Tess Gerritsen & Gary Braver
Thomas & Mercer 2021
Authors Tess Gerritsen and Gary Braver team up to produce a thriller with a Greek mythological twist. Their prose is alluring, and the plot is intriguing.
Initially, police conclude that college student Taryn Moore has flung herself off her fifty-story apartment balcony. But when her cell phone could not be found, Detective Frankie Loomis becomes suspicious. “Every kid her age has a phone practically grafted to their hands,” she notes.
Moore was enrolled in Professor Jack Dorian’s class, “Star-Crossed Lovers,” and she was also enthralled with Dorian. The class explored doomed love affairs in mythical and legendary literature. Moore became obsessed with women who grieved over their treacherous lovers — “Queen Dido abandoned by Aeneas, Medea abandoned by Jason, Ariadne abandoned by Theseus— those lovers simply moved on in pursuit of glory, heedless of the hearts they’d broken.”
Professor Dorian, married with tenure at the university, has a lot to lose if what had turned into a sexual transgression with Taryn is revealed. Detective Loomis has two daughters, and with her insight on how young women like Taryn might be enamored with their teacher, she isn’t ready to call Taryn’s death a suicide.
The authors’ tragic historical love stories paired with a modern-day student’s relationship with her teacher is cleverly done. But the story’s suspense wasn’t sustained to the end. And with limited characters in the plot, the “who-done-it,” was no surprise.