Posts Tagged ‘Tess Gerritsen’

The Silent Girl

Tess Gerritsen

When a hand is found in a Chinatown alley in downtown Boston, detective Jane Rizzoli climbs to a nearby rooftop and finds the hand’s owner – a woman whose throat has been slashed so deeply that her head us nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and pathologist Maura Isles to make a startling discovery. This violent death had a chilling prequel. Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious and beautiful martial arts master who knows a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. It soon becomes clear that this is an evil that has killed before and will kill again – unless Jane and Maura can track it down, and defeat it…

The Silent Girl is the 9th book in the series featuring (Maura) Isles and (Jane) Rizzoli and starts just a few months after the events of the previous book, The Killing Place. Do bear this in mind if you are reading this book out of sequence as it does contain spoilers from the previous book.

The narration is from the three perspectives of Isles, Rizzoli, and Iris Fang. Iris Fang is a mysterious widow of Chinese descent who has never accepted her husband’s apparent murder-suicide and will do anything to get justice for her husband and daughter.

Most of the action is set in Chinatown, Boston. If, like me your Chinese history and mythology is a little rusty(!) then reading this book will give you an insight into Chinese culture and its ancient traditions and mythology. It does this whilst still remaining a ‘light’ read and not feeling that you picked up a history book by accident.

Expect the usual macabre events that Tess delivers and supernatural elements thrown in the mix too. This was something which, when reading the premise, worried me but, in my opinion, kept within the boundaries of plausibility that you would expect for this genre.

If you’re particularly interested in Maura’s character you may be disappointed that she does not feature so prominently and has little input towards the main storyline. Rat and Bear whom, you would have met from the previous book are back, giving Maura some distraction from her on / off relationship with the lovely Father Brophy. If it’s any consolation, Maura will monopolise the next book when she visits Rat at ‘Evensong’, a school for orphaned children set on a rural campus. What a perfect setting for grisly events to unfold!

Verdict: A great read filled with suspense and kept me delightfully flummoxed almost to the very end. This is Tess on top form!

Reviewed by Karen

Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: July 2011
Format: Hardback
Pages: 336
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Karen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
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Love Books Will Travel: Tess Gerritsen

What:  A talk and signing

Who: Tess Gerritsen

Where: Bourne Hall   

When: July 2012

Why: To promote the 9th book in The Rizzoli and Isles series: The Silent Girl
In the murky shadows of an alley in Boston’s Chinatown a hand has been discovered. On the rooftop above lies a woman’s severed head. Two strands of silver hair- not human- cling to the body that lies nearby. These are Detective Jane Rizzoli’s only clues, but they are enough for her and Dr Maura Isles to make a startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel

The evening commenced with a very informative talk by Tess detailing the personal experiences and real life inspiration behind many of her best loved novels.  From the age of seven Tess expressed her desire to write, however steered by her “Tiger” parents in to a job more likely to result in her success; Tess wasn’t able to live her passion until maternity leave allowed her to take a break from medicine.

Tess started her career as a writer of romantic thrillers. The Surgeon was written in response to a fan’s request for a book with serial killers and twisted sex. Tess didn’t intend for The Surgeon to develop in to a series but that she felt that Warren still had more to say. In fact in the original plot for The Surgeon, Jane Rizzoli, envisioned by Tess as a minor character, did not survive the final encounter with Warren. However when it came to the crunch, Tess couldn’t go through with it!

Tess spoke widely of her experiences as an Asian American and described the feeling of not fitting in and being a member of a visible minority. These experiences inform the isolation experienced by Rizzoli as a woman in a male dominated environment and Tam’s cultural background. Tess described, with much pride, the addition of Asian American characters in to her series. Earlier in her career, when Tess had first broached the possibility with her publishers she was informed that she wouldn’t sell many books.  Whether it is a testament to changing society or to the popularity of Tess herself, this is no longer an issue.

Tess revealed that she is an avid reader of newspapers, broad sheet and tabloid alike.  She described reading an article about a woman who, mistaken for dead, wakes up in a mortuary. This news piece was the initial inspiration for Vanish.

The event was well attended by an eclectic mix of ages and ethnicities. Also both genders were well represented, despite Tess admitting that most of her readers and readers of fiction in general are female. The talk concluded with a question and answer session, following which fans were given the opportunity to acquire autographs and take photographs with Tess.

Verdict:  Tess was a fantastic, warm and personable speaker who held her audience’s attention. We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening and we both agreed that the event has reignited our desire to read Tess’ work.

Post by Caroline and Karen

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