Monday, October 22, 2012

The Silent Girl - Tess Gerritsen

Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams. The grisly display homicide cop Jane Rizzoli finds in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.
In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.
Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell, a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she’s the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil.
Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade.

I was a bit worried about starting this one. After having enjoyed the last book in the series so much I was afraid that this one would, by comparison, be found lacking. Fortunately I was wrong.  While not as nail-biting material as the previous book in the series The Silent Girl is just as good!

It starts with a murder in the Chinese immigrant community. A murder that takes place in the scene of past crime. The community is close knit and not very welcoming but fortunately Rizzoli has a new detective, of Chinese origin, who provides invaluable information and knowledge. Soon it seems that the owner of a martial arts academy - Iris Fang - maybe at the center of the mystery.

A second murder - of a retired detective no less - that had just talked to her makes Rizzoli aware of a mythical creature that had already been sighted at the first murder. Can it be a supernatural being or someone posing as one? Rizzoli tracks the information that the victim was investigating and what she uncovers brings about a new turn of events that may bring light on that long ago crime. 

Like all the other books Gerritsen is great at taking us in one direction and then, suddenly, showing us that what was really going on was totally different from what we were thinking. I love that!

Although the focus is mainly on Rizzoli, Isles is also very much a part of this story. In fact, she and Rizzoli have her friendship sorely tested when Isles testifies against a cop for excessive use of force and Rizzoli sides with her colleagues. They are also both dealing with personal problems as Maura Isles is still dealing with the end of her relationship with Daniel Brophy and Jane Rizzoli can't avoid the open war between her parents. 

I found all the information about Chinese culture very interesting. I really enjoy that Gerritsen manages to get so much information about such a variety of subjects in her books. In this book, particularly, I also liked how she closed the supernatural creature story.

Grade: 4/5


  1. And she can share that information without making the book sound boring or that the info is totally irrelevant! :)

  2. I know exactly what you mean. Ice Cold was so good, so suspenseful, it was a hard act to follow! But I really enjoyed this book as well. I think it helped that Gerritsen gave a different setting with Boston's Chinatown area, and infused the story with those elements.

  3. fantasma,
    So true!

    i just noticed I didn't mention it was Boston. Bad me! One of the things I like about her is that I can totally imagine the places she is describing in my head. I may not know them but I get a real sense of place.

    I'm getting ready to work on my review of Last to Die ;-)

  4. You already have The Last to Die?? Ahh you bought the hardcover edition..I want to keep my books all pretty in my shelf and pre-ordered the paperback one...

    The Silent Girl is another great seems so easy for the author to mix crime plots and domestic many authors don't do it fearing they might get ridiculous or when they do it feels badly done...Gerritsen is really a master.

  5. No spoilers on the Last to Die review, please, or I would have to do something bad to you :P

  6. S.
    I have the ebook, I have no more shelf space so most of books I've been bying are ebooks.

    I wouldn't dream of it! Specially now that you remind me not to... ;-)


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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