Presumed Guilty by Tess Gerritsen
I enjoy books by Tess Gerritsen. I enjoy thrillers and mysteries so her topics are right up my street. Gerritsen has not always been an author. Although she longed to be a writer, her family had reservations about the sustainability of a writing career, prompting Gerritsen to choose a career in medicine. She was born in San Diego, California, USA on 12 June 1953. In 1975, Gerritsen graduated from Stanford University, California with a BA in anthropology and went on to study medicine at the University of California in San Francisco She received her medical degree in 1979 and started work as a physician in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Gerritsen has now retired as a physician. She has two sons and lives with her husband, Jacob Gerritsen, who is also a physician, in Camden, Maine.
I picked up Presumed Guilty from my local library. It falls into the romantic thriller category, so it is slightly outwith my usual comfort zone. However, I really enjoyed the book. The heroine, Miranda Wood arrives home to a dark, cold cottage – and a man, stabbed to death, lying in her bed. Miranda is the obvious suspect and as she fights to clear her name, she unearths a murky history of blackmail, corruption and scandal.
Presumed Guilty starts for Miranda when, after a terrible couple of weeks, she quit her job and broke up with her married lover, Richard Tremain. She had decided to leave her home and start afresh with a new job as he was also her employer. Then, Richard telephoned her at night. He wanted to see her and did not believe that she would actually leave him. He told her was going to come to her home but she did not want to see him. So, she went for a long walk and sat by the water for an hour or so before slowly making her way home.
She arrived to see Richard’s car was still there, she was angry and determined to confront him one last time. However, her horror was complete when she found his body in her bed and he had been stabbed to death with one of her kitchen knives. Miranda was taken to jail for the murder of Richard. She was the obvious suspect.
While this was happening, Chase Tremain, Richard’s brother, was driving all night to get home to his family. Miranda’s bail was posted by an anonymous donor the following day but Miranda had no idea who had posted the bail. She did not know anybody who could afford it. However, it is not clear whether this anonymous gesture was a kind one, or a manipulative one.
Miranda found herself in immense danger with the secrets from Richard’s dark past coming out in the open. She was fighting to prove her innocence but no-one believed her. Her friends all deserted her, her colleagues at the newspaper office where she had worked would not look her in the eye. Even the police chief was convinced of her guilt.
It is not clear how Miranda could prove her innocence. The twists and turns in this great thriller lived up to Gerritsen’s usual style. The pace was fast, the action full on. I had no idea who the killer was until the very end. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend Presumed Guilty.