cover image The Whole Truth

The Whole Truth

Janice Kaplan. Berkley Trade Pub, $5.99 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-425-15603-2

In her first novel, Kaplan tries to combine the suspense of a hospital thriller with the intrigue of a courtroom drama and falters. Heroine Sarabeth Love is the smartest doctor in Boston and a cliche of the energetic modern woman. She divides her time among work, helping the poor at the free clinic and nurturing her artist-lover Paco. Using her medical smarts to unravel a mysterious death, she will also need the aid of slick lawyer Alicia Rice against a widening conspiracy. While Kaplan provides some legitimate jolts, the revelation of an insurance-billing scheme isn't as much fun as, say, the suspended bodies of Robin Cook's Coma, and courtroom scenes are surprisingly short. Stitching it all together is an annoyingly trite theme from Paco's painting, ""From pain arises hope."" (Jan.)