5 stars out of 5
This book won't be released till Aug. 15, but I was way too excited about the opportunity to read an advance review copy that I just couldn't wait to get started. That's because the author's "Rizzoli & Isles" series has been a favorite from the start (for the record, this is the 12th). While this one somehow seems a bit darker than most of the others I've read, it's no less well written.
The "darkness," I suppose, comes in part because medical examiner Maura Isles must come to terms with issues that haunt her past, such as her seriously disturbed (and long estranged) birth mother, who's in jail for life after being convicted of multiple murders. Still other characters, including police detective Jane Rizzoli, her uber-Italian mother and her police partner deal with issues of their own. Only Jane's hunky FBI special Agent husband, Gabriel Dean, seems to be home free in the issues department, and perhaps that's why he doesn't get much play here (drat).
At the beginning, Maura reluctantly has a meeting with her birth mother, whose parting words are cryptic as Maura gets a call from Jane that she's needed at the scene of a gruesome new case. A dead woman - a producer of indie horror films - has been found with her eyes removed and placed in her hand. But the eyes don't have it - the cause of death, that is. In fact, it isn't even clear even after Maura's initial autopsy. Could it be simply a case of life impersonating art? Jane and Maura hold that thought - that is, until a second victim turns up amid a similar scenario. Solving those two crimes moves ahead slowly even after Maura finally determines the very unusual COD; the police can find no connection between the two victims, no motive and no clues as to who the killer might be.
But wait, there's more. Another female character is intently watching the goings-on; she's got a big secret from her past, and it's one that just may put her life in jeopardy as well. Chapters shift from the investigation to her point of view and back, all adding layers to the story that build up to a pretty scary conclusion (and non-conclusion, but I won't get into that here except to say it could provide interesting fodder for another book).
My conclusion? Loved this one as expected. Now please, Ms. Gerritsen, don't keep me waiting so long for the next installment!
I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen (Ballantine Books, August 2017); 336 pp.