Wednesday, October 21, 2015

TBR Challenge: Tess Gerritsen - Die Again

When Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are summoned to a
crime scene, they find a killing worthy of the most ferocious beast—right down to the claw marks on the corpse. But only the most sinister human hands could have left renowned big-game hunter and taxidermist Leon Gott gruesomely displayed like the once-proud animals whose heads adorn his walls. Did Gott unwittingly awaken a predator more dangerous than any he’s ever hunted?
Maura fears that this isn’t the killer’s first slaughter, and that it won’t be the last. After linking the crime to a series of unsolved homicides in wilderness areas across the country, she wonders if the answers might actually be found in a remote corner of Africa.
Six years earlier, a group of tourists on safari fell prey to a killer in their midst. Marooned deep in the bush of Botswana, with no means of communication and nothing but a rifle-toting guide for protection, the terrified tourists desperately hoped for rescue before their worst instincts—or the wild animals prowling in the shadows—could tear them apart. But the deadliest predator was already among them, and within a week, he walked away with the blood of all but one of them on his hands.
Now this killer has chosen Boston as his new hunting ground, and Rizzoli and Isles must find a way to lure him out of the shadows and into a cage. Even if it means dangling the bait no hunter can resist: the one victim who got away.

Comment: Another month, another TBR read to cross off the list. I picked this book by Gerritsen mostly because of the suspense in the "paranormal or romantic suspense" of October's theme. I did have some other books more appropriate but sincerely, Gerritsen writes wonderful books with a little bit of romance and lots of suspense so I just had to read it.
In this book, Rizzolli and Isles face a new case and a new adventure where they have to use their skills and knowledge to catch a murderer.
From Africa to Boston, the case seems to start with a group of people on their holidays in Botswana. But things go badly very soon. Back in Boston, Rizzolli has a new case, a taxidermist was killed in his own house and it seems someone wanted to make it look an animal did it. After consulting the city's zoo, Rizzolli and Isles start to get an idea of why the victim was killed that way. But then, an accident happens at the zoo and someone else dies. How can these deaths be connected to Africa? And why?
Once more, I was engrossed, engaged, entertained by another Rizzolli and Isles' installment. I really think the author has come a long way since her first romantic suspense novels. The more recent books, which would be more like thrillers or suspense books, are wonderful, so very balanced and logical and appealing, I can't described them good enough.
This story features another interesting theme in the author's choices of setting. The issue is wild animals and how they kill, how they plan their attacks and how without mercy they are. Even zoo animals would kill if allowed. I think it's an interesting thought because we assume that, just because they are in a cage and see those who feed them everyday, they wouldn't attack but that's not true. Interesting ideas the author inserts... and even the more surprising notions like the leopard man's theories expressed here add to the story and aren't used as just a means to make everything even weirder.
At some point I admit I started to suspect of the murderer's identity because a little detail never added up in my way of thinking. But the author does an amazing job in creating all the layers in the story, in presenting them slow and carefully so that we get the big picture one step at a time. The reasons for all the deaths, the amount of work it took... again, only someone madly genius could have done it and only someone as talented as Gerritsen could have written it in a way that is doesn't sound silly or pointless.
The characters are the basis of everything. Again, apart from the recurrent characters. the author has imagined fascinating characters to fulfill this story. I liked the personalities imagined, the connections between everyone, the complexity of everyone's actions and motives...really, the idea that a little detail could provoke all the bad things present here and that in real life the little details also lead us to bigger things...
I didn't become afraid of cats but I surely think about them differently, especially the big predators.
Rizzolli and Isles keep on being the amazing women we've been knowing. I liked seeing Jane with her husband, how much she cares about her mother - we see glimpses of that situation as well - and then Maura and her guilt over her awful mother who tries to manipulate her. I wonder how that will be developed. It's fascinating and amazing how the author can include such domestic and personal development scenes without making it out of place or unimportant. The balance in her books is exceptional.
All in all, without going into many details, this book is another wonderful installment in the series. I do have to point out one thing though. Not bad, just something that I can't put aside. One of the characters in Africa at some point has feelings for someone and we get little glimpses of it until she admits it. Then, in the end there's this bittersweet conclusion about the whole thing and the character thinks about how things would have been like, had she made a different choice. That notion left me thinking...sometimes we miss opportunities and we can just feel guilty over them and have a hard time processing. Somehow this aspect in this book made me a bit contemplative...
Anyway, I loved this book, I couldn't put it down and I liked even more how the author never tried to make her opinions matter most. This was all about the story and the readers take on it. Wonderful and I can't wait for more.
Grade: 9/10


  1. I really liked this one too. It reminded me a bit of Ice Cold, in respects to the isolation theme that is featured heavily in the suspense (You're in the wilds of Africa, out in the open, but still incredibly isolated with a killer tracking you. Creepy!) She's got a stand-alone book out this month which is teetering in my TBR pile, but I hope I don't have to wait too long for the next Rizzoli/Isles installment. I just love this series.

  2. I love the series too, Wendy. I was reluctant to read the first book, years ago, but now I can't think of another series in the genre as addictive as this one.
    Thank you for commenting.