Tag Archives: Tess Gerritsen

The Read List: Die Again, by Tess Gerritsen

die again

So … I figured out “whodunnit”. Not until close to the end, but definitely before the big reveal.

Sigh.

It’s never nice when that happens. Still, this was an okay read. I particularly liked the parts of the narrative that took place in Botswana, and I enjoyed the mystery of how those parts fit in with the rest of the story. Unfortunately, once I found out exactly how those bits fit in, the rest of the puzzle pieces slipped into place–just a little bit too early.

Botswana? you say. But I thought Die Again was a Rizzoli and Isles mystery … And so it is. Here’s the synopsis:

When Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are summoned to a crime scene, they find a killing worthy of the most ferocious beast—right down to the claw marks on the corpse. But only the most sinister human hands could have left renowned big-game hunter and taxidermist Leon Gott gruesomely displayed like the once-proud animals whose heads adorn his walls. Did Gott unwittingly awaken a predator more dangerous than any he’s ever hunted?

Maura fears that this isn’t the killer’s first slaughter, and that it won’t be the last. After linking the crime to a series of unsolved homicides in wilderness areas across the country, she wonders if the answers might actually be found in a remote corner of Africa.

Six years earlier, a group of tourists on safari fell prey to a killer in their midst. Marooned deep in the bush of Botswana, with no means of communication and nothing but a rifle-toting guide for protection, the terrified tourists desperately hoped for rescue before their worst instincts—or the wild animals prowling in the shadows—could tear them apart. But the deadliest predator was already among them, and within a week, he walked away with the blood of all but one of them on his hands.

Now this killer has chosen Boston as his new hunting ground, and Rizzoli and Isles must find a way to lure him out of the shadows and into a cage. Even if it means dangling the bait no hunter can resist: the one victim who got away.

So yes, the Botswana parts were good. Figuring it out early? Not so good. Still, it was nice to meet with Rizzoli and Isles again.

But I have to say, I’ve not been all that interested in the story arcs of a number of continuing series characters for a while now, this one included. I don’t mind the conflict going on at Rizzoli’s parents’ house (although someone really really needs to sit Angela down and talk some sense into her) but the whole thing with Isles and her sociopathic mother? It’s like, the priest thing didn’t work out (both literally and also as the continuing story arc) so we have to have something just as dramatic going on. We share DNA so we have a bond … I mean, really. Isles is supposed to be a scientist.

And while I’m not one to rip covers apart, and I love the woman’s eyes in the cover of the hardcover version (which is the version I read), I really don’t get the connection between that cover and the story.  I think the paperback cover provides a much better connection to the story:

die again v2

 

If you’ve read the book, you’ll know what I mean.

If you’re a Rizzoli and Isles fan, you’ll probably enjoy this one.

 

On Reading Through a Series Really Really Quickly: When Books Are Like Candy

During a period of ten days last month, I went through a whole slew of books like they were candy.

Has this ever happened to you?

It all started when I read Barbara’s review of The Sinner, by Tess Gerritsen. Reading the review, I remembered that I’d read one Rizzoli and Isles mystery a while back; I didn’t really remember much about it, except that I had enjoyed it.

So I put a hold on The Sinner at my library’s ebook site, and when it came through,  I sat down and read it from beginning to end in one, long, quite pleasurable sitting. And that started the ball rolling. In the space of the next ten days, I sped through Gerritsen’s Last to Die, The Keepsake, The Silent Girl and Vanish. I also listened to the audio version of The Mephisto Club, which was the one book in the series which I’d read previously.

It occurred to me afterwards, reading several books in a series in a short space of time is a lot like going through a whole pile of candy all at once. I enjoyed reading each book – Gerritsen is so good with her plotting, and especially the twists she incorporates into most of her novels – but at the same time, at the end of it all, it felt like a little bit too much.

I think I’ll take the remaining books in the series a little slower from now on. Still, it did make for an enjoyable ten days.

What did I think of the books individually? Luckily, I’d gotten into the habit of jotting down short notes about my reading in my daybook for some of those ten days, and had written down quick impressions of a few of the books.

About The Sinner, I wrote: “It was good, although I’d have liked a better explanation [some spoilerish details about what I would have liked clarified here]. Still had questions at the end. The romance was done well, appropriate for a murder mystery that’s not a romantic suspense. Will read more of her stuff.”

And Last to Die: “It’s interesting the twist she uses. So even as you’re thinking one thing, another totally different thing happens. It’s a good way to write a detective story.”

And The Keepsake: “Interesting twists, again. She makes you believe one thing and then twists things around but it’s all believable.”

Unfortunately, all I wrote about The Silent Girl was a little note that I’d finished it the night before. And I went through a short period of not writing in my daybook at all, so I didn’t note down anything about Vanish.

(And now that I’ve written that, I’m more determined than ever to write something down in my daybook about every book I read!)

All in all, it was an interesting period of reading. While going from one book to another in a series like I did is a whole lot of fun, I think in future I’ll allow some breathing space in between series books. Not to say I didn’t enjoy the books, because I did, but it was just too much, too quickly.

I’ve decided I like Rizzoli a lot, and Isles not as much – Isles sometimes comes across as too emotionally fragile for a medical examiner, and tends to play the woman in jeopardy a little too often. Rizzoli, on the other hand, is no victim – even when she is in jeopardy – and I really like her spunk.

I still have several books in the series to read. Ice Cold and The Bone Garden are waiting for me on my Kobo mini reader (although I probably won’t get to them before they have to be returned to the library), and there are all the earlier titles in the series as well.

Most likely, though, I’ll take a break from this series for a while. Give myself some breathing space. But now I know where to turn when I want a mystery that’s suspenseful, with a lot of twists!