Category Archives: Crime

4th July – James Patterson

Well hello Women’s Murder Club! It’s been a while! I started this blog with my passion for the genre of Crime and it has changed with me as I have gone deeper down the YA Fantasy genre. But with this Covid-19 lock down I have found myself reading a lot more and re-read all of the Women’s Murder Club books I already have (1-11) and then I bought the next 4, nearly catching up to the 19 that are out. I figured I would continue the series review I was up to!


We find ourselves with a WMC without Jill, we are a woman down. I went into this book wondering how we would cope without Jill and Patterson doesn’t leave it long!

Lindsay is out with her friend’s at the club house of Susie’s, drinking a margarita whilst off duty, when Jacobi comes in and tells her that a case they have been working on might break. They go off together, Lindsay fully disclosing the couple of drinks she has had to Jacobi and off they go to conduct some surveillance. A car they have been looking for for months is in sight and all of a sudden they are in a high speed car chase across the city. The car crashes and Lindsay and Jacobi approach the car, guns drawn. Seeing that the drivers were a young teenage girl and boy and they were clearly in distress, with blood and vomit everywhere, the two cops holster their weapons and approach the car to give aid. Getting the kids out of the car, the lad shoots Jacobi and then when he is down, kicks him in the head. Lindsay pulls out her gun but not quick enough as she is also shot and on the ground. Before the kids can pull the lethal shot, Lindsay shoots them, killing the girl and paralysing the boy.

One would assume that after a police investigation, which Lindsay is cleared from, that would be the end. The evidence points to the young siblings as serial killers of the city’s forgotten. However, the young pair are part of a wealthy family and their father sues Lindsay for police malpractice, meaning Lindsay has to fight for her career in a court of law.

With all the media attention, Lindsay escapes to a sleepy village in California, house sitting for her sister to avoid the attention. This is actually the scene of Lindsay’s first ever homicide, one she never solved. Whilst trying to keep her nose clean, she begins to dive into the new homicide’s that are occuring in the village that seem suspiciously like the now cold case of hers.

Fighting on two fronts, can Lindsay clear her name and clear the sleepy village of a vicious killer?


I kept hinting in the other 3 reviews that one of these books got a 10 and although I can’t quite remember which one it was for me back then, having re-read them all recently, it is definitely this one. Police brutality, especially in America, is rife and the apparent obvious racism that comes with it needs to be eradicated. However, this book shows just how perilous a police officer’s job is and that fine line and split second decision making they have to do on a daily basis. As a UK audience member, police shootings are very rare here as our normal police cannot carry a gun. We have had a few taser incidents which have resulted in deaths but rarely is it a gun shooting. I was fully behind Lindsay on this case and believe she was in the right to do as she did so it was interesting to see how money can play a big part as if the family had no money, you can be sure that there would have been no law suite, whether it be warranted or not. This case brought into the lives of the WMC the newest lawyer to replace the space left by Jill. Yuki is a delight and is also very different to Jill.

The second story line I thought was also excellent. With Lindsay making friends in the area but also managing to find herself in the middle, and eventually in the centre, of a serial killer case. Some people cannot leave the job at home! I thought the case was well done and the twist was excellent.

I have already given my rating away but here it is: 10/10. 

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Vanish – Tess Gerritsen

Moving back on track to book reviews after my little excited foray into film, I shall carry on with the Rizzoli and Isles series by Tess Gerritsen. This next instalment into our dynamic duo’s lives could easily be seen on the big screen. After films such as Taken, Taken 2, 12 Years a Slave and The Call abduction and slave trade type films have been quite prevalent in the film making world. This book jumps onto this bandwagon excellently and takes you along for the ride.


We first start off in Mexico where some Eastern European girls are being transported to the border. Already we sense something is not quite right, as do the girls (and our main girl Mila) who are still clinging onto the story they had been fed back home, that they were going to work as maids for rich people. Once across the border, we see how wrong their assumptions were. Men have arrived and begin to bid on the girls, deciding who gets whom. Mila’s best friend complains and we see her get raped by the men. She runs after this and is shot down. Mila now realises that escape is futile.

Cut to Maura Isles in the lab finishing up an autopsy when she hears a noise. She follows it to the refrigerators and finds a body still alive. Quickly she rushes her to the hospital.

Jane Rizzoli is now heavily pregnant and slightly overdue. She is a witness in a case and the ‘bad guy’ begins to resist the security guards. Jane being Jane tackles the man, subduing him resulting in her waters breaking. This leads her being taken to the hospital to deliver her baby.

Scarily, the lady whom Maura found alive in the autopsy room escapes her room and takes over the hospital, including taking hostages, one of which is Jane. This leads us down the road of slavery, corruption and stubbornness until we get to the gripping finale.


This was an excellent read. Some of it was hard to read, rape is not an easy subject to encounter in any form. The fact that this story is true for so many girls is what makes it the most heartbreaking. Steve McQueen in his BAFTA acceptance speech mentions “there are 21 million people in slavery as we sit here”. If this book, like 12 Years a Slave can, at all, contribute to the awareness that this still occurs and we must do something about it to save these people then more writers and more film makers should be making us aware of it.

Enough of the heavy stuff! Overall this book was brilliant. Like the others before it, Gerritsen’s writing is superb. The knowledge she brings to the table through Maura Isles is sublime. Gabriel’s love of his wife and unborn child is deliciously portrayed and Jane’s stubbornness never changes making her a very believable and ultimately loveable character. I hope we see more of Father Brophy soon as I am riveted by that story line!

I shall give this story a slightly higher mark than its brethren due mainly to the importance behind such a story and message. My verdict: 9/10. Go on give it a read!


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Body Double – Tess Gerritsen

Yes fair readers, another Tess Gerritsen book! Rizzoli and Isles are back in the Body Double and we find out more about Maura Isles in this instalment. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the Rizzoli and Isles series and I am glad that there is a new one out for me to sink my teeth into.


We start off in Paris, with Dr. Isles on a conference. (I sure wish my work took me to Paris for conferences!) When she returns home, she finds her street completely cut off with police. Obviously curious as to what has occurred, she enters into the throng of police to discover a dead woman outside her house. While this in itself is a horrifying discovery, Maura finds herself to be seeing a woman whom is identical to her. This literally is a body double.

We have know since The Apprentice that Dr. Isles has been adopted but it is only now that we explore this avenue of her life. It seems she was put up for adoption with her twin sister for the price of $20,000 each. Quite a sum of money. It also turns out that her biological mother is currently serving a life sentence in a woman’s prison for the murder of two women, one of which was pregnant. Under the insanity plea, Maura’s mum is given a lighter time of it by the wardens but Maura is able to see past this mask into the intelligent eyes of an abused murderer.

Meanwhile, a pregnant woman with a toe-rag of a husband is kidnapped and put inside a box and buried. However, she is left with food, water, air and light meaning this clearly isn’t you every day usual psychopath. A pregnant Jane Rizzoli is trying to piece together the mystery of Maura’s sister, the disappearance of a pregnant lady and the development of a 45 year old crime scene within a house that Maura’s sister had rented.


I have said this in the previous book. I love this series. The characters are interesting and well thought out and each story gives you a personal insight into each of their lives. Father Brophy is still around in this book and hints at possibilities for future books.

Gerritsen tackles quite sensitive issues, this one of adoption and pregnancy and how our actions can affect future generations. Jane’s nemesis of Hoyt is mentioned again and it is good to see the continuity with little comments like Jane makes throughout this book. It helps make the die-hard fans feel special when they notice these things.

Again, Gerritsen’s knowledge of medical history is noticeable throughout the series and this book. The friendship between Rizzoli and Isles is growing and we can see that they are getting to be firmly in the friend category, even as far as Rizzoli offering her couch to Isles when her life is possibly in danger. All exciting developments for future books!

My verdict: 8.5/10. Same as the last instalment and hopefully this trend shall continue!

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The Sinner – Tess Gerritsen

I have recently browsed over my old posts and noticed something amiss. I have only 7 posts in the crime category. This was surely not right so I double checked. But no, only 7 posts. Yet I have read more than that in my lifetime so today I shall be rectifying this problem, starting with the re-reading of Rizzoli and Isles series. For those of you who have seen the rise of this blog from its humble beginnings (and still humble present) may have noticed that I declared this blog to be more of a crime book review site. Obviously, in the past two years this has not been the case so I shall crack on with the 3rd in Gerritsen’s series, The Sinner.


We start of with a man. A man in a taxi. Not much else is known except for the fact that he is making the taxi go onto a dirt track. The taxi driver seems reluctant to carry on and tells the man that he is now walking to his destination. A seemingly natural thing for a taxi man to do who is trying to save the underside of his car. However, this destination seems to have brought on terror for the taxi man and as our man leaves to head off into the wilderness, we can only hope for the best. As it is, this hope is truly shattered when we see him taking pictures of an area that has seen devastation.

Enter into present day and we find Dr. Maura Isles working on a post-mortem of a man who seemingly died from a heart attack. During this, Detective Jane Rizzoli calls, meaning one thing; a body has been found. Isles journeys to a convent where we find a nun has been murdered and another is in need of quick medical care.

We later discover that the dead nun had given birth to a still born and that the other nun is currently fighting for her life. It seems to be apparent who the intended target was, the father of this still born being the obvious murderer. However, we discover that the nun in the hospital had been previously working overseas in a leprosy village and it had been massacred.

Isles is called to another murder, seemingly not connected and finds a lady whose hands, feet and face had been taken away. A horrific murder. The type of bullet used on the ‘Rat Lady’ results in the FBI getting involved and once again Agent Dean is back in Boston, with a now pregnant Rizzoli.

Isles’ ex-husband, Victor, arrives back into her life and she ends up falling back into her adulterous husbands arms. However, she seems to have an attraction to the unattainable priest who is involved in the convent case.

Rizzoli and Isles piece together this mystery and we end up with Isles fighting for her life.


I love these books. I have to really separate them from the TV series but little things connect them. It is amazing how many names and characters are used throughout both types of entertainment. My bias aside, this is a great book. The title is excellently chosen as nearly everyone is this book can be accused of Sinning amongst its pages.

The plot is fantastically woven and no question left unanswered. Rizzoli and Isles are fantastic characters who seem to be developing into friends as well as work colleagues, hopefully leaving it open to some great, off the case banter (or am I just hoping for the TV banter?).

Having said that, I do find the whole storyline of a policewoman and FBI Agent romance to be a little old school. Hopefully Gerritsen brings back the priest because that would cause an excellent upset for Isles. I also think it strange that a priest be brought into this series when there is a priest in 2nd Chance too. I know that I could be reading too much into them but as Angie Harmon has acted as both the lead detectives in both TV series’ I almost put these books together.

My verdict 8.5/10: All in all a great read and I cannot wait to read the next one!

Lindsey Boxer                            Jane Rizzoli


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Killer Swell – Jeff Shelby

As some of you may know, this blog has it own Twitter account. From this, tweets appear of new posts and people can tweet if they want a book reviewing or just to generally say hi. So I received a friend request from Jeff Shelby. He is an american writer and was this blogs first follower on Twitter. So, after reading his profile and finding he was a writer I thought I’d thank him for the follow through a review of his first novel, Killer Swell. If the book had been bad, it wouldn’t have been a good thank-you, I know but he was able to publish another two in the series so something must have gone right!


We start with meeting Noah Braddock, a PI from San Diego. He is meeting up with his first ever girlfriend’s mum whom he believed split the two of them up. 11 years later, it is she who needs his help to find her missing daughter (Kate) and believes that his history with her daughter will convince him to take the job. Braddock still remembers his first sweetheart and it is with his memory of her that we find out about the missing girl. She was rich, popular, daddy’s girl and number one sister and student. Braddock starts his search with her husband, a sleazeball of a man who from Noah’s memories of  Kate, it is surprising she would date, let alone marry a man like him. Braddock finds Kate, but not really how he would have wished and her father then employs him to look further into the case, not trusting that the police will keep them informed, or that they will look for the culprit.

During the investigation, we meet Carter and Liz, a best friend and another ex girlfriend. Both went to the same high school as Noah and Kate and both are trying to find the solution to the mystery. Drugs, gangs, FBI, violence, sex, guns and guilt all play a part of this PI book and brings you round to conclusion which you part expect and part are surprised at.


Now, I am not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting that much from this book. It wasn’t available from Amazon UK and I did get it relatively cheap from America (their postage is so cheap!). However, I was pleasantly surprised. I finished it in one night. It reminded me of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Mystery PI series and as I’ve just begun to start the series off and love them, that’s quite a compliment. Noah Braddock is a loveable good guy and his best friend is a hoot. I love Liz as well even though she is portrayed as a tight arse at the start but we see her softer side towards the end. The character interactions were well thought out and executed swiftly. The plot was ok and made sense and I liked the slight twist at the end, making it a little more unexpected and I thought the best point was that even though Kate seemed to have made some very wrong choices, we always see Braddock’s Kate, meaning we feel empathy for her. A key point when she is the catalyst to all the guilt and pain Braddock goes through in this book.

Overall, a good book and has made me want to read the others in the Noah Braddock series so a very solid 8/10.

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3rd Degree – James Patterson

This is the 3rd book in the James Patterson series “Women’s Murder Club”. Now, if your English, 3rd degree is related to education, temperature or burns. Murder wouldn’t cross our minds. Under our law it’s either Murder, Manslaughter or Not Guilty. Of course this book, being American and set in America, where degree’s of murder exist, and about a Murder Club does tend to suggest that it will be about Murder. Patterson uses this play on words to introduce the idea of murder by fire into his books, allowing for both meanings of the word to be used. I would like to add that while looking on the internet for picture ideas for the title 3rd degree, some rather disgusting pictures of 3rd degree burns appeared… If you are of faint of heart, don’t look them up! (I hope you appreciate the horrors I go through to write for you!)

I would like to add that quite a major spoiler and plot point occurs in the following review as I would find it hard not to put it in and if your read the next review on WMC then it would be spoileriffic anyway! So warning, if you would like to read the book with no idea of what is to happen then stop and read this after!


We start of with Lindsey and Jill out for a morning jog with their dogs. For WMC this is relatively serene. Two friends working out together and having a laugh. A more sinister cloud does appear though when Jill takes off her jumper to reveal bruising which Lindsey finds suspicious, even with Jill’s easy going attitude towards it. With Lindsey, her gut feeling is usually right! Into the 2nd chapter and after the run, Lindsey sees a town house explode and go up in flames. Always the policewoman, she calls 911 and then runs into the burning building! She saves a little baby from the fire and immediately begins the investigation into the explosion.

A few more houses are targeted and it turns out the inhabitants are all high profile. It becomes a terrorist plot and so the FBI are called in once more onto a Lindsey Boxer case. This brings about the introduction of Special Agent Joe Molinari – sounds a little like another book I’ve read…

3rd Degree James Patterson.jpg

Lindsey’s friends start to become targets due to Lindsey working the case and it comes to light that Jill is being abused by her husband.

Lindsey finds the terrorists and begins to date Joe, giving us an ending of sadness and bereavement as the four is tragically reduced to three. On a date with Joe, at her house, dinner becomes dessert and Lindsey ignores a phone call from Jill asking for her to go over to her house as she has just left her husband… or rather locked him out of the house, and then (SPOILER WARNING) Jill is found dead.


Now, I know that was a large spoiler to announce but this plot point is my main review. I found the main crime story line to be dull and uninteresting, being used as a tool for Joe to be brought into our lives and Jill to lose hers. These two side notes make this book for me. Without them then I would have scored this book quite low as it didn’t enthrall me like the last two. Joe’s entrance is very significant as he becomes quite a large character for the books. Jill’s death comes as a shock, especially as it is only the 3rd book. Usually this kind of drama occurs when a series is losing some momentum with audiences and wants to shock them back into the characters. I am invested in these girls and their pain becomes our pain. You want to read the next one to see how Lindsey deals with this death as compared to her last boyfriend, Chris Raleigh, especially when you can easily see how she will blame herself for the murder of Jill.

All in all, not the best read from Patterson but two very important character developments increase this review score to a 6.5/10.

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Ancient Chinese Secret

This is a review about Tess Gerritsen’s Book 9 in her Rizzoli and Isles. Apologies in the leap of 7 books but I will catch up to this soon! Hope you enjoy it from the blog “Writing Secrets of 7 Scribes

Welcome to Thursday, Scribe friends.  Suze here.  I don’t often write book reviews, and I’ll tell you why.  Since I started writing my own novels, I don’t have as much time to read as I used to, and I don’t enjoy reading as much either.  Sad, but true.

See, now that I know about things like story structure, and character development, and voice, and point of view, I automatically apply that knowledge to whatever else I’m reading.  Used to be, I either liked a book, or I didn’t.  It was that simple.  Now, it’s been a while since a book really grabbed me, and I’m just not going to leave a bad review for anybody, no matter how strongly I feel about the book.  And I do have my opinions!  I’m happy to report, though, that Tess Gerritsen’s latest, THE SILENT GIRL, is a grabber.  I couldn’t put it down.  My only criticism of this book?  Too short.  I didn’t want it to end.

I’ve been a big fan of Tess ever since I heard her speak a couple of years ago.  Since then, I’ve read most of her work, and I think she’s one of the very, very few  huge-name authors out there whose work is actually getting better as her series progresses.  One of the ways she keeps the Rizzoli and Isles books fresh is by featuring two protagonists.  In one book, Maura Isles, the medical examiner, has the main storyline.  In the next, Jane Rizzoli, the Boston cop, takes the lead.  Along the way, their paths cross, and the reader never gets tired of either character.  Personally, I think it’s brilliant.

In THE SILENT GIRL, we meet another unforgettable woman in Iris Fang, a middle-aged, sword-wielding martial arts expert bent on finding out the truth about her daughter’s disappearance.  Add in an ancient Chinese legend about The Monkey King, a possibly supernatural killing in Boston’s Chinatown, a decades-old murder-suicide, the involvement of the Irish Mob, and some tough and dangerous police work by homicide detective and mom Jane Rizzoli, and I guarantee you are going to love this book.

So what’s your Scribes Secret today?  You want to learn how to craft a darn-near perfect plot?  You want to learn how to write darn-near perfect dialogue?  You want to learn how to pace your story?  You want to learn how to write characters that stay with you long after you close the book, and leave you longing for more?  Then you want to read THE SILENT GIRL.

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2nd Chance – James Patterson

I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas! Hopefully Santa brought you all the gifts you were planning for and more!

Well for one of my last posts of 2012! (I was going to say last and then realised I had nothing else to do today so might bang a cheeky one out later!) A book review about James Patterson’s second novel in his Women’s Murder Club series, “2nd Chance”. This was a good book. In fact, most of WMC are good. As I said in the last post, the first book was so good that the rest of these books have to do a lot to stay on par. This does so 99% of the time. It has a teeny tiny 1% drop compared to it’s predecessor and as I gave that last one an 8, that isn’t too bad!


We open this book, not with any of the WMC girls but with a victim. A priest in fact. Who has just led his young choir out of practice. Next thing, we hear gun shots as what appears to be a drive by occurs. Girls screaming, Priests saving lives and flashbacks of clearly a war are had and then the gunshots stop. Miraculously no one was hurt (a very bad drive by it seems). Then. We get crying. We all know crying after a drive by never symbolises something good. And it isn’t good. I fact, it’s worse than isn’t good. It’s tragic. A girl of 11, never knowing her teenage years, is dead. Shot through the chest. To make it worse (if that’s possible) it’s her best friend of 12 who has seen her die. As soon as children are involved or die you know the main story line is going to be quite a somber one.

We find out next that Lindsey is still pining after her dead partner Chris Raleigh (being only a few weeks later) and that she is going to work to just do something. Jill is pregnant and Cindy becomes involved with a character we meet in this book. Claire also has a bit of a torrid time as she becomes the target of this seemingly drive by shooter.

People we have met in the previous book die and others become targets for this revenge seeking villain. It ends in quite a columbine fashion and perhaps was Patterson’s reflection on the situation in our own world, where students can kill fellow students in a school, making that much more real.

Of course, Lindsey saves the day and seems to have come over the hill that we saw in the first chapter of book 1 that nearly destroyed her. We get more insight into the lives of Cindy, Jill and Claire and the characters are cemented closer to our hearts with every chapter.


This book is good. Were it not part of a series it would be extremely good. The characters develop, the plot thickens and then forms full circles and dialogue is witty and engaging. Unlike many serial books, the characters don’t just forget what happened to them in the previous books. Lindsey is quite obviously hurting from the previous one and this is shown to be how she copes with that and moves on, allowing us to accept any future developments with her. Jill’s pregnancy must touch many people’s hearts, being quite a common situation, and her distress and coping mechanisms is a common sight meaning empathy is not hard to find. Like I said previously, Claire is the girl/boy next doors mum and as such, anything happening to her gets your heart racing. Cindy, well is just Cindy. Her situation with the priest is again, one we can understand (more if you have read Rizzoli and Isles!!!) I give this book a 7.75/10. Not quite as good as the last but pretty darn near!

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The Apprentice – Tess Gerritsen

It is safe to say that this book is as far from Alan Sugar as Polar Bears are from Penguins (Polar Bears being North and Penguins being South  – so much for my childish notion of them frolicking together in a white wilderness!) This book is Gerritsens second in her Rizzoli and Isles series (yes them again!) and I have to say, with a clearly defined main character/s this is far better than her first. Rizzoli is now the main detective and although we do hear from St. Thomas (cough, Detective Moore), he is very much a background character and now Isles fills in the void that in the previous book, Rizzoli took up. Now, unlike the TV series, we see that they have never really talked/met before and are only vaguely aware of each other from the work place. However, this book is clearly where the first episode of the series of Rizzoli and Isles on TNT (now Alibi for UK fans) took its inspiration. If you have seen this Season 1 Episode 1 then you will know exactly what happens! It’s so similar, same phrases and lines are used from the book!


It starts off with Hoyt (from Book 1) now in Prison but clearly still in love with blood. A prison mate is killed in a quick attack and Hoyt is drawn to the blood and seems to almost draw energy from the red elixir. Hoyt seems to be looking for a similar minded person and finds no one, but he is determined to seek out his brethren and maybe gain… an Apprentice!

It cuts to Jane at a murder scene and we find that the murders are very similar to that of Hoyt and his mentor’s work. Now, we know Hoyt to be in prison, and we know that his mentor is dead, killed by his last victim’s hand; so this must be a copycat. Not good news when we know Hoyt wants to find a fellow killer. This becomes even more troubling when not only the FBI become involved, but Hoyt escapes from prison and leaves Rizzoli a message through the CCTV.

The FBI are typically tight lipped about the case, keeping the local PD in the dark, until Rizzolis tenacity wins her the trust of Agent Dean and she is let onto the secret of sheepdipping ( a secret military term) and finds the killer is a soldier.

Of course, Rizzoli and Isles piece together the evidence and then Rizzoli is abducted once more by Hoyt and his Apprentice and we come to the enthralling and heart stopping end.


Like I said earlier. I do prefer this one to Book 1. Having Maura Isles in the book and Jane Rizzoli as lead detective makes a much better duo than Moore and Rizzoli. Of course, the chemistry between the two is no where near what it is in the TV series, but they have only just seemed to have met and as time goes on (and as Gerritsen watches the TV show) we might find their connection growing. Hoyt is a fantastic bad guy. He epitomises everything you want in a psychotic serial killer (if you could want such a thing!) The end chapters are gripping and although Gerritsen had a little hill to climb with making Rizzoli a lot more likable after her rendition of her in Book 1, she manages to do so, making you worried, upset and anxious when Rizzoli is captured at the end.  Dr. Maura Isles is a good edition to the book crew and you can really see Gerritsens knowledge of medicine come out through her (having previously worked in medicine). I give this book an 8/10. A clear step up from the last installment with room to improve, as after all, this is only the second book of a hopefully long series.

<– I don’t think Gerritsen meant this when she said ‘sheepdipping’!


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The Surgeon – Tess Gerritsen

I am not going to lie. I love the Rizzoli and Isles TV series. It is AMAZING. The new season especially. So, I read on the credits that it is based on the novels by Tess Gerritsen. This straight a way piqued my interest as I tend to find that books are better than the TV series/Film. So, I download the book on my Kindle. And I am confused by the book. Don’t get me wrong. It is a good book. It has great twists, good dialogue and the story keeps you involved till the very end. However, it is very different to the series. Now I know the shows take artistic licence with characters, plots, friendships but the fact that Dr. Maura Isles is not in this first book slightly threw me. When this book is classed as the first in the Rizzoli and Isles series, you expect the second half of that title to appear. This book did have a feel that Gerritsen didn’t know who would be her main character later on.


We have the opening scene as a chilling and masterful way of introducing us to the anonymous killer and allows us to witness the cold intellect of the man. We are then introduced to Detective Thomas Moore, whom many within the precinct have dubbed as St. Thomas due to his inability to seemingly criticise or offend any of his colleagues. Jane Rizzoli is also introduced as a short, frog faced, fierce woman, new to the world of homicide and the only woman to have done so in Boston PD.

We find that there are similarities in the murder being investigated to an old one, where a female doctor managed to escape from her captor. However, it can’t be that man as he was killed by the female doctor (Catherine Cordell). During the investigation, a love triangle emerges between Rizzoli, Moore and Cordell. Of course, Moore and Cordell fall for each other and the loveless Rizzoli is stung by Moore and realises she is losing her only alley within  the Boston Homicide Department, especially when she reminds Moore that his current infatuation is not only part of the investigation but could actually be a potential suspect within the case. Needless to say, Rizzoli ends up working the case on her own, apart from the Boston PD and finds the missing lead they needed.

Cordell is kidnapped by the killer, and Moore becomes useless to the investigation through his love for her. Rizzoli goes on her own to find Cordell on a hunch no one else believes her on. Of course she is correct and ends up being captured by the kidnapper and psychotic serial killer. The ending is scary, gross and breathtaking.


As I said, there is no Maura Isles in this book and Gerritsen does seem to be struggling on who to cast as her leading detective, Moore or Rizzoli. Until the later stages of the book, Rizzoli takes a very back stage role, being cast as the supporting role. Towards the end, she is the main character, being daring, courageous, stupid and ending up in danger. Almost a stereotypical heroine. It is perhaps this why I don’t particularly like the book as a Rizzoli and Isles novel. I went into this book knowing that Rizzoli becomes the main detective and knowing that somewhere down the line, Isles would appear and they would solve the mysteries together. Without this prior knowledge, I’m sure I wouldn’t even have noticed the subtle shift in Rizzoli’s dominance within the book or the lack of Maura Isles. However, this doesn’t take away from Gerritsen’s writing. Like I said, without prior knowledge, this is as good as a murder/serial killer book. The crimes are inventive and descriptive enough to allow your imagination to run with it and make it worse for the individual reader than Gerritsen ever could on mass (a little like Hitchcock films). Unfortunately for Gerritsen (though I’m sure she doesn’t care about my little blog opinion), this book just didn’t sit well with me and I give it 6/10. (It should be noted that I think the next one in the series, ‘The Apprentice’ is miles better and a contributing factor in my low score, I need to be able to have room to improve my score for that one!)

Still well worth a read though, if only to introduce you to Rizzoli and as it is very much a prequel to ‘The Apprentice’.


Filed under Book Review, Crime, Rizzoli and Isles