Posts Tagged With: Tess Gerritsen

Tess Gerritsen – The Killing Place

Synopsis: Something terrible has happened in the snowbound village of Kingdom Come, Wyoming. Twelve eerily identical houses stand dark and abandoned. Meals remain untouched on dining room tables. Cars are still parked in garages. The human occupants have vanished, seemingly into thin air. This is the unsettling place where Maura Isles finds herself trapped during a snowstorm. She has joined a group of friends on a drive to an isolated ski lodge, but when a wrong turn leaves her car stranded in deep snow, she stumbles down a private road into the valley of Kingdom Come, where she takes shelter – and disappears. Days later, Jane Rizzoli flies to Wyoming to search for her missing friend. A crashed vehicle has been found with four badly burned bodies still inside. The authorities assume that one of the women is Maura. But is it? Jane Rizzoli’s search for the truth leads her to Kingdom Come, where a terrifying and gruesome discovery lies buried beneath the snow.

Review: While at a medical conference, Maura bumps into an old friend from medical school, and decides on the spur of the moment to accept his offer for a side trip to a cabin for a few days. But when a bad snow storm forces them off the road, they come across the village of Kingdom Come, which eerily is completely empty, even though there are plates of food still on the tables. When Jane hears that Maura has disappeared, she flies out to try and find her, but instead only finds a car with four bodies inside…is one of the them Maura?

I absolutely loved this book. I’m a huge fan of the Rizzoli/Isles series so I knew I would enjoy The Killing Place, but it surpassed even my expectations. This is the most haunting plot yet, and it was so gripping that I found it absolutely impossible to put it down. There were so many twists that I just didn’t see coming and the ending had a great twist too. I enjoyed the fact that you really get to know Maura so much more in this book, and can start to understand her a bit more as a person, rather than it being mainly about Jane. Definitely my favourite book yet, and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next installment! The Killing Place can easily be read as a stand alone book, but I would highly recommend reading the whole series, purely because the books are just so fantastic!

Rating: 5/5

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Never Say Die – Tess Gerritsen

Synopsis from

Twenty years after her father’s plane crashed in the jungles of Southeast Asia, Willy Jane Maitland was finally tracking his last moves. She recognised the dangers, but her search for the truth about that fateful flight was the only thing that mattered. Closing in on the events of that night, Willy realises that she is investigating secrets that people would kill to protect. And without knowing who to trust, the truth can be far from clear cut…

My Review

Before Tess made it big writing her popular Rizzoli/Isles series, she wrote romantic thrillers, and Never Say Die is one of them. It was originally published in 1992 and has been re-released in light of her new found fame. While not as good as her current books, you can definitely recognise her writing, and it’s still a good story.

Willy Maitland is searching for her father who died when his plane went down during the war 20 years previously, but when people start dropping dead, she realises there’s something that is trying to be covered up. Woven through this is Willy’s relationship with Guy Barnard, who insists on helping her, but Willy suspects his motives. Some of the plot is fairly predictable, especially the romance aspect, but the thriller side keeps it moving along nicely and the ending is good. I would say I prefer her newer books which don’t have the big romance aspects that the older ones do, but it was still really enjoyable to read, and I’ll probably keep picking up her old ones.


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Keeping The Dead by Tess Gerritsen

At Pilgrim Hospital, on a Saturday night, the media are gathered to see an CT of a mummy, recently found in the basement of a museum during an inventory. It comes to a sudden end, however, when an image of a bullet is shown.. making this a much more recent corpse.

Maura Isles was present at the scan, and so she promptly calls in Jane Rizzoli to investigate. Following another ghastly discovery, it becomes apparent that they are dealing with a new killer.. one with a fascination of ancient Egyptian rituals.

This is the latest in the series that began with The Surgeon, although it works just as well as a stand alone book. There are glimpses into the worlds of Maura and Jane, but the main focus is on the crimes, and Tess has obviously done her research. It’s a page turning thriller, which will keep you guessing until the end.. and the glimpses into the different types of preservation are rather fascinating!

I loved The Surgeon and The Apprentice, and have enjoyed the rest the series, but I honestly think that this is the best yet!

Keeping The Dead is published in the UK January 2009, by Bantam Press
Available now in Europe and the rest of the world

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The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

From the back of the book;

In Boston, there’s a killer on the loose. A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on his victims before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physican who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

But as homicide detective Thomas Moore and his partner Jane Rizzoli begin their investigation, they make a startling discovery. Closely linked to these kilings is Catherine Cordell, a beautiful medic with a mysterious past. Two years ago she was subjected to a horrifying rape and attempted murder but shot her attacker dead. Now she is being targeted by this new killer who appears to know all about her past, her work at the Pilgrim Medical Center, and where she lives. The man she believes she killed seems to be stalking her one again, and this time he knows exactly where to find her…

Compelling and stunning read which has kept me gripped all afternoon although I have had to take several breaks from the horror of the words. This book highlighted for me how ambivalent I feel about this genre. Well written, plotted and totally engrossing however I am very disturbed by the vivid descriptions of tortured victims. I usually elect not to read or watch this kind of thing on TV as it plays on my mind and I feel slightly traumatised by the ordeal. On the other hand I would not want to miss out on such a rollercoaster ride. I love the portrayal of the characters Rizzoli and Moore, the suspense and build up are fantastic. It’s all excellent. I will read more of Tess Gerritsen but I need a good break first.

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The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

Synopsis (from back page)

Can you really see evil when you look into someone’s eyes?

In a rundown house, a woman has been dismembered in an act of carnage that leaves veteran cops in shock. Drawn on the wall, in blood, are ancient symbols, and a mirror-image word in Latin that, translated, says ‘I have sinned’.

Then a second woman is found butchered on Beacon Hill, just outside the home of the leader of the Mephisto Club, a secret society dedicated to the study of evil. On the door have been scrawled yet more ancient symbols.

This is evil that the Boston PD has never encountered before. And the only way Maura Isles can defeat it is by turning to the people who understand the devil himself.


The Mephisto Club is set four months on from when the last book in the series, Vanish, finishes and once again Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are on the hunt for a killer.

Now although I did enjoy this book I did find it a little slow to start with and it took me a little while to get to the stage of being intrigued enough to actually want to see how it all came together in the end. In fact I think I’d reached the halfway point before I’d come to the decision that I did want to know…although I’m still undecided as to whether my perseverance was because I genuinely cared about the outcome or whether it was just out of sheer nosiness although I am leaning more towards the latter.

Like I said I did enjoy this book but it didn’t grip me as much as her previous one, the reason being was that all the biblical references, satanic worship and strange rituals aspect of it was extremely off-putting and really not my kind of thing at all.

In all honesty if I hadn’t already have read and enjoyed one of Gerritsen’s previous novels, after reading this one I may not have been in such a hurry to track down any more of them, however because I did enjoy Vanish so much and as it was that book that first brought my attention to the partnership of Rizzoli & Isles I will still be keeping an eye open for her previous books in order to play catch-up with their story.

Reviewed by Karen.

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Vanish by Tess Gerritsen

Synopsis (from back page)

Stare death in the face… The beautiful woman appears to be just another corpse in the morgue. But when medical examiner Maura Isles looks down at the body, she gets the fright of her life. The corpse opens its eyes.

Now very much alive, the woman is rushed to the hospital, where she murders a security guard and seizes hostages, one of whom is the heavily pregnant homicide detective Jane Rizzoli.

But who is this woman, and what does she want? Only Jane can solve the mystery – if she survives the night.


This is the first book by Tess Gerritsen that I have read, but it certainly will not be the last.

From the moment I started reading it, to when I finally turned the last page I was completely hooked and it was only after I’d closed the book and wiped away a stray tear that I realised just how engrossed I’d become in the lives of not only Jane and Maura but also those of Mila, Olena and to a lesser extent Joe.

Although a little graphic in places, it’s not overly done so and the autopsy descriptions are all relevant and largely significant to the storyline. Personally I have to admit that I loved these scenes and could actually picture it all happening in my head. Fantastic!

My only little bug bear with it is that the author never reveals how Olena ended up in the morgue to begin with? Was her ‘death’ an unsuccessful attempt on her life by the people who were after her? Or was it all part of her and Joe’s plan to bring the truth out into the open?

Overall, this is a fantastic and really gripping read and one that certainly kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

Vanish is actually the fifth book in the Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles series and although I haven’t read any of the preceding ones (yet) I can quite honestly say that it didn’t affect my enjoyment of this one. Admittedly there is the odd reference to a previous case, which I can only assume is featured in one of the previous books, but these are literally just mentioned in passing and don’t have any great relevance or impact with the storyline here…although saying that I am going to have to track down all the other books in the series so that I can see how the characters of Jane and Maura have grown over time.

Although it may be wiser to start at the beginning of the series, I highly recommend this particular book.

Reviewed by Karen.

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