Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles—the inspiration for the smash hit TNT series—continue their bestselling crime-solving streak, as they pursue a shadowy psychopath keeping secrets and taking lives.
Two separate homicides, at different locations, with unrelated victims, have more in common than just being investigated by Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles. In both cases, the bodies bear startling wounds—yet the actual cause of death is unknown. It’s a doubly challenging case for the cop and the coroner to be taking on, at a fraught time for both of them. As Jane struggles to save her mother from the crumbling marriage that threatens to bury her, Maura grapples with the imminent death of her own mother—infamous serial killer Amalthea Lank.
While Jane tends to her mother, there’s nothing Maura can do for Amalthea, except endure one final battle of wills with the woman whose shadow has haunted her all her life. Though succumbing to cancer, Amalthea hasn’t lost her taste for manipulating her estranged daughter—this time by dangling a cryptic clue about the two bizarre murders Maura and Jane are desperately trying to solve.
But whatever the dying convict knows is only a piece of the puzzle. Soon the investigation leads to a secretive young woman who survived a shocking abuse scandal, an independent horror film that may be rooted in reality, and a slew of martyred saints who died cruel and unusual deaths. And just when Rizzoli and Isles think they’ve cornered a devilish predator, the long-buried past rears its head—and threatens to engulf more innocent lives, including their own.
Release Date: August 15, 2017
One of my favorite things about Tess Gerritsen’s writing is her ability to create characters that feel like they could walk right off the pages. Even her minor characters have complex personalities and full lives.
With Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, we have two women who excel in their careers. They both have a firm sense of right and wrong, though they occasionally stumble in the gray areas. The family dynamics in both their lives ensure they don’t feel like caricatures or superheroes, but more like real life working women.
Confirmation bias had tripped many a scientist, and no doubt many a cop as well. You find only what you’re looking for, which makes it far too easy to overlook everything else.
The plot ventures into some dark corners, though this is well balanced with the lighthearted banter and comical family moments. I had part of the later twist figured out, which is more a product of reading a whole lot within this genre rather than any fault of the author. Still, some aspects surprised me and I thoroughly enjoyed the story’s execution.
When you make a pact with the devil, the price you pay is your own soul.
I also love the way Gerritsen tackles the controversy surrounding Maura’s romance. I don’t want to risk spoilers for those unfamiliar with this ongoing storyline, so I won’t give specifics. But the turmoil of this forbidden love is handled beautifully and could be a topic of discussion all its own.
Few words held more power than last chance. Let that opportunity pass, and what followed might be a lifetime of regret.
While the 12th in a series, I think this book reads well as a stand-alone. Enough background on the characters is given for new readers to understand the history and relationships. If you’re new to the books but had watched the TV series, you’ll find the relationships are slightly different here.
*I was provided with an advance ebook copy by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.*
Thanks for reading. 🙂