The Mephisto Club – Tess Gerritsen

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!)


Filed under Review, Rizzoli and Isles, Tess Gerritsen, Transworld Publishing

14 responses to “The Mephisto Club – Tess Gerritsen

  1. I used to love Cornwell but I didnt like Scarpetta. I thought it didnt have the same “sitting on the edge of
    your seat” as the others. What about P D James. Love her as
    well. I have only read one Tess Gerritsen so far.

  2. I’ve never read her though with you banging on about her so much 🙂 I just might try one day. I used to love Cornwell but she went off, in my opinion. Also used to really really love Kathy Reichs but was disappointed in her last but one and have not read her most recent. However if you want something that sounds fairly similar and is really excellent, try Kathy Reichs early books — I know you like to start at the beginning of a series — I’m sure you will really like her.

    • Hahaha I only bang on about her because I think everyone should give her a go or five. I can’t be too worng because the newest title out last week went straight to number one.

      I think I will give Reichs a try on your recommendation Harriet.

  3. I read The Surgeon and loved it, but never got round to reading anything else…I will remedy that with a-trip to the library, see what they got……Agree about Cornwell, earlier books much superior.

  4. Faye Kellerman is my guilt-free guilty pleasure. She writes a mystery series about an Orthodox Jewish LAPD homicide detective. You’ll definitely learn a ton. I also like Star Trek novels – I can get through one in about two hours.

    I was immediately attracted to the title The Mephisto Club when I saw this post in my feed reader. Kamelot’s “The March of Mephisto” is one of my favorite songs!

    • I read one of Faye’s sons books and I loved that, in fact I want to read the new Jesse Kellerman as I think its just come out. Thats one to look out for in the library.

  5. Tess Gerritsen is one of my all time favorites that really just freak me out! The local independent bookstore here in North Florida hosted Tess Gerritsen last summer, and I was so excited to see her and listen to her! She was one of the most interesting authors that I’ve ever listened to — oh, the stories she told! I highly recommend seeing her speak, it gives you the chills!

    • Hooray someone else who loves Tess, I know there are lots of people out there who love her but I think they keep it a little bit of a secret.

      I would love to sit and have a coffee with Tess and hear her stories I have heard they arent for the faint hearted.

  6. I’ve never tried Tess Gerritson, but her book sounds like something I would like…as long as it’s not too gory? I think I have lots of guilty pleasures (probably too many). At the moment I’m reading The Blood Harvest by SJ Bolton, which is very creepy and makes me want to look behind me as I read, but I can’t stop turning the pages.

    • They have some rather gory moments I cant lie to you Danielle. Ooooh I love the idea of a book that makes you want to watch over your shoulder that sounds brilliant.

  7. LizF

    Couldn’t agree more that Tess Gerritsen is much much better than Patricia Cornwell – although I did enjoy the first 3 or four Scarpetta books.
    I think that what I like about her is that she doesn’t let the occasional gory bits affect the whole tone of the book – and while her characters are fallible and not perfect, they aren’t deeply annoying (unlike Scarpetta and her irritating niece!)
    I read The Mephisto Club at a sitting, although I had intended to only read the first couple of chapters before doing something else, and am really looking forward to reading the latest.

    • It has taken a lot of self control not to instantly just turn straight to the next Gerritsen. Mind you I didnt realise The Bone Garden features Isles but some of its set way way back in the past… which of course makes me only want to read it more. Maybe next week I might treat myself. I do think Gerritsen is great, and it cant just be me, her latest book went straight to number one.

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