30 September 2012

Rizzoli & Isles: Last to Die

We called him Icarus.
It was not his real name, of course. My childhood on the farm taught me that you must never give a name to an animal marked for slaughter. Instead you refer to it as Pig Number One or Pig Number Two, and you always avoided looking it in the eye, to sheild yourself from any glimpse of self awareness or personality or affection. When a beast trusts you, it takes far more resolve to slit its throat.

So begins Tess Gerritsen's latest novel Rizzoli & Isles: Last to Die. I couldn't tell you how I found Gerritsen's work or how old I was when I fell in love with her writing. It might have been a public library find or one of those $1 hardcover sales that the library does every year. However it happened, bottom line is that it happend. I ended up bringing my dad along for the ride too, so now Tess is on our common list of authors, joining Clive Cussler, Michael Perry, and Robert Ludlum, that we talk about.

Tess Gerritsen is a retired medical doctor who started writing while on maternity leave, according to her bio. As you saw in the title, she is also the creator of that dynamic duo Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles. Yes, that Rizzoli & Isles TNT hit TV show Rizzolie & Isles. I've only seen clips from the show so don't leave comments like "Wasn't that scene where Jane and Frost caught the bad guy who was really the neighborhood pizza delivery guy who baked his murder victims' organs into the pizza epic?!?" because I won't have an answer for you. But thanks for ruining that episode, mate.

Just like when I read Ted DekKer, I find the most recent book from Gerritsen better than her last novel. Not that her books need improvement--not at all! Maybe she is just crafting her words in different ways that seem new and wonderful. Maybe it is just that her books are more artfully crafted than other books on the market right now and it just seems they get better. They are a breath of fresh air to the writer in me, no matter how many dead bodies Tess writes about!

The story is about a boy (well, two boys and a girl) who has been orphaned twice the the span of two years: his parents and siblings were killed on the family yacht during vacation and his foster family was gunned down one night in their home. An odd case on its own, but when two other similar stories crop up, Detective Jane Rizzoli of the Boston PD starts seeing a pattern. She teams up with long-time friend Maura Isles, even though their relationship has been a bit difficult. The saftey of three orphans depends on Rizzoli and Isles patching up their friendship and working together to stop a killer.

(Guys. Guess what? Tess Gerritsen is coming to town October 15th and I get to hear her speak about creativity and why the writing process is so hard. I cannot tell you how excited I am to get to meet her!!! Look for pictures later next month!!)

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