Manhattan psychiatrist Marshall Friedman leads an outwardly charmed life as a bestselling author with a posh Park Avenue apartment and a generous stipend from his pampered wife’s rich daddy.
He’s just not happy.
So he chucks it all for a new job at a private hospital in his native Pittsburgh, sans his princess wife and princely allowance. But when Dr. Friedman leaps from his cushy-but-claustrophobic frying pan he lands squarely into a fire named Rose Shaw, a seductive geneticist with a haunted past and puzzling present. Rose seeks his help to interpret some menacing dreams, but her romantic intentions are clear.
And that’s how Gerald Myers — once a Pittsburgh doctor himself — kicks off his new suspense novel Heart of Rose (actually a deliberately cinematic resuscitation of his earlier Muted Colors, in the vein of Michael Crichton’s medical thrillers.)
Although Dr. Friedman is repeatedly warned to bypass his beguiling colleague Rose, the good doctor proves to have a blind spot the size of Three Rivers Stadium. He sheds his professional distance faster than his trousers. And even as Dr. Friedman realizes that Rose’s obsessions and perversions arise from a dark secret, he’s inexplicably drawn closer to her dangerous flame. The doc is addicted to her.
Myers’ story, which includes a surprising genetic twist brought about by Rose, unfolds credibly, unclogged with surplus characters or superfluous plotlines. Despite some minor continuity flubs, he keeps the action pumping along briskly without a lot of inaccessible medical lingo. And it pulses with plenty of heart-pounding sex.
But at the precise moment when Heart of Rose should be throbbing madly toward an arresting finish, the action flutters and the storyline goes flat. Unfortunately, most readers will consider this a fatal flaw, despite the book’s considerable strengths.
Is there a doctor in the house?
Also available in hardcover and ebook.