cover image Under the Knife

Under the Knife

Tess Gerritsen. Harlequin Books, $2.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-373-22136-3

Melodrama and logical flaws slay this tale of murder and yuppie love. Gerritsen ( A Call After Midnight ) gets off to a flying start with a death during routine surgery. Although medical records suggest the patient died due to an error by anesthesiologist Kate Chesne,sp ok/pk who is sued for malpractice, she persuades David Ransom, lawyer for the victim's parents, that the records are suspect. Together they discover that the ``accident'' is one of a series of murders. Fortunately for the protagonists, the killer, who has efficiently cut the throats of two other victims and fractured the skull of a third, decides for no convincing reason to indulge in an elaborate frame-up that could easily fail. Characters are also inconsistent: in the beginning David plans to ``expose'' and ``destroy'' Kate, but tells her a few pages later that he doesn't attack doctors, only their mistakes. The lovers' squabbling and passion never rise above romance formula; even the author characterizes one of her scenes as ``a tableau taken straight out of some soap opera.'' (Apr.)