want to end. Ever.

Editorial Reviews

Trouble opens like a Scrubs episode-you can easily imagine Zach Braff as medical student Jonah Stem, wandering Times Square at 2 a.m., his shoes squishy with, uh, emergency-room detritus following a rough night on call.... But like Scrubs, in the end Trouble is a satisfying journey into the bizarre. 3 1/2 out of 4 stars
Marilyn Stasio
That Kellerman maintains such a grimly hilarious perspective on his subject is its own twisted tribute to the survival instincts of writers who go down to the depths to entertain their readers. In Jonah’s words, when he finds himself on the psych wing: “You had to laugh. If you didn’t, you’d drown.”
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Kellerman, the son of bestsellers Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, shows that his impressive debut, Sunstroke, was no fluke with this gripping psychological page-turner that echoes the best of Hitchcock. Jonah Stem, a young medical resident at St. Agatha's, a midtown Manhattan teaching hospital, heroically intervenes when he encounters an attractive woman desperately fleeing a knife-wielding assailant early one morning on a street near Times Square. After Stem kills the man in self-defense, he enjoys a brief celebrity, but his life soon becomes complicated when the woman he rescued, Eve Gones, seeks him out and the two begin a frenzied affair. Taken aback by Gones's masochism, Stem attempts to end the relationship, but soon finds himself stalked relentlessly. Kellerman artfully conveys Stem's descent into near madness, making the step-by-step degradation of a decent man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time plausible and chilling. Author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This second thriller from Kellerman (yes, he is the son of Jonathan and Faye), which comes on the heels of the best-selling Sunstroke, shows that the author is clearly getting the hang of this writing thing. Jonah Stem, a third-year New York City medical student, has more trouble than he can possibly handle. Not only is his surgery rotation at a large Manhattan hospital a soul-crushing, grueling affair but he has girl problems in a big way. The novel opens with Jonah leaving the hospital in the early morning hours and coming upon a young woman being brutally stabbed. Jonah intervenes and ends up killing her assailant in self-defense. The media pounces, and Jonah is a hero. A passionate affair ensues between Jonah and the beautiful victim, Eve Gones (who makes a full recovery), but Jonah slowly realizes that Eve's behavior is not only unbalanced but increasingly and dangerously masochistic. When Jonah tries to end the relationship, Eve refuses to listen and begins ruthlessly to threaten and stalk her former lover. The pages fly as Jonah attempts to disentangle himself from the biggest trouble he's ever seen. Recommended for all fiction collections.
—Andrea Y. Griffith
Kirkus Reviews
A shivery psychological thriller about a beautiful young female stalker. Jonah Stem, medical student at New York's St. Agatha Hospital, is undergoing the damnable tortures of the Third Year. Whereas these can be painful, exhausting and, often as not, humiliating, they're hardly a surprise to him, since "he's read the Book, heard it from the Ghosts of Third Years Past." He's prepared, he's coping, he's even enjoying it all a little. What's about to happen to him, however, is so unexpected and unsettling that it transcends the possibility of preparation. And forget about coping. On an otherwise ordinary night, on his way home from St. Aggie's, Jonah Stem kills a man. Traumatic as that is, it's only a link in a chain of events culminating in irreparable loss. He hears the terrified scream, sees her, her hand dripping blood. Next, there's her assailant, who an instant later becomes Jonah's. Finally, at the end of a brief but ferocious struggle, there's a knifing and death. Like a surgeon, "he'd removed a man's violence," he takes to telling himself in defense against guilt. She is Eve Jones-lovely and grateful, almost relentlessly grateful. The affair that springs up between them has the quality of the inevitable. But Eve is a dark one, with sides to her that are both complex and disturbing, so much so that Jonah decides to break off the relationship. Not his decision to make, says Eve, which is when Jonah begins to understand how much trouble he's in. And how wrong he's been about the woman he once thought of as a victim. After a relatively cheery debut, the talented Kellerman (Sunstroke, 2005) travels to Ruth Rendell country, and the bet here is you won't have read a more nightmarish novelall year. Agent: Liza Dawson/Liza Dawson Associates
From the Publisher
"A satisfying journey into the bizarre." - People "A shivery psychological thriller." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
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Penguin Group
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File size:
611 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"A satisfying journey into the bizarre." - People "A shivery psychological thriller." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Meet the Author

Jesse Kellerman is the author of Potboiler, The Executor, The Genius, Trouble, Sunstroke. and with Jonathan Kellerman, The Golem of Hollywood. His books and plays have won several awards and an Edgar Award nomination. He lives in California.

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Trouble 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this novel to be an interesting and suspenseful riff on an often overplayed theme: the female stalker. This has been overdone both in novels and on film. What separates, and elevates, Kellerman's version above the fray is his wonderful characterization of Jonah, the hapless medical student who finds himself involved in more than he bargained for after helping a seemingly defenseless woman in peril. Jonah's relationships with his parents and ex-girlfriend, as well as his tribulations in medical school, are fascinating and psychologically astute. The plot itself is fairly predictable but there are a few surprises that I didn't see coming. This is a fast and entertaining read. Recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has an interesting plot, but it's been done before, and better. As one reviewer noted, there are too many unfinished thoughts and sentences. The pacing is uneven, and the characters are one dimensional. If you enjoy this genre, try...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mazzetti86 More than 1 year ago
Just plain bad.....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first (and last) book I have read by this author. I do not like his writing style, way to wordy and disjointed. I finally was able to finish but it was a chore. --K--
sanman More than 1 year ago
jeff needs to get HELP from jonathon keller. one of the worst!
Bosox08MS More than 1 year ago
Liked if very much - not as much as his first effort, but very enjoyable overall - a nice diversion, good twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maxaluna More than 1 year ago
I listened to the book on CD and Scott Brick is an excellent reader. I particularly liked the way the characters were presented, with all their flaws. I also felt that the way the characters responded were realistic responses.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
By page 261 (of 350 total) I just don't care what happens next. I lost all patience with the main character and was skimming. I'll try to return it to the store instead of finishing it. Predictable, with one twist, but definitely a work I'd recommend to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has got to be one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2007. The material is FRESH, and interesting... You come to CARE about the characters. Kellerman (jr) writes in an engrossing, easy to read, prose that's literate and poetic at times... You don't feel like you're reading the usual junk-page-turners of the genre. READ THIS BOOK!
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Trouble in River City wasn't even a minor irritation compared to what third year medical student Jonah Stem found in the small hours of the morning on a sidewalk in New York City. He's seriously sleep deprived, stressed, and just wants rest. Nonetheless, when he hears a woman scream and finds her being attacked he doesn't hesitate. Without thinking Jonah intervenes, but in trying to fend off her knife wielding attacker the knife somehow ends up in the attacker's throat. Jonathan has killed a man. But, that's okay as he saved the woman, Eve, and he's suddenly the Big Apple's hero of the day - 'superdoc' who risked his neck to save another. Well, being a hero isn't so great after all due to the ragging he gets from his superiors, the unwanted media attention, and the hatred of the dead man's family. As if his life hadn't already been turned upside down a grateful Eve unexpectedly shows up at this apartment. You can guess what's coming here - before long they're engaged in a hot affair. Well, perhaps 'hot' isn't accurate as Eve has some pretty painful, perverse ideas about sex. This is one wanton woman. Sadomasochism is her thing and she wants Jonah on a silver platter (as well as on a hospital desk). Descriptions of their encounters are not for those with tender ears. Jonah never bargained for any of this and seems unaware that he is being manipulated, pushed to the brink of madness. However, Eve is one of the most frightening females in recent literary creation and she's not about to let him go. - Gail Cooke
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jesse Kellerman's new novel, TROUBLE, redefines the rules (if there were ever any to begin with) for writing fiction. His character development is vivid, and his occasional use of humor helps defuse the reader's growing sense of anxiety as the story unfolds. This playwright/novelist writes with a style that is definitely his own. Readers interested in expanding their vocabulary may wish to have a dictionary close at hand as they work their way through the chapters of this extremely well written book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an oddly written book..I struggled to get through it. I knew from page 1 that it was going to be very wordy. The unfinished thoughts and sentences were just too prevelant throughout. I will not read any more from this author..He obviously didn't get his parents talent...
harstan More than 1 year ago
Following a shift as third year medical resident at St. Agatha¿s teaching hospital, Jonah Stem heeding to the unwritten guidance of the ghosts of students past of ODT (out the door or else be available) walks towards Time Square at two forty five in the morning. He needs to buy steady comfortable shoes as his Rockport Walkers died after two years on his feet. However, he follows up to a scream he hears and intercedes between a knife wielding man and a pretty woman. The wannabe killer goes after Jonah, who instead kills the adversary. --- Jonah gains his fifteen minutes of fame, but quickly dives back into the medical student world. The woman he saved, Eve Gones, personally thanks him, which leads to a heated affair. However, her sado-masochistic needs scare Jonah who decides this it not right for him. He ends their relationship only to find himself being stalked by the dead assailant¿s family, the DA who questions the use of excess force and worst yet, Eve Gones ultimately leading to Stem understanding the motive of the man he killed. --- This is an excellent character study that digs deep into the mental deterioration of a nice Good Samaritan who goes from enjoying adulation to empathy towards the man he killed because of the relentless trouble caused by the woman he rescued. Readers who appreciate a deep powerful psychological thriller will want to Jesse Kellerman¿s second tale (see SUNSTROKE) that will be considered one of the sub-genre¿s top ten of the year. --- Harriet Klausner
raspa More than 1 year ago
This book is, without a doubt, the worse book I have read in years. It was extremely wordy and boring. Skipped over a lot of it just to get to the end. I will NEVER purchase another of his books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story is excellent. Page after page, I found it harder and harder to put the book down and then towards the end of the book, I got up at 4:00 in the morning because I had to finish the last pages before I went to work, the waiting was killing me. What sealed the deal for me is Mr. Kellerman's knowledge of New York City, not just Rockefeller Center and the finest restaurants, but gritty information on the Bronx, the subway and the people. And even in the midst of the horror of the story, Mr. Kellerman's characters and observations make you laugh out loud.