Tag Archives: Angie Harmon

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.

Plot

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.

Opinion

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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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.

Plot

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.

Opinion

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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1st to Die – James Patterson

As I have said before, this blog will be about books, or TV shows that star Angie Harmon. As we can see, Rizzoli and Isles does both of these, and so does this book. 1st to Die is the first in the Women’s Murder Club series. Angie Harmon starred as the lead detective in the TV show, the Women’s Murder Club (see Jaivomis post about Rizzoli and Isles for more information on that TV show!) The books are great. Each character is close to your heart (so be aware of the 3rd book!) and bring their own unique areas of specialities.

Lindsey Boxer: 1st female Homicide Detective for San Francisco PD

Claire Washburn: Medical Examiner

Cindy Thomas: Crime Reporter

Jill Bernhardt: Assistant DA

Plot

We open with an emotional Lindsey. It starts in the 1st person and something bad has clearly happened as she is contemplating suicide. It’s a good introduction to the main character as we see how emotional and caring she is. We also find out about the WMC and find the name given to the series of murders we will follow in the book (The Honeymoon Murders).

The murders in this book are horrific. Women are defiled in the worst possible ways. And to make it worse, it happens on their honeymoons, the happiest few weeks of their lives end in rape, torture and murder.

Due to the severity of the murders, the FBI are called in and we once again have a PD and FBI tug of war. However, it does help when Lindsey Boxer falls for the FBI Agent (sound like Rizzoli and Isles? I think so!) Chris Raleigh.

The introduction of Cindy has probably got to be one of my favourite introductions for a character EVER. She is tenacious, cheeky and most of all, loveable with her thirst for the knowledge the police aren’t giving her. Her smarts are shown as she is the only press person able to enter the first murder scene undetected and go into the room of the murder and then make friends with the lead detective, enabling her to get the lead story on the case.

Claire Washburn is the girl next door’s mum. She is Lindsey’s best friend and we see that she is the smartest Medical Examiner this side of Dr. Maura Isles and Dr. Temperance Brennan. The only reason for no Chief Medical Examiner status is due to the male hierarchy of the PD department.

Jill Bernhardt is the last main character to be added to the crew and the least well known. She is an Assistant DA, again not the DA due to the male hierarchy of law enforcement. She becomes an asset as she can help try and push through warrants, though her and Lindsey do argue over the legality of some police action.

Thus the Women’s Murder Club was born to help try and solve the horrendous murders shocking the city of San Francisco. The killer is pieced together by the four and Lindsey heads off to arrest the culprit. Of course, the take down doesn’t go smoothly and allows us to see what pushes Lindsey to the situation we found her in the Prologue.

Opinion

This is an amazing first book. In fact, I struggle to find much wrong with it. The characters are witty and engaging, and the chemistry between the four leaps out of the pages. The bounds in the investigation to eventually finding the killer are believable and the love story that develops tugs at the heart strings. The writing is descriptive, informative and vivid enough without overblowing your mind with the grave seriousness of the crimes and making this book as depressing as it could be. Lighter moments break up the dark (usually involving Cindy) and the end is heart breaking but just enough that you do want to read on and pick up the 2nd novel. In fact my only major flaw is that it is so good that it almost sets the other books to fail in comparison as it seems unimaginable for them to surpass this one (though one does for me :P). Due to this fact alone (and this isn’t really fair as I am not being unbiased but meh) I shall give this a very solid 8/10.

Definitely worth a read either as the first in the series or as a standalone (though I defy anyone to not want to read the next one to find out what happens to the characters).

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Rizzoli & Isles – the show that restored my faith in TV

Hello. Well I promised some more book orientated posts would appear soon and to start off what will be my Rizzoli and Isles section, here is Jaivomis (from the blog ratherbemental.com) take on the TV show based on the books. Great books and great TV show. Many of the shows mentioned in this post were ACE but were cancelled! 😥 though if any take your fancy please check them out! 

“Some call me an optimist – or at least I like to think they do… But when it comes to TV, I’m unfortunately that grumpy old man who sits on the bus murmuring about you because you had the audacity to sit next to him. Alas, that may be soon to change.

So what made me this way? Well, I was an optimist, I really was. I grew up watching seven years of Buffy, eight years of Charmed. Never did the words, ‘Network’ or ‘Cancellation’ enter my little head. But then I got older. And I got wiser. And I got pissed. Why? Well because the greatest show I’d ever known, the show I related to on so many levels, the show like no other got cancelled. And that show was the masterpiece they call Veronica Mars.What is this, I hear you say… Well not many people watched it. But those that did loved it. It launched the career of the lovely Kristen Bell, and critics called it the sassiest and smartest show on TV. But here is were I got mad.Networks are businesses. Businesses are about making money. To make money, you need to make a huge hit that sells globally, or a pile of shit that costs no money to make. Which is exactly why we have the ‘Only way is Essex’ and the ‘Jersey Shores’ of the world. It costs about 10 grand an episode to have a man with a camera follow a bunch of bad acting chav’s around for the day. Whereas it costs hundreds of thousands an episode to hire good actors, good writers and basically good everything. And that was when I learned the important lesson of – money makes the world go round.It does – money and sex. That’s life. And so after Veronica Mars got cancelled, despite it being arguably the best written show on TV,  I lost faith in TV. I didn’t want to watch anything  new, especially anything the US was churning out, because I didn’t want to get so god damn disappointed again. But eventually, inevitably, I did. I picked up another show. I couldn’t resist once I realised it had my all time favourite Law and Order ADA, Angie Harmon as the the lead character. So I took the gamble. What happened? Well ever heard of Women’s Murder Club? The books? Yes. The series? No. Why? Because it was canned. And it was a nice little show. Funny, heart warming, exciting. But when the writers strike hit, the networks wanted to get rid of it, and fast. So they fired a few people. Hired a bunch of new people who basically could not give a shit, and then the last 3 episodes were made, and they were made badly, and that was that. All over.

By this point, I was worse then mad. I was upset. The renewal period of TV felt like waiting for exam results. Which is a ridiculous, but true, notion. But I decided that I owed it to myself to keep trying. I love TV. I’m a watcher – I always have been. Whether it be films or TV. So I kept going, and I stumbled upon Joss Whedon’s new creation known as Dollhouse. Original, innovative, well cast, exciting, thought provoking..! There was nothing this show didn’t have! And as soon as I saw the pilot, I was worried. Seems like a strange time to be worried, I know. But I knew that a show like this, that wasn’t mindless “You cheated on me!” or “Your through to the next round!” BULLSHIT, was going to go through some tough, tough times. Now I’m not trying to insult the whole of America. But the average Joe doesn’t watch shows like Dollhouse and Veronica Mars. They watch Deal or No Deal, American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars. I guess people work so hard through the week, they don’t wanna use their brains too much when they have time off. <——-That, right there, is not me. I wanna be challenged by a show. I wanna laugh at extremely well written dialect. And I want to cry because a character I cared about is hurt or dead, not because American Idol’s newest contestant once had a pet chameleon and it DIED. Honestly, who gives a shit? And so when the first season of Dollhouse ended, it struggled. As I knew it would. But like Veronica Mars did more than once, it held its ground and got renewed. Unfortunately, by the second season, the network felt it was just tooground breaking for america and it got cancelled. And once again, I was pissed/angry/annoyed/upset. 

Just in case your thinking I am pathetic right now, with no life and someone who lives in the box – I don’t. But when you invest time in something, that never gets a proper end, or watch something so well written that you care about these characters – it is heart wrenching when your loyalty to them is rewarded with no continuation. Its like networks are the worst storytellers ever to exist. One out of every hundred shows gets a proper ending, if were lucky. Where is the sense in that?

Don’t get me wrong, if something is bad – I am the first person to say cancel it. Because there is nothing worse then the good shows being blocked by the bad ones. But its when the quality shows go that I have a problem. And they do, incessantly.

So what’s my point? Well about a year ago, I once again stumbled upon a new show. Not again – I know. I myself was hesitant. So what got me watching? Well Angie Harmon, again. After the disappointing cancellation of Women’s Murder Club, I really wanted to see her do well. She’s a great actress, and a lovely person. And I just felt after how well she did in Law and Order, she needed a proper opportunity to prove herself once again.  Add on to that the lovely Sasha Alexander who was the hilarious Kate from NCIS – well it couldn’t really go wrong in my book. And well, Rizzoli & Isles was born. And I loved it. Every second of it. It was a crime show at its core yes, but it was funny, likeable, enthralling and well written. The two leads had more chemistry than a hydrogen bomb, and all the supporting cast were just as loveable. And so I waited. Would this one be successful? Would this survive the chop?

A year on, and it’s cables highest rated show. It’s being shown in several countries. It’s DVD is available for purchase. TNT are calling it there new main show after the Closer ends. And its just doing fantastically! Amazingly! Beyond expectations! Season 3 has already been given the go ahead. And it’s constantly trending on twitter. What more could I ask for?

Well there is this – Don’t mess it up TNT. It’s an amazing show. Please please stay true, and keep it on the air. Let it come to its natural end when its time. And not before. 

Not a big ask… is it?”

(Side note: clearly the “Rizzoli and Isles” series by Tess Gerritsen. Look out for my reviews of the books to come! Starting with the 1st book “The Surgeon” sometime in December! Read it.)

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Hello world!

Hello!

This is my first time blogging so be nice!

A friend of mine recently started a blog and after seeing how big-headed talented she was with it and how a  blog could be used for something other than talking about one’s self I thought I’d give it a bash and see how it went.

It was suggested to me (by previous said friend) that a topic was needed for this blog to give it (or rather me) some direction to aim for. History leapt out at me (mainly as I was a History degree student) but then, who wants to read the ramblings of a 21 year olds view on the Persian wars? (or at least those who have a life!) . The next thing was books. So, ok not too big a leap here from history to books. Clearly I fit some type of architectural history geek here. So books it is… kinda.

Now I am not going to lie to you dear readers and claim that this blog will be purely about books, as I would find that boring! So, TV shows may appear, (especially those based on books/ starring Angie Harmon) or general life situations/problems, but I do endeavour from this moment that 95% 85% 75% 60% of this blog shall feature books! 😀 or some close reasonable tenuous reference to books.

If you like please leave comments, e-mails, a general communication of some sort. If you don’t like, well bugger off… Well, maybe not, but do be respectful  😀

Thanks guys!

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