Review: Keeping The Dead – Tess Gerritsen

Keeping the dead tess gerritsen

Rizzoli & Isles #7

SYNOPSIS: For untold years, the perfectly preserved mummy had lain forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston’s Crispin Museum. Now its sudden rediscovery by museum staff is both a major coup and an attention-grabbing mystery. Dubbed “Madam X,” the mummy–to all appearances, an ancient Egyptian artifact– seems a ghoulish godsend for the financially struggling institution. But medical examiner Maura Isles soon discovers a macabre message hidden within the corpse–horrifying proof that this “centuries-old” relic is instead a modern-day murder victim.

To Maura and Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, the forensic evidence is unmistakable, its implications terrifying. And when the grisly remains of yet another woman are found in the hidden recesses of the museum, it becomes chillingly clear that a maniac is at large–and is now taunting them.

Archaeologist Josephine Pulcillo’s blood runs cold when the killer’s cryptic missives are discovered, and her darkest dread becomes real when the carefully preserved corpse of yet a third victim is left in her car like a gruesome offering–or perhaps a ghastly promise of what’s to come.

The twisted killer’s familiarity with post-mortem rituals suggests to Maura and Jane that he may have scientific expertise in common with Josephine. Only Josephine knows that her stalker shares a knowledge even more personally terrifying: details of a dark secret she had thought forever buried.

Now Maura must summon her own dusty knowledge of ancient death traditions to unravel his twisted endgame. And when Josephine vanishes, Maura and Jane have precious little time to derail the Archaeology Killer before he adds another chilling piece to his monstrous collection. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7Keeping The Dead was quite a fast paced, interesting read. It had eventful turns and twists, not always revolutionary, but put together well. I also liked the archaeological/Egyptian aspect to the book, as I have always been fascinated by these things. Each of the characters have some extreme personal issues raging, and each one of them is dealing in another way. It was nice for Barry Frost to get some more attention in this book as I find he is always a sturdy character that is somewhat overused. Naturally, there is Maura Isles and her tawdry love life, too, that is actually getting rather annoying, that she is portrayed as this strong woman and all that, but she is always up to silly shenanigans in her own time. Gerritsen also never really healed the rift between Jane and Maura in the last novel, and yet here they are perfectly fine again. Also, Gabriel only got about two lines in this book, which broke my heart. He really needs to be used more, and not as a tool from time to time to remind us that Jane is married and has a child. Anthony Sansone made an appearance again, but his “supernatural” claims just didn’t really sit well in this novel, though he is so interesting and definitely a character that I want more off. Gerritsen has certainly fallen into a great rhythm with the Rizzoli and Isles series, and I am always interested in reading more of them. Granted, not all the books are equal, but they are engaging, which is important in a book series. Keeping The Dead may have started a bit scattered, but the momentum built and ultimately came together quite nicely. The relationship dynamics between the characters are becoming far more convincing and makes for a more gripping novel. This was another solid entry to the series. For those who are interested, this book is also called The Keepsake.

Review: Last to Die – Tess Gerritsen

last to die cover

Rizzoli & Isles #10

Here we are, my fifth book for the fifty book challenge. The encouragement knowing I have a total to work toward is very satisfying. This is also the tenth book in the Rizzoli & Isles series that I have been reading and reviewing.

Detective Jane Rizzoli is called in on her day off. Everybody has been called in, and Jane can only assume the worst. Arriving at a house, she is walked through a butchered foster family, and a surviving child, Teddy Clock, who managed to make it out. This is the second time he has made it out by the skin of his teeth. Two years prior to his foster family being wiped out, his actual family was murdered. She needs to make progress with him to see if there is any way that they can tie it all together.

Dr Maura Isles goes to Evensong to visit with Julian “Rat” Perkins, and is shocked by how truly isolated the school really is. Anthony Sansone owns and runs the place, but seems rather off with her, and it throws her somewhat. While there, Maura meets some other students, and her skin crawls when she realizes that all the students are what the board calls “survivors”. All victims of violence and brutality, they are the ones that made it out. Things worsen when she establishes that there are another two children in Evensong that had their biological families killed two years ago withing the same week, as well as their foster families now recently, both kids surviving both ordeals narrowly. Claire Ward is an oddball, and Will Yablonski a geek. Maura contacts Jane to inform her of the development, and Jane takes it upon herself to visit Teddy again. When there, an intruder breaks into the home and Jane is sure that Teddy was the target again. She calls Maura, and whatever Maura’s misgivings are about the school, she insists Jane bring him there to her after she hears of the second attack.

Maura and Jane need to establish what is going on and how these kids are involved and quickly link them together. Evensong may be a safe school, a type of fortress even, but it also makes the women think of sitting ducks, and the feeling is not assuaged when the school psychologist, Dr Welliver, takes a swan dive off the top of the building. Time starts ticking by too fast and too slow all at once, and Jane needs to find a way to investigate this. Lieutenant Marquette gives her a little leeway to find out what is going on when detective Darren Crowe closes the case of Teddy’s foster family’s slaying overly quickly. Bringing in her partner Barry Frost is all Jane asks for, and together they start hunting down answers that seem impossible to render complete.

GRADE 6.5The story was gripping in a way, but did not draw me all the way in. The writing was tight and neat and the story flowed effortlessly. However, I was expecting the plot twist to be far bigger than it actually was in the end, so I felt a little let down. I am glad that Jane and Maura finally sorted their differences out for the better part, and Anthony Sansone’s character was so different from usual in this book. Julian is doing so well, which is great, and it is awesome that Tess Gerritsen keeps that story nourished and on the go. The drama in the Rizolli family is reaching new level of crazy, and the more I read about it, the more I dislike her father, Frank Sr, and brother, Frankie Jr. What chops. Overall, a decent addition to the series,  but not one hundred percent what I was expecting to read.