Rizzoli & Isles #6
The Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman’s brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It’s a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O’Donnell, Jane’s professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.
On top of Beacon Hill, the club’s acolytes devote themselves to the analysis of evil: Can it be explained by science? Does it have a physical presence? Do demons walk the earth? Drawing on a wealth of dark historical data and mysterious religious symbolism, the Mephisto scholars aim to prove a startling theory: that Satan himself exists among us.
With the grisly appearance of a corpse on their doorstep, it’s clear that someone or something is indeed prowling the city. The members of the club begin to fear the very subject of their study. Could this maniacal killer be one of their own or have they inadvertently summoned an evil entity from the darkness?
Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Maura and Jane embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever faced . . . one whose work is only just beginning. – via Goodreads
The Mephisto Club is excellently written, and definitely my favourite in the series (and I read up until the last book or two, I must still catch up with those). There were times where I thought she was repeating things too often, but that didn’t detract from the story overall. The deaths were described as grisly, but Gerritsen never really went into too much detail. This made the murders important, but the focus lay in other areas of investigation, such as the importance of symbols. I found it a little annoying how, at the best of times, it sounded condescending that certain people didn’t know certain things, or how some pretty basic things (like inverted crosses, really now, 99.9% of people jump to a satanic conclusion, and they are all “investigating”, standing there wondering what the hell the markings were?!) were somehow not regular knowledge, which was a little difficult to swallow. I think if it was handled a little differently, it would have been different. Rizzoli is dealing with some serious home problems in this book, which occasionally threaten to spill into her job, although it did provide me with plenty entertainment. Maura has finally crossed that line with Father Daniel Brophy, something that was set up so many books ago and was inevitably going to happen. Maura, in her personal life, is such a weak character actually, which is a pity. When it comes to work, she is strong, bold, and yet in her personal life she is desperate for love, attention and approval from someone else, and it would be just like her to take it from a forbidden source. Joyce O’Donnell is back in this book, and is as unlikable a snake as ever. Ugh, that woman is like… evil that feeds on other people’s evil because she can’t necessarily do something terrible herself, but gets off on evil people sharing their nasty experiences in extreme detail with her. The Mephisto Foundation was very interesting, bringing in some fresh characters and a new outlook on things. While they harp on religion and the supernatural, the foundation was fascinating and its members highly intellectual, though they sounded like lunatics to anyone with too rational a mind. Anthony Sansone is a character with much potential. He is interesting and annoying in equal measure, which is a fine line for Gerritsen to balance, so let’s see how that goes. I honestly wish that Gabriel Dean had gotten some more time in this book, as he is a character I absolutely adore, but no such luck for me. It would seem t hat Vanish was his moment of glory, and now he has been relegated to father and husband who occasionally makes an appearance. The Mephisto Club is fast paced, highly intelligent, gripping and a truly great read that I would highly recommend.