Gravity

September 1999
400 Pages
ISBN-10: 0671016776
ISBN-13: 978-0671016777

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Gravity

“She is better that Palmer, better than Cook … yes, even better than Crichton” — Stephen King

A young NASA doctor must combat a lethal microbe that is multiplying in the deadliest of environments — space — in this acclaimed blockbuster of medical suspense from Tess Gerritsen, bestselling author of Harvest, Life Support, and Bloodstream.

Emma Watson, a brilliant research physician, has been training for the mission of a lifetime: to study living beings in space. Jack, McCallum, Emma’s estranged husband, has shared her dream of space travel, but a medical condition has grounded and embittered him. He must watch from the sidelines as his wife prepares for her first mission to the International Space Station.

Once aboard the space station, however, things start to go terribly wrong. A culture of single-celled organisms known as Archaeons, gathered from the deep sea, is to be monitored in the microgravity of space. The true and lethal nature of this experiment has not been revealed to NASA. In space, the cells rapidly multiply and soon begin to infect the crew-with agonizing and deadly results.

A recovery attempt ends in catastrophe; the NASA shuttle crashes, and the space station is left dangerously crippled. Emma struggles to contain the deadly microbe, while back home, Jack and NASA work against the clock to retrieve Emma from space.

But there will be no rescue. The contagion now threatens Earth’s population as well, and the astronauts are left stranded in orbit, quarantined aboard the station-where they are dying one by one…

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Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Gerritsen (Bloodstream) meshes medical suspenseAher specialtyAand the world of space travel in another nail-biting tale of genetic misadventure. Much of this scary thriller is set aboard the International Space Station, where a team of six astronauts suddenly find themselves threatened by a virulent biohazard. Victims first register a headache, followed by stomach pains; then their eyes turn blood red. Finally, they convulse so violently they literally bash themselves apart. Most frightening is what spills out of their bodies: green, egg-filled globules. As astronaut Emma Watson, the station’s onboard doctor, struggles to fight the outbreak, her colleagues are dying one by one. A Japanese astronaut, the first to get sick, is sent down to earth via the space shuttle, but he’s dead on arrival. Panic spreads when military physicians discover a deadly mutantAa creature that’s part human, part frog and part mouseAin the eggs that spill from his body. The military, fearing bioterrorism or even an extraterrestrial invasion, quickly traces the contaminant to an experiment on the space station that was funded by a company researching tiny organisms in the ocean off South America, where an asteroid hit thousands of years ago. Meanwhile, back on the station, Watson is the only one left alive. The military says she’s already infected and must be left to die in space, but Watson’s husband, fellow astronaut/physician Jack McCallum, won’t tolerate that decision, and scrambles to find a way to get her home. It’s a tribute to Gerritsen, herself a medical doctor, that such an outlandish tale can be told so compellingly and convincingly. Thanks to her impressive research, the novel’s detailed descriptions of life in space consistently ring true, and the progress of the breakout is satisfyingly horrific. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Mystery Guild main selections, Doubleday Book Club Super Release; Simon & Schuster audio; author tour. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.