It might look like I am taking a small detour from the weeks ‘Summer Reads Season’ but I’m not really (though I will be on Thursday a little) because Tess Gerritsen novels are actually wonderful summer reads, compelling, page turning, both character and plot driven and a little bit gory. In fact they are really all year round kinds of reads. In fact Tess Gerritsen is one of those wonderful writers who I know if I open any of her books I am just going to completely escape (she’s my guilt free guilty pleasure) and we all need books and authors like that don’t we?
‘The Mephisto Club’ is the sixth in what has become the Rizzoli & Isles series, though like most of the series you can read this as a standalone novel. Actually having said all that you couldn’t read ‘The Apprentice’ without having read ‘The Surgeon’ before hand as it is sort of a sequel, but I digress. One of the things I think Tess Gerritsen always does well as the series goes on is to give you brief hints of what has gone on before rather than any catch ups and means that the books don’t suffer from too much retrospective unless its part of the plot, and believe me Gerritsen is all about the plot.
The book opens with the murder of a woman which looks to be sacrificial, dismembered parts of her are surrounded by words in Latin and satanic looking symbols. What becomes more ominous is when Dr Maura Isles has the body in one place she realises one of the hands doesn’t belong to the woman they found and Detective Jane Rizzoli is going to have to find a serial killer. That’s sort of the opening state of play though actually not only does Gerritsen create a fast paced thriller from all this and move Isle’s and Rizzoli’s lives forward (Maura’s love life gets ever more complicated and scandalises Rizzoli testing their already ropey friendship) she does more with this novel.
Through symbolism at the crime scene and as the story moves on a much bigger story, which leads us to Italy, is going on. Mythology and legends come into play through the mysterious ‘Mephisto Club’ which I will say no more about as you won’t read the book if I do. I will say that Gerritsen looks at how humans become evil and if there is the God people say there is, then surely there must be demons and the devil too? It never gets supernatural, though it does get quite scary, but looks at the possibilities behind certain beliefs. I was hooked from start to finish and read it in two sittings. I shouldn’t be surprised though as this happens with every single Gerritsen I pick up. 8/10
Do you have any faithful authors of any genre that you know as soon as you open the pages you will be lost in the book and devour in a few sittings? What or who your guilt free guilty pleasure all year round? This was the book I read o the plane to the Isle of Man last week to stop myself being aware I was on the plane, it worked! Which other series do you think I might like if I enjoy Gerristen so? I am well aware I am catching up with the Gerritsen books far too quickly as have started the next one, which interestingly has Isles in it but is completely and utterly different from this series, more on that soon…
Savidge suggests perfect prose partners;
The Surgeon – Tess Gerritsen (to start at the very beginning)
Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell (I liked this a lot and know she has a huge readership, I do think Gerritsen’s books read better and are more addictive – is it bad to say that? Too late!)