Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Stormchasers-Jenna Blum

The Stormchasers
Jenna Blum
Plume, Apr 26 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780452297135

In 2008, Gail Nelson of the Wichita Medical Center Mental Health Clinic calls Minneapolis Ledger reporter Karena Jorge and tells her that her bipolar twin brother, Charles Hallingdahl was admitted to the hospital due to rapid bipolar disorder mood swings; he refuses medication. She has not seen or heard from her sibling except for photos of Tornado Alley storms in two decades as he left home when they were eighteen following a tragedy. She has searched for him since while he searched for the next storm.

Karena rushes from Minneapolis to Kansas, but the next morning after the call, Dr. Brewster tells her that Charles is gone. She joins the Stormchasers brigade that travels Tornado Alley while praying she finds her brother before he does something harmful to himself and others. She is attracted to storm tour guide Kevin Weibke, but is ignorant that he and Charles share a history.

This is a terrific family drama that uses storms as a metaphor for what happened twenty years ago and for what occurs inside Charles’ head. The romantic suspense mystery story line captures the reader’s attention from the moment hospital liaison Nelson calls and never slows down as several subplots past and present are explored though at times the flashbacks can be distracting. The Stormchasers is an engaging look at the story nature of people and relationships.

Harriet Klausner

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