Jesse Kellerman pens a psychological thriller that has your blood running cold and
you checking to be sure that all the doors and windows are locked. Trouble is an intense, suspenseful novel.
Living and working in New York City, third-year medical student Jonah Stem is
just hoping to survive the year. The hours are long, the duties arduous. One night after an exceedingly long shift at the hospital, Jonah goes in search of new shoes only to come across an injured woman begging for help. Without much thought, Jonah steps in
and kills her attacker. Suddenly Jonah finds himself a hero, nicknamed “Superdoc.”
While the police and District Attorney’s office consider whether to press charges against him, Jonah becomes the defendant in a civil lawsuit brought on by the family of the dead man.
The woman whose life Jonah saved, Eve Gones, seeks him out to thank him, and the two soon become embroiled in a heated affair. They make an instant connection, and their passion burns fiercely. Eve is beautiful and intelligent,
but something is not quite right about her story, as Jonah soon discovers. Suddenly Jonah
is looking over his shoulder at every turn as the fear mounts for his own life and those of his friends and family. Can he maintain his own sanity?
Jonah’s character is softened by his care and attention to his former girlfriend, Hannah, who suffers from mental illness,
to help and relieve Hannah’s father. Kellerman captures the strain and stress of the events in the novel on Jonah in his treatment of both Hannah’s father, George, and his own family. Lance DePauw, Jonah’s roommate, provides comic relief throughout the novel
with his enthusiasm for new projects that are ultimately left incomplete and his penchant for using hidden cameras.
Kellerman shows promise in his second novel, pulling the reader into the story immediately with his edgy, bordering-on-humorous writing style. The medical slang and nuances of
life as a medical student were well positioned throughout. The first part of the book moves at a rapid pace, setting up the story and taking readers on an intense ride. The second portion of the book, however, slows down a bit, as if the author were
dragging out the inevitable climax. The novel comes to an end abruptly and seems anticlimactic. Despite that, Trouble has all the makings of an entertaining psychological thriller. It certainly offers a new twist to the idea of being a
good Samaritan, for better or worse.