For untold years, the perfectly preserved mummy had lain forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston’s Crispin Museum. Now its sudden rediscovery by museum staff is both a major coup and an attention-grabbing mystery. Dubbed “Madam X,” the mummy—to all appearances, an ancient Egyptian artifact—seems a ghoulish godsend for the financially struggling institution. But medical examiner Maura Isles soon discovers a macabre message hidden within the corpse—horrifying proof that this “centuries-old” relic is instead a modern-day murder victim.
To Maura and Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, the forensic evidence is unmistakable, its implications terrifying. And when the grisly remains of yet another woman are found in the hidden recesses of the museum, it becomes chillingly clear that a maniac is at large—and is now taunting them.
Archaeologist Josephine Pulcillo’s blood runs cold when the killer’s cryptic missives are discovered, and her darkest dread becomes real when the carefully preserved corpse of yet a third victim is left in her car like a gruesome offering—or perhaps a ghastly promise of what’s to come.
The twisted killer’s familiarity with post-mortem rituals suggests to Maura and Jane that he may have scientific expertise in common with Josephine. Only Josephine knows that her stalker shares a knowledge even more personally terrifying: details of a dark secret she had thought forever buried.
Now Maura must summon her own dusty knowledge of ancient death traditions to unravel a murderer’s twisted endgame. And when Josephine vanishes, Maura and Jane have precious little time to derail the Archaeology Killer before he adds another chilling piece to his monstrous collection.
After a book that dealt with early Christian history, Gerritsen now gives us ancient Egypt. For someone as interested in history as I am Gerritsen's last books have been very enjoyable reads. In this one we even get a museum full of uncatalogued objects... wouldn't it be nice to visit its basement? Unless we get to find the same type of things Rizzoli did...
The synopsis above pretty much says it all about how the story starts. Dr Isles is invited to assist on the CT scan of a mummy and while doing it they discover something that makes the mummy a lot more modern than they were thinking. The evidence they uncover next seems to suggest that, not only a serial killer is on the loose, but he is replicating ancient ways of preserving bodies...
While Rizzoli and Isles are busy making sense of all that is happening, not to mention dealing with complicated personal lives, one of the museum's archaeologists is worried that someone who knows a secret from her past is stalking and playing games with her... Also dealing with personal stuff is detective Frost, Jane Rizzoli's partner to the point where it starts affecting his work.
I was quite absorbed by this story and, as usual with Gerritsen reads; I read it in one sitting. I really enjoyed the mystery plot, for a while I thought I had discovered the bad guy but in the end Gerritsen managed to surprise me yet again. She is very good at writing this type of story and I love it when everything comes together in the end - who, why and how - and it makes perfect sense.
I also enjoyed knowing a bit more about Frost. He had been Rizzoli's partner in most of the past books but we never seemed t know much about him. Regarding Rizzoli she is still dealing with her parents situation that we knew from the previous books and Maura Isles is in a very unhappy situation... She definetely deserves better and I was hoping Anthony Sansone would prove to be the right man to make her smile again. I guess we will just have to wait and see...