Review: The Silent Girl – Tess Gerritsen

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Rizzoli & Isles #9

SYNOPSIS: Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams. The grisly display homicide cop Jane Rizzoli finds in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.

In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.

Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell, a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she’s the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil.

Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade. – via Goodreads

GRADE 7Well, rereading this book, I enjoyed it far more than I did the first time. The first time I read it, it was just okay. Now it was actually a fair and decent read. There was a chunk of Chinese culture woven through it, and it was done well for the novel. I feel that the balance between Maura and Jane was not quite equal in this one, what with some serious things happening with Maura, and then having those skipped over for the main story here. It just didn’t flow well, but I was also somewhat relieved that I would not have to read her melodramatic internal thoughts again. Sometimes she is just too much. The last novel worked really well, but sometimes she is just way too whiny. Frost got some more time here, which was great, but I really wish we got more of Gabriel Dean in the stories. He’s an awesome character that I find grossly underused. The Silent Girl touches on quite a few topics, a lot of them serious. Love, family, loyalty, honour, memories, justice, vengeance. Overall, I feel that the themes are balanced quite well, which is lovely. I would loved to have read more about Julian, but alas, this was not the novel for it. I am not a big fan of the chapters that skipped to a first person point of view (Iris Fang’s perspective), it was jarring every single time it flipped back to that, but still. I enjoyed the addition of latest detective, Johnny Tam, and how he reminds Jane so much of herself in her youth, her tenacity and spirit. The plot progressed in a manner that revealed just enough at specific times, and at times, things were a little predictable, whereas others, twists were implemented with finesse. What I really liked about this were the vigilantes that were brought into the story. They were strong characters, though shrouded in shadow and mystery. They had an hononur and integrity (not necessarily mentioned, but the actions told a whole story). This series is well worth a read, ups and downs and all. While not as gripping as the last entry, this is still well worth a look see, with a tight plot that barrels along at the speed of light and characters that have become so familiar to us, The Silent Girl carries itself well.

Blind Spot Series 2016

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Ryan at The Matinee checks out films once a month that he should have seen a long time ago, but never did. Somewhere along the line, this became a yearly challenge that so many people participated in. I joined the Blind Spot Series in 2015 and watched a ton of movies, both very good and very bad, but all that I can finally tick off on my watch list. The sense of accomplishment that I felt when it was all said and done was immense, and hence has prompted me to do this once again this year! Here are my twelve picks for the upcoming year:

Insomnia (2002)

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SYNOPSIS: Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn’t set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen. – via IMDB

I am a Nolan junkie, as I am sure you guys know by now. I think the man is an utter genius when it comes to film, and yet I have never actually gotten around to seeing Insomnia, despite it being helmed by Nolan and sporting a cast led by Al Pacino and Robin Williams. This is something that I need to remedy effective immediately.

Let The Right One In (2008)

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SYNOPSIS: Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl. – via IMDB

A movie that piqued my interest ages ago and then just ended up on my huge, dreaded to-watch list, and no matter how many times it was recommended again and again, and how many people tried to persuade me of its awesomeness, I just never got around to it, and every time I see someone write about it or something I cringe. I am over cringing!

The Breakfast Club (1985)

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SYNOPSIS: Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they though – via IMDB

This one is here partly because of Table Nine Mutant’s love for it, and after I participated in her John Hughes blogathon an age ago, I figured I would really, really like to understand the cult status this movie possesses, even if I don’t like it. I want to at least be able to say “oh  yeah, that movie” and know what I am talking about, not duck my head in shame and run with the defense of “at least I have seen Ferris” (which sucks, by the way).

Oldboy (2003)

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SYNOPSIS: After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days. – via IMDB

Film Club once did the 2013 remake for Oldboy, and while I enjoyed it more than anyone else did, I vowed that I would have to see the original to understand why it got so much flak, and because I was interested in seeing how it compared to the original for me, and see if I would still like the remake. The best laid plans, you know? Well, this is the year that I am going to compare them!

On The Waterfront (1954)

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SYNOPSIS: An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses. – via IMDB

A film that has a lot of love and praise heaped on it all the time and by everyone, and I haven’t seen that. I guess that is sort of the point of these Blind Spot picks, right? I have always wanted to watch it. So now I will.

Into The Wild (2007)

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SYNOPSIS: After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life. – via IMDB

I have always meant to and it just never happened (recurring theme, I know). That’s all I have to say about that.

Swingers (1996)

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SYNOPSIS: Wannabe actors become regulars in the stylish neo-lounge scene; Trent teaches his friend Mike the unwritten rules of the scene.- via IMDB

I like Vince Vaughn. There, I said it. Granted, he hasn’t actually done anything really good recently aside from True Detective season two (and the show itself wasn’t the greatest), but whatever. I also enjoy Jon Favreau’s work a lot. People always ask if I have seen Swingers. I always wince and say I haven’t.

Billy Elliot (2000)

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SYNOPSIS: A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family. – via IMDB

This movie was huge when I was in primary school and it came out. It was on every magazine and newspaper in the damned country, and there were interviews up the wazoo on television and people raged and it went right over my head because I was way more interested in Potter and my books and my magical little worlds. But now I am older and I wonder what all the hype was about concerning a young boy in a tutu. Guess I am going to find out.

Moon (2009)

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SYNOPSIS: Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems. – via IMDB

A highly praised film that most claim touts of Sam Rockwell’s greatest performances, definitely bumping it up the old watch list this year so that I can agree or disagree with the aforementioned statement.

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

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SYNOPSIS: An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. – via IMDB

I keep hearing about this movie, reading about it, seeing it everywhere, and yet I have never seen this widely regarded holiday classic, which is actually just inexcusable.

True Romance (1993)

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SYNOPSIS: Clarence marries hooker Alabama, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood, while the owners of the coke try to reclaim it. – via IMDB

True Romance has so many talented people attached to it, which begs the question of why, if it has so many things that win points for me to make me want to see it, have I not yet seen it? Examples: Brad Pitt? Gary Oldman? Christopher Walken? Samuel L Jackson? Val Kilmer? A score by Hans Zimmer? Written by the sharp and witty Tarantino? You get the picture, so I will stop right there.

Chinatown (1974)

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SYNOPSIS: A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. – via IMDB

Neo-noir mystery? Old school Jack Nicholson? Private eyes and murder, spans of mystery? Never had time to get to it (this theme)? The one I saw floating around on Netflix the other day and guiltily remembered that it was high time I got to it? The one that haunts me? Yep, this is the one!