I'm a physician as well as the New York Times-bestselling author of medical thrillers and the Jane Rizzoli crime thrillers.
Readers who are familiar with my graphic autopsy scenes and forensic details may be astonished to learn that my very first published novels were actually ... romantic suspense. So why did I leave writing romances and turn to thrillers?
It was all because of a chance dinner conversation some years ago. The man sitting beside me at a restaurant one night was an ex-cop who 'd recently been traveling in Russia. Moscow cops had told him that orphans were vanishing from the streets, and they believed the children were being kidnaped and shipped abroad as organ donors.
I was horrified by the tale. Weeks later, unable to forget those missing Russian orphans, I knew I just had to write a book about them. I wanted to bring into it all the medical and autopsy details that I'd learned from my years as a physician. The sights, the smells of the autopsy and operating rooms -- everything.
My first medical thriller, HARVEST, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked my debut on the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list. It was followed by my medical thrillers LIFE SUPPORT (1997), BLOODSTREAM (1998), GRAVITY (1999).
In 2001, my books took another abrupt turn, to forensic thrillers. THE SURGEON was my first Jane Rizzoli thriller. Since then, I've written THE APPRENTICE (2002), THE SINNER (2003), BODY DOUBLE (2004), VANISH (2005 -- and an Edgar Award nominee), and THE MEPHISTO CLUB (2006).
I believe my readers want me to tell them secrets. And that's exactly what I try to do. I take them into the autopsy room, and show them what I've seen. But most of all, I hope I'm revealing what lies in the hearts of my characters. Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles are real people to me now. I hope they're just as real to everyone who becomes acquainted with them!
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