Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Bloodborne by Gregg Luke

I've been looking forward to reading this book for quite some time because I belong to the same author's guild as Gregg Luke and was intrigued when he first mentioned what his new novel would be about. The anticipation paid off as Gregg delivered another chilling suspense story with the incredibly vivid and realistic details he's known for.

In his latest medical thriller, Gregg introduces a plot that is eerily realistic. Here's the back cover blurb of Bloodborne:

One ordinary afternoon, research specialist Dr. Erin Cross steps into a local deli to get some lunch and nearly takes a bullet instead. Thanks to timely intervention from a former Marine, she walks away from the seemingly freak incident. But when she returns to find her lab under security lockdown and her apartment ransacked, she realizes the attack was anything but random. Erin can’t make sense of the threat, given her low profile after a disastrous H1N1 vaccine trial. She doesn’t know that her former colleague has used the virus to develop a potent bio-weapon or that her recent research holds a key to his success. And she doesn’t know that his collaborators want her dead before she blows the whistle.
Fleeing for safety with her research in hand, Erin unravels the threats with help from the timely Marine, former Special Ops agent Sean Flannery. But the closer they come to finding answers, the more questionable Sean’s behavior becomes. His erratic moods and suspicious communications are more fitting for an enemy than a friend. And as the crisis comes to a head, Erin can’t be sure who harbors more secrets — the bio-terrorists pursuing her or the one man who can give her protection.

My review:
From the first page, I was drawn into Erin's story through the intricate details and scene setup. Gregg did a masterful job of keeping my brain ticking as he tantalized me with precise facts and medical elements that made the story come to life. My skin practically itched with the realization that Bloodborne's mosquitoes were flying toward an incredible plot that could easily happen.

His characterization of Dr. Erin Cross seemed spot-on. Sean Flannery--the marine special ops guy--was an interesting character and I was intrigued by his history. There were a few places where my suspension of disbelief was stretched a bit thin in Erin and Sean's interactions, but Gregg kept the story moving at such a pace that those are easily forgiven. I was a bit surprised at the number of typos I found, but again I know how hard it is when you're working with several people editing your book (who sometimes introduce their own errors) so I can forgive that too.
I like the way Gregg weaves in realistic medical details without becoming overbearing. In Bloodborne, the reader comes to know the important aspects of the story by experiencing them through the character's actions and emotions. It's refreshing to see such well-rounded characters and smart plot action.
Well done Gregg!

Gregg Luke traveled to mosquito endemic areas for research on this book and has extensively studied parasitology and blood-borne diseases.  He traveled to the Yucatan peninsula during the H1N1 pandemic of 2009.
Luke was born and raised in California, served an LDS mission in Wisconsin, then attended several universities where he studied biological sciences before receiving his pharmacy degree at the University of Utah.  He's very much a family man who enjoys a broad spectrum of activities from music to nature with his wife and children.

You can find more about Gregg and his great novels at his website.

Happy reading!


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