Friday, October 29, 2010

The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen

Unlike The Surgeon and The Apprentice, there was some problems with my reading of Tess Gerritsen's The Sinner. As the third book in the Rizzoli & Isles series (actually, the second book as Isles didn't pop up until The Apprentice), I had to adjust with the absence of the villain of the first two novels.

Just months after the events of The Apprentice, The Sinner opens up with Maura Isles entering an unlikely crime scene. A brutal attack at a local convent leaves on nun murdered and another one fighting to live. Digging through the murdered nun's past, both Rizzoli and Isles uncovered secrets she took to the grave. But when a Jane Doe is discovered mutilated, Maura soon discovers that both murders might be related. As the mystery grows, so does drama in the personal lives of our female leads.

I wasn't sold on The Sinner as I was with The Surgeon and The Apprentice. While the latter two had elements of romance, The Sinner seemed to be flooded with them. It's not to say I'm not a fan of romance - I have read a couple of Nicholas Sparks novels in my time - but I really don't like to see it in my crime fiction. Of course I know that romance is a character builder and it's must if you want three-dimensional characters, but the focus was on it - at least for me - quite often in this novel. From the uncertainty of Rizzoli's situation to Maura's ex-husband returning to after a three-year estrangement, it seemed too much like a TV crime drama where aspects of their case mirror their persona lives.

But Gerritsen doesn't fail me with her prose. Still compelling as ever, The Sinner is much a page turner as its predecessors.  I only hope that the next book in the series, Body Double, lives up to her work. Might be some time before I pick up that novel, however. I'm going to read Death Troopers next. Might even get Moxyland in before returning to Rizzoli and Isles. 

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