Abacus, £7.99, 286pp £7.59 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Rescue, By Anita Shreve
Friday 17 February 2012
Rookie paramedic Peter Webster has been trained to avoid entanglements with his patients. But when he pulls a young woman from the wreckage of her car, he can't help being drawn to her chesnut tresses and inviting mouth.
Sheila Arsenault is an alcoholic on the run from a violent partner. Webster is convinced he can "smooth out" her rough edges and bring this "sexy and beautiful" girl back from the brink. Fast-forward 18 years, and it's clear Webster's heroics have been misguided.
Not Shreve's best novel, this medical melodrama feels contrived. Life in working-class Vermont is well-portrayed, but these hardscrabble New Englanders never quite emerge as flesh-and-blood. Yet Shreve never fails to get our hearts racing, even when we've been running on empty.
Arts & Ents blogs
One Direction urge fans to lobby George Osborne about corporate tax avoidance
What are the best first lines in fiction?
EDL Girls: Don't Call Me Racist, BBC3 - TV review: EDL Angel gets into a right muddle
Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
Call The Midwife: Jessica Raine leaves in series three finale
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 1 Bad cattitude: Family call police after crazed and 'hostile cat with a history of violence' attacks baby before attempting to 'flee custody'
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow