Tag Archives: Rizzoli and Isles

Richelle Mead

All I ever seem to do on this blog is apologise for the delay in writing a new post but as it is has been the festive period I won’t this time. Christmas and New Year are the busiest time to be working in any form of customer service and working in a nightclub just adds to this. So yes, I have been busy working and studying (*cough* relaxing *cough*).

So as the perceptive of you would have noticed, there is no book title above. Just “Richelle Mead”. No I haven’t forgotten to put one up there, I just don’t see the need to with Mead. So far I have read 20/23 of her books and I cannot give any a lesser mark than the other. If you have read my Vampire Academy review, you can see how much I gushed over that and the following series’ have been the same. You may be wondering why I haven’t just written about an author before but the answer is simple. Richelle Mead is the first author since Enid Blyton that I can honestly say I will read any of their work. I kid you not. I love Rizzoli and Isles but haven’t read any of Gerritsen’s others; Harry Potter is one of the greatest series’ ever written but I am not enthralled by Rowling’s other narratives; I could perhaps say they same thing about Stephanie Mayer later if she writes any more but only due to my love of The HostTwilight never really putting itself into the ‘must read every year’ category on my shelves.  From this we can surmise that I love characters. I will follow them to the ends of the earth and back. Their relationships, quests and challenges enthral and amuse but I often find authors to be disappointing in other areas. Take Garci and Stohl from Beautiful CreaturesTogether they have created these characters and world that mesmerises and amazes, yet separately and on separate stories, I found them uninteresting.

Back to Mead. It started with Vampire Academy which lead onto the spin off series of Bloodlines. From there I decided to give the Georgina Kincaid series a go and then The Age of X and now, finally, The Dark Swan series. I am literally devouring every one of her novels as quickly as she can produce them and have even accepted the £5+ charge for the e-book editions (something I usual avoid doing – you don’t get the physical book so why pay more than £3?) Every single one has had a developed plot line, interesting main AND support characters and twists that are sometimes completely out of the blue (I’m looking at you Dimitri from VA!) The first two mentioned are YA books but this doesn’t take away from a developed Adult writer. All Mead did was tone down the sex scenes (which are quite detailed in some of the books – when you write about a succubus who feeds off of sex that tends to happen) and take out the swear words. The essence of Mead’s work stays the same, excellent dialogue and believable stories.

In conclusion; if you are struggling for a book to read, a friend to buy for or just want to explore a new author give Richelle Mead a go. Every one of her books are easily a 10/10. Trust me, you wont be disappointed!

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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.

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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Veronica Mars… THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!

Apologies for numerous things to start. 1. I am sorry for my three week absence, no excuse just haven’t written anything for a while! 2. I am sorry for the extremely excitable and obsessed version of myself you shall meet in this post. 3. This is not a book review, it isn’t even a review but an excited squeal of something to come!

So, from one of my first ever posts you may remember that I just re-blogged my friends posts. Granted it was to open you to my Rizzoli and Isles reviews but still it was an easy option for my first post. For those of you who did not read this post, it was basically my friend saying how much she hoped that Rizzoli and Isles the TV show would stay on air, especially as some of her favourite shows had been cancelled. Remember? No? Well remember the show that started off this downward spiral into despair of TV show cancellations? Veronica Mars. It was amazing. The dialogue, characters, cases, story arcs and relationships, this show had them all. Rob Thomas had created this being who just amazed and Kristen Bell played her so well that I fully believe there to be a place called Neptune and to have a Mars (driving a Saturn) living there. However, this show

was cancelled after 3 seasons. Yet I don’t feel that Thomas knew this was to happen, mainly as there was a pitch for a season 4, and that the end of season 3 is not how a show should end. Yes there were no real cliff hangers as such but what we wanted for Veronica did not happen. Who wants their heroine’s last moments on-screen to be her walking away, alone, in the dreary rain? No one!

So WB (or rather CW) cancelled the show and there we stood. Bereft of a friend, lost of a show. Then… Thomas and Bell fought for a movie. They fought for years and believed that this should happen. How many actresses fight for their TV character to be resurrected into a film? Along came Kickstarter and this is where the magic began. They went to WB and were told that if they could raise the money and if they could prove they had the fan base for a film then they would help support the films release. The Veronica Mars team decided $2 million was all they needed to be able to make a simple yet excellent film. In 11 hours this happened and was surpassed. After the month that was allocated for backers to pledge their money, $5.7 million was raised. Nearly three times the needed amount. Hopefully we shall see our hard earned money used well.

If this wasn’t all the film needed to prove that it had a strong fan base, MTV created a “Movie Brawl” were people could vote for their most anticipated film of the year. Veronica Mars was put into the mix and competed against The Hunger Games: MockingJay, Divergent, Vampire Academy as well as many others. A hard task for any film, especially one slated to have no fans. Yet it won… How? Because this was a top TV show with top fans and now it shall be a top FILM!!!!!!

The film comes out 14th March in the USA. I have all my fingers and toes crossed that it will come out in the UK and mainly in the North West! I know of at least two backers who want to see it here!

Selfie

 

 

 

Just to prove how obsessed I am over this show a selfie of me in my Veronica Mars Kickstarter Backer exclusive T-shirt!

 

 

 

 

(Side Note: She has been compared to this character a lot so my book linked to this post is the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene)

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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.

Plot

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.

Opinion

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.

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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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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The Templar’s Quest – C.M. Palov

For those of you that have read any previous posts on books will know that I seem to be relatively kind in my grading. I have never given below a 6 and even that was due to needing room to improve my score for the following in the series. This dear readers, is because of one simple fact. Non of the books so far I have recently read. Yes I have read them within the past year, and yes I did remember them quite well. However, the cause for my good memory was the fact that the books were good. I couldn’t put them down. They intoxicated me. The need to read the next one and then the next one for books such as Harry Potter, Eragon, Women’s Murder Club, Rizzoli and Isles and the Wolf Brother Saga, to name but a few, have seriously dented mine and my parents bank balances. Without the next installment, I seem at a loss and to read the books and finally have an ending in the last book gives you closure on characters and a sense of bereavement at the same time.

From the paragraph above you may think of me as a bit of a book slag. I am. Though not quite to the extent of my father, who has easily read double the amount I have, and probably by the time he was my age too. So when I come across a book that takes my fancy I find it hard not to buy it. Anything by P.J.Tracy, Cecelia Ahern and any books with a saga, I find extremely difficult to walk away from it. So when I spotted the Templar’s Quest on the shelves at Tesco for a discounted price I was torn. I had never heard of the author before but that didn’t mean it would be bad. Yes the author’s name was not bigger than the title of the book, meaning they weren’t that famous/popular an author. Though again, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be bad. I was pulled by the title, “Templar’s Quest”. As a history geek and a book geek, fictional books surrounding an historical event are my little poison. I loved Dan Brown’s “The Da Vini Code” (though did literally find it as a story, not a conspiracy theory around God, Jesus, faith) and Chris Kuzneski’s “The Lost Throne” equally enthralled me. So that was it. I bought it. And my dear readers, unlike my previous book reviews, I shall be reviewing this book a mere 1 hour after I read it.

Just to let you know in advance, it isn’t as good as any of the books I mentioned before. It’s only redeemable quality was the fact it was readable. That’s a lie. I enjoyed  2 characters and was only readable because of these two characters. So two redeemable qualities. I shall warn you, I do reveal far more spoilers in this review than usual so if you do like this author/would like to read the book and don’t want the surprise to be ruined, I would advise to stop reading.

Plot

We start of in Nazi owned Europe, in 1940. We see the secret band of the SS, known as the Seven, enter into a tomb and discover an artefact that can change the course of History. The book quickly changes to modern-day and a different war zone. This time Syria. We meet our hero for the book, Master Sargent Finn McGuire. He is in an old building looking for Weapons of Mass Destruction, instead he finds a gold medallion with some funky design. Outraged that he has been sent under false pretenses, he swipes the medallion to try to oust the culprit of such a dastardly trick. In the process of leaving Syria, he gets his trigger finger blown away, ultimately finishing his soldier career.

We next find Finn working at the Pentagon a few months later, when he is interviewed by two CID agents (Criminal Investigations Department). They seem to be trying to find a reason to arrest him for the murders of two of his previous soldier buddies. During the mini interrogation, Finn receives an email from the French Embassy to evade the two CIDs and come to the French Embassy. As an Englishwoman, this just exemplifies what us English have known for 1000’s of years, you can’t trust the French! On his escape from the Pentagon to the Embassy he uses Kate Bauer as transport. Of course this means we now have our leading lady and suffice to say she is pulled into the lunacy of the plot.

Following the talk at the embassy and many suicides, car chases and arguments, we find ourselves in the French Capital, Gay Paree. On this quest, we find ourselves a new ally in the form of former MI5 operative and Kate’s ex Oxford beau, Caedmon Aisquith.

Again, after more fights, car chasing, theoretical physics later, Caedmon goes off to the south of France to find the ‘Holy Grail’ (where have we heard this one before?) and Fin and Kate consummate their budding romance.

We finally get to the ending fight, and discover that the bad guys are trying to open a space-time continuum to send a message to the original Seven of the Nazi SS to try to help Hitler win the 2nd World War.

Opinion

As you have surmised from above, I didn’t really enjoy this book. I found the language to be confusing and using mathematical and theoretical physics to  explain something as Sci-Fi as Star Trek just didn’t work. I got the general gist of the plot but the explanation was far-fetched. Kate was an anthropologist who just happened to have an astrophysicist as a father, once bedded a Egyptologist/Templar symbolism expert who worked for MI5 and now lives in Paris and happened to be the one person driving past the Pentagon at the time of Finn’s escape. I know books and films have always tested the realm of possibility and coincidence but this was too much. Plus Finn was meant to be the regular Joe character in terms of smarts, yet the mathematical connections and knowledge of Einstein’s physics theories doesn’t ring true when just randomly blurted out by him.

This book seems to be trying to be too Dan Brown like. Many books of this type are often Dan Brown rip offs (In deed the Da Vinci Code was arguably a rip off of other ‘Holy Grail’ conspiracy theory books), yet this seems to take 70% of its story line from Dan Brown. The Louvre, pyramids, Holy Grail, France, Egypt, Faith, Templars are all used and this is too similar. If Palov pulled this off better than Brown, I could forgive him but it is sub par. 

The characters weren’t the best either. Finn and Kate were my two favourite characters but it didn’t take much. Caedmon just annoyed me and I wasn’t really that bothered if he lived or died. His adventure on his own bored me, and although it was pivotal in the story it wasn’t in my interested range. The bad guys seemed to be all talk and Finn outmaneuvered them most of the time. Even his biggest rival was undone not by him but a gorilla of a brute who seemed to have the IQ of a chipmunk (I apologise to the Chipmunk!)

One of my biggest annoyances of this book though was when Caedmon had been shot in the arm, had a bullet graze along his head, had been manhandled to open the stitches, blood was pouring out of him, unable to draw on a blackboard, unable to sit unaided yet at the end he could outrun Kate, who had very little wrong with her in terms of physical damage. Ludicrous.

All in all, not a great read. Took the Far Fetched and invited it to a tea party with Ridiculous and Improbable. My verdict is 3/10. It wasn’t unreadable and Kate and Finn were ok characters but the story was just a poor man’s attempt at Dan Brown with a bit of Star Trek added for good measure.

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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!

Plot

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.

Opinion

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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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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Filed under Book Review, Jaivomi, Women's Murder Club

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.

Plot

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.

Opinion

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’.

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Filed under Book Review, Crime, Rizzoli and Isles