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Author's Message

Gerritsen Thrills and Chills with BLOODSTREAM

There's something spooky about old New England towns. Whenever I wander the streets of the small Maine village where I live, I wonder what ghosts lurk inside those quaint houses, what secrets my neighbors are hiding.

In my latest medical thriller, Bloodstream, Dr. Claire Elliot has recently moved to just such a place. On the surface, Tranquility, Maine, appears to be an idyllic village, the perfect town in which to settle. But as the season grows dark and the autumn leaves fall, inexplicable acts of violence begin to occur in the town. Soon Claire uncovers Tranquility's startling secret: that this epidemic has ancient roots. Twice a century, always during the month of November, the town of Tranquility explodes into violence.

Now, Claire, with the help of Chief of Police Lincoln Kelly, must race to find the cause of this epidemic, before it destroys everything they love.

Enjoy An Excerpt:

Tranquility, Maine, 1946

If she was still enough, quiet enough, he would not find her. He might think he knew all her hiding places, but he had never discovered her secret niche, this small hollow in the cellar wall, concealed by the shelves of her mothers canning jars. As a young child she had easily slipped into this space, and every game of hide and seek had found her curled up in her lair, giggling at his frustration as he thumped from room to room, searching for her. Sometimes the game would go on so long she'd fall asleep, and would awaken hours later to the sound of her mother's voice worriedly calling her name.

Now here she was again, in her cellar hiding place, but she was no longer a child. She was fourteen and barely able to squeeze into the niche. And this was no lighthearted game of hide and seek.

She could hear him upstairs, roaming the house, searching for her. He rampaged from room to room, cursing, slamming furniture to the floor.

Please, please, please. Someone help us. Someone make him go away.

She heard him roar out her name: IRIS! His footsteps creaked into the kitchen. Approached the cellar door. Her hands balled into tight fists, and her heart was a banging drum.

I am not here. I am far away, escaping, soaring into the night sky

The cellar door flew open, slamming into the wall. Golden light shone down, framing him in the open doorway at the top of the stairs.

He reached up to pull on the light chain and the bare bulb came on, dimly illuminating the cavernous cellar. Cowering behind the jars of home-canned tomatoes and cucumbers, Iris heard him descend the steep stairs, each creak bringing him toward her. She pressed deeper into the hollow, flattening herself against the crumbling stone and mortar, and closed her eyes, willing herself to be invisible. Through the slamming of her own heartbeat she heard him reach the bottom of the steps.

Don't see me. Don't see me.

The footsteps moved right past the canning shelves and headed toward the far end of the cellar. She heard him kick over a box. Empty jars shattered on the stone floor. Now he was circling back, and she could hear his harsh breathing, punctuated by animal grunts. Her own breaths were coming short and fast, her hands clenched so tightly she thought her bones would shatter. The footsteps moved to the canning shelves.

And stopped.

Write to Tess c/o Pocket Books, 1230 Sixth Ave., New York, NY 10020. Or visit her online at www.TessGerritsen.com


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