When trying out a new author, there is always a risk of wasting time and credits, and getting very annoyed. Not with this one!
It was an enjoyable listen from the beginning--the narrator has a great voice and really brings on the creepiness when needed. About 3/4 of the way through, I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out who the killer was, and how it all tied together. I put the iPod down and left if for a few hours thinking "well I've solved this one"
NOT EVEN CLOSE!
If you are looking for a good mystery that keeps you guessing until the end-this is it. I now will try other books by this author, and hope they are just as well written as this one.
Gravity the book is NOT to be confused with Gravity the movie---as they are not related in any way. As Tess Gerritsen says, "if the movie is based on my book, nobody told me about it." The stories are similar in only one way --both about a female medical doctor on a space station.
Tess Gerritsen is well-known for her medical thrillers, and this one is no exception. It kept me interested from the first heart pounding opening scene (I literally was holding my breath) which starts out far from space--on the ocean floor. A scientist is studying extremophiles, which are organisms that live in extreme conditions, and the ocean floor in this particular area qualifies--180 degree temperature near the funnels that come up from volcanic activity below. Claustrophobics --be warned!
The space station crew are all doing research of one kind or another on different effects of anti-gravity on organisms, which cannot be done on earth. One of the experiments goes terribly wrong, and the resulting illness which starts as blood red eyes and gets worse from there, starts infecting the crew. Dr. Emma Stone does what she can with her limited supplies, but is not able to pin point the cause of the illness until too late to contain it. I can only say that it would be better to die immediately, than to go through what the virus does to the body.
Overall this story is well written and gives the listener a lot to think about. It is a mix of science fiction and scientific biology -with a theory about what could possibly really happen. There are some "human interest" areas - yet not enough depth to care much about most of the people--but that isn't what this book is about.
I would have given 5 stars, but knocked one off for some of the narration. When the narrator was reading particularly tense or scary parts, he turned into a speed reader- I guess to convey the "gravity" (ha) of the situation. Also, not the best with women's voices. However, the overall narration was good, and I would not let it keep you from listening to this interesting thriller.
I was so looking forward to this novel, as two of my favorite Turow books, "Innocent" and "Presumed Innocent" are so rich in the details and drama of courtroom action. However, this story does not put the spotlight on the judge or attorneys.
Overall this is a complex story of two Greek families over a 25 year period. You need to pay close attention to get the numerous characters straight in your mind at the beginning, or it is easy to become lost. The two main players are Paul and Cass Giannis, identical twin brothers.
I found this a difficult review to do since there is so much going on, but I've condensed it to the following:
The story starts in 1982 at the home of Zeus Kronon during his annual Labor Day party. Among the guests are Lidia Giannis and her twin boys who are 25 at the time. The Giannis family and Kronon family have a shaky history, especially between Lidia and Zeus, but that doesn't keep their children from being friends. Unfortunately that day turns out to change the future of both families lives. Zeus Kronon's daughter, Dita, is found murdered in her bedroom after the guests have gone home, and Cass Giannis is quickly arrested on circumstantial evidence. He agrees to a 25 year sentence if he can serve it in a minimum security prison. No trial is necessary and the deal is agreed to.
Jump ahead to 2008. Paul Giannis is running for mayor. Cass Giannis is about to get out of prison. Dita's brother, Hal, a wealthy businessman, is against it and starts a media campaign to stop his release. This is where the real story starts. Hal asks his head of security, Evon Miller and a former homicide detective, Tim Brodie, to investigate and see if they can turn up any new information from the murder 25 years ago. Hal has never been convinced that Paul wasn't involved in some way, and is using the suggestion of his involvement to stall his campaign for mayor.
Back and forth the story is slowly revealed to us over time, from the Labor Day party and the actions of people on that day, then back to the present and what the investigation is turning up.
I liked the story, and it had enough momentum to keep me listening. The only small complaints I would mention are 1) the narrator is ok, but gets a little monotone, and 2) there is a lot of extraneous material that just goes nowhere. This is mostly related to Evon's girlfriend who keeps popping up throughout, and has no real relevance to the story.
Turow did keep me entertained throughout. There are a ton of suspects- - it is never really clear until almost the very end who murdered Dita and why. Recommended!