Message From The Author

Tess Gerritsen

Genre: Suspense, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

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Author's Message

Tess Gerritsen Delivers A New Tale With A Historical Twist In THE BONE GARDEN

It all started with Frankenstein. While preparing a speech about that classic horror novel, I discovered that author Mary Shelley's mother had died of childbed fever.

Although I'm a physician, I didn't know much about the terrible history of childbed fever in the early 1800's. What I learned shocked me.

A pregnant woman would come into the hospital and soon after giving birth, she'd develop a fever, her abdomen would swell due to bacterial gases and she would suffer an excruciatingly painful death. In some hospitals, up to twenty-five percent of new mothers died of the fever. Sometimes this occurred in such overwhelming numbers that their corpses had to be buried two to a coffin. And here's the most appalling part: the disease was being spread by the doctors themselves, who didn't know enough to wash their hands.

I've long been a fan of historical novels. Years ago, I remember frantically turning the pages of Bertrice Small's classic, Skye O'Malley, and thinking: Wow, she really made history come alive!

In college, I'd studied anthropology, and had always felt a connection with the past, but I'd never felt ready to tackle the challenge of writing a historical novel. As I read about that era of true medical horrors, however, I realized that 1830's Boston was the perfect setting for a thriller. I imagined an age when medical students secretly dig up cadavers in order to study anatomy, an age when limbs are amputated with crude knives and saws -- and without anesthesia. And then, I imagined a killer stalking that same grim world.

In The Bone Garden, 17-year-old seamstress Rose Connolly is the only witness who has seen "The West End Reaper," a killer whom police believe may be a man of medicine. Despite her impoverished Irish roots, Rose is more clever than anyone gives her credit for. When the reaper takes a second victim, and suspicion falls on medical student Norris Marshall, he must turn to Rose to prove his innocence.

Together they must follow the killer's trail through graveyards and autopsy suites, glittering ballrooms and the luxurious parlors of Boston Brahmins.

Watch history come alive as Norris and Rose must fight first to prove his innocence, and then for their lives!

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