PECCAVIThe Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman’s brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It’s a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O’Donnell–Jane’s professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.
On top of Beacon Hill, the club’s acolytes devote themselves to the analysis of evil: Can it be explained by science? Does it have a physical presence? Do demons walk the earth? Drawing on a wealth of dark historical data and mysterious religious symbolism, the Mephisto scholars aim to prove a startling theory: that Satan himself exists among us.
With the grisly appearance of a corpse on their doorstep, it’s clear that someone–or something–is indeed prowling the city. The members of the club begin to fear the very subject of their study. Could this maniacal killer be one of their own–or have they inadvertently summoned an evil entity from the darkness?
Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Maura and Jane embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever faced . . . one whose work is only just beginning.
It seems I can't stay away from Rizzoli and Isles for too long so last week I grabbed book 6 - The Mephisto Club. As usual we start with a scene that will only make sense later and then we find Jane and Maura investigating a grotesque murder where the victim was decapitated. The manner in which the head is posed suggests a ritual of some kind and the severed hand found on the scene turns out not to belong to that body,
Then a cop is found murdered in the gardens of the owner of the mysterious Mephisto Foundation and it is apparent the same killer is at work. Jane is introduced to them and their beliefs that they are dealing with the devil himself. They are a group of historians and archeologists who devote themselves to study evil. They believe Satan is real and walks the Earth making victims. Among the club members is Dr Joyce O'Donnell and the tension between her and, both Jane and Maura, is as high as in their previous encounters.
Jane Rizzoli and the Mephisto Club members join forces to try to understand what the ancient symbols being used mean and why are the deaths happening. I really enjoyed the link to ancient history, the story about The Books of Enoch and Adam's first wife... all that was fascinating stuff that I wasn't aware of. As soon as I closed the book I had to go investigate about pre-Christian lore...
A third victim eventually leads them to Lily Saul, a young woman who has been on the run from Evil for a number of years and it is her presence that will finally bring the case to its climax. I have to say that despite so many things that I found to love in this one I think the end came about a bit too conveniently.
I was a bit ambivalent about the character of Anthony Sansone. At first he seemed too remote to be interesting but things got better towards the end. I wonder if he will show up in future books. He does seems very interested in Maura and it might just be that she is going to need some support soon. I also like Lily Saul and if Sansone is sticking around maybe we get to know more about her too. Regarding Jane I'm really enjoying her take on motherhood but I think we could definitely do with more Gabriel. And now... on to the next one!