Tess Gerritsen is an author I just can’t get enough of. Her writing holds a lot of charm and it always engages me until I’ve finished, and usually that’s in one sitting as I can’t put it down. In a long running series, it can be hard to keep continuity and freshness but she manages it somehow. Being part of a series does also make a book hard to review, as I don’t want to spoil things for others.
Last to Die is the latest book featuring Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Maura Isles. I liked the story a lot as it brings in some threads from previous books and we get to see Rat again (the boy that has a special connection with Maura). His new school is the setting for a lot of the story and as you find out more about the history and the people, it becomes more and more intriguing.
The crime that starts us off is actually quite heartbreaking and that quickly turned to shock for me as Tess takes us through seemingly disparate situations, all equally sad. Her talent for twists comes into play several times throughout the book and I always admire that they are plausible but not obvious.
The pace was good, feeling very urgent in some places while also having some necessary light relief with the Rizzoli clan’s family problems. Another of Gerritsen’s talents lies in her characters. We meet several new people and they quickly feel real and solid, even if the end result is you dislike them. The kids stole the show for me though, they were funny and clever, especially the ones in the Jackals forensic club.
Now I say this a lot and maybe it’s because I am naive or I read too quickly but I did not see the end coming. At all. I like to think it is the skill with which the plot is written, that enough logical confusion is introduced to hide the truth but wow. Just wow. There is even a twist within the twist that left me thinking long after I’d closed the book.
My one negative comment is that I’m not sure if the characters have changed slightly and now feel more like the Rizzoli and Isles of the TV series or if it’s just that the show has caught their fictional personalities very well. Either way it’s not a huge thing but I do now want to go back and re-read the previous books to see if that is the case… or maybe I’m just looking for an excuse to read them again!
Either way this is a great book and established fans will love it and new ones will want to know more!