In the prologue to Gerritsen's latest Maura Isles/Jane Rizzoli thriller, a bullied, unhappy schoolgirl is lured into the woods by a handsome classmate and then cast into a pit to die. Gerritsen then switches to Isles, a Boston medical examiner, returning from a Paris conference (where she takes us on an eerie tour of the catacombs) to find Homicide Detective Rizzoli among the cops on her front lawn, blue lights flashing, shocked to see her. They've just been examining her murdered corpse.
Having got your attention some writers might have trouble maintaining this front-loaded pace, but Gerritsen deepens the mystery then ratchets up the suspense and horror right to the final nail-biting page.
Isles' character emerges through her actions. She is wary of introspection and her shock at her double's murder shows in her altered view of daily details and her dogged pursuit of the mystery wherever it leads, be it an isolated Maine cabin with human bones in the ground outside, or a maximum security prison.
Isles, adopted, has found her twin too late. As she begins to peel away the layers of family identity, similarities strike her - a failed marriage, a career in science. But these poignant revelations are soon disrupted by far more sinister implications. Rizzoli, eight months pregnant and working on the murder, has found Isles' mother, maybe. And she's not a mother to love.
Meanwhile there's a serial killer at work, one the reader is aware of before the cops. His latest victim is the very pregnant wife of a slimy BMW car dealer. Snatched from her home, she wakes up in a coffin-like box where we revisit her from time to time until she goes into labor - the moment the killer has been waiting for.
Point of view shifts between Isles and Rizzoli, with briefer digressions to the terrified woman in the box. Rizzoli is a cop who can hold her own - with a frightened angry friend or a belligerent suspect. Isles, competent and strong, has an appealing vulnerability that is expertly handled in this intense, personal story.
Gerritsen has had a busy career. A former internist and romance writer (Isles juggles a forbidden passion and a budding romance with the cop who loved her sister), her medical examiner is emerging as a formidable rival to Patricia Cornwell's.
Boston medical examiner, Dr Maura Isles, returns home from a working vacation at a forensic pathology conference and is shocked to discover that her home is a murder crime scene with herself starring in the role of victim. Chaos and confusion reign until consultation with detective Jane Rizzoli and further investigation reveal that the victim, Maura Isles' doppelgänger, not only shares her blood type and birth date but, based on DNA investigation, is actually an identical twin. The questions … more
How would you like to have to perform your own autopsy? That is the conundrum that faces Dr. Maura Isles in Body Double when she returns from a conference in France to find that the identical twin she never knew she had has been murdered in front of her house. The investigation into the murder leads Maura to a mental institution to confront the woman who gave the identical twins up for adoption 40 years before, and also leads Maura into the chilling discovery that a serial killer has been murderng … more
This is truly one really scary book, and reading it sent shivers up and down my spine. Just the retelling of the autopsy methods was stomach-churning, but the crimes involved in this work are gory almost beyond belief. Without giving away any of the plot, suffice it to say that there are numerous red herrings strewn about the narrative, and a truly ghastly villain (or possibly two) lurking about in the background, always ready to pounce upon the unwary. Read this book, but keep a lot of lights on … more
I had the chance to read a solid crime mystery over the last couple of days... Body Double by Tess Gerritsen. A nice read... Dr. Maura Isles is a pathologist in the big city. Her life takes a bizarre turn when someone is shot and murdered in front of her apartment. The problem is that the victim could pass as her identical twin. If true, this means that Isles had a sister she didn't know about, and it looks as if that sister was trying to contact her. She talks to a lawyer … more
I love to read, always have, and have been writing reviews for more years than I care to say. Early on, i realized there are more books than there is time to read, so I read only books I like and mostly … more
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Pregnant women play key roles in this bone-chilling fourth novel in Gerritsen's edgy, suspenseful series of thrillers featuring Boston Medical Examiner Maura Isles and Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli. Both of the usually gritty crime fighters are uncharacteristically vulnerable. Rizzoli is carrying her first child, and Isles—divorced and alone at age 40 and suddenly, unsettlingly aware of her biological clock—is experiencing decidedly unspiritual feelings for her priest. As the novel begins, Isles—an adopted child who never knew the identity of her birth parents—is confronted by the corpse of a murdered woman who is apparently her identical twin. Another detective, Rick Ballard, comes forward to say that he knew the victim and is certain her killer is a powerful pharmaceutical baron known to have stalked her. Isles falls for the handsome Ballard, but she isn't convinced by his theory, and she launches an investigation into her sister's past, following the trail to a state correctional facility and a schizophrenic inmate who may be her mother. This opens the cobwebbed pages of a nightmarish family album and leads Isles to a remote cabin in Maine where the long-dead body of a pregnant woman is discovered buried in the woods. The killer, Isles discovers, has been murdering pregnant women for decades, making periodic sweeps of the country. Meanwhile, brief scenes chronicle the diabolical kidnapping of an affluent pregnant housewife who is kept ...