“ Author: Tess Gerritsen / Genre: Crime / Thriller „
Well after reading another of Tess Gerritsens novels I just had to review it, this book is slightly different to her others as it is a more romantic style thriller.
The plot is as follows...
Sarah Fontaine is newly married, she is woken up during the night by the telephone. She eagerly answers the phone expecting it to be her husband Geoffrey Fontaine. However the person on the other end of the phone is Nick O' Hara who is delivering the terrible news that her husband has died in a hotel fire in Berlin. Instantly Sarah has doubts about Geoffrey's death and believes he is still alive, mainly due to the fact he was meant to be in London not Berlin.
Going to see Nick at his office at the US State Department she tries to convince him that they are mistaken about her husband. Intrigued by Sarah, Nick becomes embroiled in trying to discover the truth. This drags them into a situation that involves international espionage and takes them on a dangerous search across Europe.
Both the characters of Sarah and Nick have been put together quite well and you instantly become attached to them. There is the odd other character included in the book but the story does seem to concentrate mainly on Nick and Sarah. This does make sense as they end up not being able to trust anyone and at the same time trying to avoid getting themselves killed.
The plot flows very well and I was totally engrossed in the story as there is always something happening and I never got fed up whilst reading. It isn't as long as some of Tess Gerritsen's other books which may have helped as there are no boring bits or pages you might feel like skipping.
Call After Midnight is a good story and is definitely a real page turner, I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. The only comment I would make is that the relationship between Nick and Sarah progressed maybe a little too quick. Although then again the story may not have been as exciting if it was too much of a slow burner.
I was kept fairly on my toes with the plot and I was never fully sure whether Geoffrey was alive or not and it did manage to keep me guessing right until the end. I wouldn't say this is one of her best novels but it still managed to keep me entertained. One of the reasons is maybe that it probably relies more on the romance side as to being a thriller. I believe it was one of her earlier novels so maybe she hadn't got into her stride yet.
Overall this book has good and bad points but to be honest I would say the good outweigh the bad.
I believe you can buy this book from Amazon for £3.49 or why not have a look around the charity shops like I did, I bought my copy from a local charity shop. This is pretty much where I get most of my books from.
I really like Tess Gerritsens books and I actually read book this a few years ago. I remembered that it really hooked me and when I found it cheap on a market stall last month I thought I must read it again.
I was quite disappointed as it was not as good as I remembered. It is a lot shorter than her other books with only 250 pages of the actual story. The other 28 pages of the book are previews of her next two books, which seemed a bit of a rip off and I am glad I didn't pay the full £6.99 as stated on the cover.
Fans of Gerritsens will know that her books are normally medical dramas, or the recent series featuring Detective Rizzoli and the Medical examiner Maura Isles. Call After Midnight is very different. It involves the CIA, hidden identities and there is even a really quite romantic love story as well.
The story starts with Sarah receiving a call after midnight (funny that!) to say that her husband has died in a hotel fire in Berlin. Events then lead on from there and even though Sarah reckons that Geoffrey is still alive, everyone else convinces her that he is not. Despite this she travels first to London and then to Berlin in an attempt to track him down. Along the way, Nick O'Hara, the policeman who told her Geoffrey was dead, comes with her as support after having being sacked from his job.
The main theme of the book is whether Geoffrey is actually alive or not. There is a prologue to the book which tells the reader that he switched identities in Berlin and it wasn't him that actually died. However, the book carries on trying to confuse the reader as to whether he is dead or not. I don't think the prologue is actually needed. The story would have more suspense and mystery if it wasn't there as it does really ruin the story a bit.
There is also a lot of repetition in the story as well. There were several occasions where Sarah would find something out about the situation and then the same thing was repeated to Nick a few paragraphs on. Again, I felt this was unnecessary and could have been edited to it didn't happen as much.
The story does really build up the characters, even though it is short. Sarah comes across as the grieving widow who is confused whether her husband is dead or alive, and is reluctant to get involved in a new relationship without knowing what happened to Geoffrey. Nick comes across as the hopeless romantic, there to protect Sarah. There are also a few more small characters in the form of the police officers and CIA members, who haven't been built up as well.
There is quite a lot of suspense in the book and I felt that there were no slow bits; there was always something going on. Just as you think it was calmed down a bit, something else happens. As always there are unexpected twists and turns throughout the book and all is not as it seems at the end.
This was one of Gerritsens earlier books and it is easy to see how her writing has developed through the years. I don't think I would read this a third time and I am not sure if I would recommend it. If you like hidden identities and a fast paced story that won't take long to read then you should try it. If you really like Gerritsens other books then this one may not be for you as it is so different.