In the twelfth gripping novel featuring Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, the crime-solving duo—featured in the smash-hit TNT series Rizzoli & Isles—are faced with the gruesomely staged murder of a horror film producer.
The crime scene is unlike any that Detective Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles have ever before encountered. The woman lies in apparently peaceful repose on her bed, and Maura finds no apparent cause of death, but there is no doubt the woman is indeed dead. The victim’s eyes have been removed and placed in the palm of her hand, a gesture that echoes the terrifying films she produces. Is a crazed movie fan reenacting scenes from those disturbing films?
When another victim is found, again with no apparent cause of death, again with a grotesquely staged crime scene, Jane and Maura realize the killer has widened his circle of targets. He’s chosen one particular woman for his next victim, and she knows he’s coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Jane and Maura catch the killer.
But she knows a secret. And it’s a secret she’ll never tell.
Imagine the exhilaration I felt when I noticed on Goodreads that a new installment of the Rizzoli & Isles series was due to get published this summer, considering that I have said countless times that Tess Gerritsen is one of my favourite contemporary authors of mystery/thriller. The Rizzoli & Isles novel series also served as a source of inspiration to the popular TNT police procedural and crime drama starring the talented Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, which, sadly, concluded last year. However, I am happy because it seems that Tess Gerritsen has no intention of ending the novel series at the moment.
As anticipated, Tess Gerritsen returns with yet another installment of the long-running Rizzoli & Isles series with a well thought out plot and excellent writing. I Know a Secret features the well known eponymous characters police detective Jane Rizzoli and her colleague and friend, medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. Initially, the two are faced with an interesting and odd homicide case: a horror film producer is found dead in her apartment with her eyeballs cut and placed in the palm of her hand. The problem is that Maura cannot determine the cause of death as there are no obvious signs of the manner in which the perpetrator committed the murder. Subsequently, Jane and Maura are examining another bizzarely staged crime scene. This time the victim is a man and his body was stabbed with arrows. The two murders appear connected and lead the Boston PD homicide unit to a notorious case of child abuse and presumed child abduction which took place 20 years ago.
In addition to the homicide cases that must be solved, some chapters focus on the personal lives of the main characters: the complicated relationship between Maura and her dying and villainous mother Amalthea Lank who featured for the first time in Body Double; the on-again, off-again relationship between Maura and her love interest, the Catholic priest Daniel Brophy; the funny drama of the Rizzoli family; the romantic reconciliation between Frost and his ex-wife, Alice.
In I Know a Secret, Tess Gerritsen proves that she is well versed not only in forensic medicine and police procedures, but also in filmmaking, religious symbolism and child psychology. She is able to readily transpose her vast knowledge into writing and this is the reason why all of her books in the mystery/thriller genre are so well-documented and credible at the same time. In my opinion, one aspect that differentiates each installment of the Rizzoli & Isles series from the ever increasing number of other crime fiction novels is the graphic and informative description of the medical procedures Maura has to perform in order to determine the cause of death of a certain person who was involved in a crime scene. This type of description unquestionably abounds in I Know a Secret, as well.
While I definitely enjoyed and quickly read this 12th installment, I found the mystery and the twist and turns of I Know a Secret a little weaker and less thrilling as compared to some previous books of the series, such as Last to Die or Die Again. Due to this, I am going to rate Tess Gerritsen’s newest novel at 4 stars instead of 5.
All in all, I Know a Secret is a valuable addition to the Rizzoli & Isles series and it leaves you eager to encounter once again the great characters you have been constantly rooting for, over 12 books.