Category Archives: Tess Gerritsen

Rizzoli & Isles: Body Double by Tess Gerritsen

Title:  Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles series)
Author:  Tess Gerritsen
Length: 339 pages
Loved it!

It’s been a while since my last Rizzoli & Isles novel.  After reading Body Double, though, I know that I will not have as long as a gap before reading the next book in the series!  Once again, Gerritsen kept me guessing and glued to the story.  Before I jump into my thoughts, here is a synopsis of the book:

Boston medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles literally meets her match–and must face a savage serial killer and shattering personal revelations–in the brilliant new novel of suspense by the New York Times bestselling author of The Surgeon and The Sinner.
Dr. Maura Isles makes her living dealing with death. As a pathologist in a major metropolitan city, she has seen more than her share of corpses every day–many of them victims of violent murder. But never before has her blood run cold, and never has the grim expression “dead ringer” rung so terrifyingly true. Because never before has the lifeless body on the medical examiner’s table been her own.
Yet there can be no denying the mind-reeling evidence before her shocked eyes and those of her colleagues, including Detective Jane Rizzoli: the woman found shot to death outside Maura’s home is the mirror image of Maura, down to the most intimate physical nuances. Even more chilling is the discovery that they share the same birth date and blood type. For the stunned Maura, an only child, there can be just one explanation. And when a DNA test confirms that Maura’s mysterious doppelgänger is in fact her twin sister, an already bizarre murder investigation becomes a disturbing and dangerous excursion into a past full of dark secrets.
Searching for answers, Maura is drawn to a seaside town in Maine where other horrifying surprises await. But perhaps more frightening, an unknown murderer is at large on a cross-country killing spree. To stop the massacre and uncover the twisted truth about her own roots, Maura must probe her first living subject: the mother that she never knew . . . an icy and cunning woman who could be responsible for giving Maura life–and who just may have a plan to take it away.

This is the first book in the series where the reader really gets a closer look at Maura Isles.  The character from the novels is incredibly different from the character on the television show, but she is definitely my favorite character in both.  So, needless to say, I was ecstatic to see that the book started out from the POV of Isles.

Besides loving this book for being Isles-centric, disturbing, and, well, full of everything that I’ve come to love about Gerritsen’s novels, this book felt even more “Girl Power-y” to me than the preceding novels.  Specifically, there is a lot of focus on motherhood and the question of what makes a mother.  Is it merely passing your genes onto a child?  Is it the fact that you carry a child in your womb for 9 months?  Or is it the instinct to protect your child at any and all costs?

There were times that I choked up while reading this novel and there were many times that I wanted to cheer for the feminine strength being displayed by each of the characters.

I very much look forward to the next installment in the series!

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The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen


Title:  The Sinner (Rizzoli & Isles #3)
Author:  Tess Gerritsen
Length:  355 Pages
Rating:  Loved it!

Years ago, while working at Waldenbooks, The Sinner is the Tess Gerritsen book that made me so interested in checking out her work.  I continually came across this title while cleaning up the store, working on displays, or just wandering around during slow periods.

So, why was this book so alluring to me?

  1. The cover.  I loved the cover – the color, the design, and the title.  It sucked me in and possibly intrigued me so much because I attended Catholic high school and college.  Yes, real deal, legit Catholic school where I took classes taught by nuns.
  2. The premise.  While I am not enthusiastic about murders and religious figures being brutally murdered, for me, this type of tale was on par with exorcism movies.  A little disturbing, a little frightening, and full of thrilling twists and turns.  Well, I was assuming that last part there since I hadn’t actually read the book yet.
  3. The main characters.  I love stories, both fictional and non, that feature women totally owning.  Knowing that Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are the best of the best in their field has always been a big draw to the stories for me.

And now I can finally say that I have read this book!  In The Sinner, the reader gets a closer look at the Maura Isles character (who seems very different from the character on the television show) and gets to see an entirely new side of Rizzoli.  On top of this, the story does, in fact, twist and turn, leading the reader down a variety of possibilities for what happened, the who, and the why.  And, as always, Gerritsen succeeds in totally surprising the reader at the end, because, as in the other books, the reality is never quite what you would ever guess it to be.  Or at least not what I ever guess it to be.

Like the other two books, I completely loved the third installment in this series.  I continue to remain excited for the future books and the opportunity to know these characters even better.

Buy a copy of The Sinner on Amazon.

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The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen

Title:  The Apprentice (Book #2 in Rizzoli and Isles Series)
Author:  Tess Gerritsen
Length:  400 pages
Copyright:  2003
Overall Rating:  Loved it!

Tess Gerritsen is 2 for 2.  I loved the second installment of the Rizzoli and Isles series just as much as the first book, The Surgeon.  In the 2nd book, we actually get to meet Isles (described much differently than she appears on the TV show).  In addition to the introduction of this new, vital character, we get to revisit an old foe and watch the showdown with the new villain, equally as evil.

Once again, Gerritsen keeps the mystery alive without getting cheesy and keeps the twists and turns very real and very steady.  There were multiple moments throughout the book where I was convinced something specific would happen, but then it didn’t at all.  I find that this is rarely the case in most commercially successful mystery/suspense tales, whether they be book, television, or movie.

I am definitely, definitely, definitely going to continue reading the series and look forward to learning more about the established main characters, hating the bad guys, and reveling in my confusion and surprise with each novel.  Once again, I highly recommend both the series and the author.

Purchase the book (and/or reach other reviews) on Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Apprentice-Tess-Gerritsen/dp/0345447867 

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Recent Read: The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

Rizzoli & Isles #1Title:  The Surgeon (Rizzoli and Isles #1)
Author:  Tess Gerritsen
Length:  368 pages
Copyright:  2001
Overall Impression:  Instant favorite!

Throughout my college years, I worked at Waldenbooks, further indulging in my love of books.  While working there, I came across MANY books that caught my eye, but I was kind of a book snob and only willing to read widely accepted Classics or quirky, literary gems that weren’t likely to make the New York Times Best Seller list.  Well, except for Harry Potter.  He was my exception.

One of the authors that I kept seeing on our shelves, and in customers’ hands, was Tess Gerritsen.  While working on shelving books and/or unloading shipments, I read the blurbs for some of her novels and was hooked on the publisher provided bait.  They had me intrigued, but I didn’t allow myself to either borrow or purchase the book.  I had an image to uphold, after all, and when you’re 18… image is everything.

Fast forward to the present.  I’m 27 years-old and no longer trying to impress anyone.  Hell, at this point in my life, most people are impressed by the fact that I read for pleasure at all.  Most people can’t find time or energy, but I’m reveling in that period of my life post-college and pre-kids, I guess.  I’m really taking advantage of having “ME” time.  So, with this in mind, I read whatever the hell tickles my fancy.  And guess what?  Tess Gerritsen tickles my fancy.

Honestly, I was reminded of her novels thanks to the local bus-side advertisements for the Rizzoli & Isles series on TNT.  These ads paired with a recent radio interview with Gerritsen really got me jazzed to find the books again.  Knowing that I wanted to try out here series first (see how much I’ve grown!), I went directly to her website to gain some knowledge as to which book is supposed to be read first.  Her website (http://www.tessgerritsen.com) is EXCELLENT for really spelling this out for newbies.

As you can tell from the very top of this post, the first book is The Surgeon.  One of the first things that struck me about this book is that Gerritsen definitely does not shy away from leaping into the thick of the disturbing.  I don’t want to ruin any details about this book, but let us say that my jaw dropped and I was pleasantly surprised by the tale that unfurled on page after page…  I couldn’t put the book down.  I completed the story in a week and am already chomping at the bit for book #2.

I must choose my series wisely, because this is another series where I absolutely love the characters, the writing style, and the subject matter.  Like Larsson, Gerritsen successfully keeps a mystery alive (and one that you can’t very easily figure out on your own – the antagonist isn’t obvious) without becoming cheesy.  I am curious to see where the story goes in the 2nd title (The Apprentice) and whether or not Maura Isles is introduced.

I am certain that you will see many more updates on both this series and author going forward.

 

 

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