Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen

Picking up the summer after the events of The Mephisto Club, The Keepsake opens with Maura Isles entering Pilgrim Hospital to witness the event of the century - the CT scanning of Madam X, a mummy found in the basement of the Crispin Museum. There she is introduced to Dr. Nicolas Robinson, museum's curator, and Dr. Josephine Pulcillo, the museum's Egyptologist. As the scan is processed, the three doctors - as do the other witnesses - notice something anachronistic. Lodged in the leg, there is a bullet and a broken bone that had started the process of healing. Suddenly this thousand year discovery became a modern day crime, one that has Detective Jane Rizzoli taking the lead.

I wouldn't know where to start with The Keepsake. Part of me was hoping the book would get interesting, while another wanted to put the book down and just start Ice Cold - the series's eighth novel. It's uncertain if Tess Gerritsen's heart wasn't in the book when writing, or when mine was absent when reading it, but the book seemed like it was written on some deadline. It lacked the essential thing that kept me turning the pages of the other novels - suspense. The only time I felt like I was on the edge of my seat was when I noticed how many pages I had left. My reading pace became slacked. I didn't care about the victims or the killer(s) presented in the novel. Already, things were sounding alarms in my head, so when the revealing of the killer(s) was brought up, there was no mind blowing revelations - the aha experience* wasn't present in the conclusion, especially when the mastermind was revealed.

While Maura Isles is the first on the scene in the novel, her presence - and importance - in the novel is minimum. Her relationship with Father Daniel Brophy, which blossomed in The Mephisto Club, is continued in the novel. His relationship with the church, however, is still an unresolved issue. Anthony Sansone - of the Mephisto Foundation -is brought in as the other guy, even though that never really takes off, either. The novel's ending simple has Jane thinking of Maura and Daniel's relationship, rather some resolution from the characters. We can only assume that something will happen in Ice Cold that wraps that plot line up, though - after the reading the front flap of the novel, I seriously doubt we'll get the closer we need on Maura's character.

The only good part of the novel was the character build-up of Detective Barry Frost. Finally, after seven novels, we get a little bit of insight of his abilities and his relationship with Alice - his heard of but never seen (until now) wife. Whether we learn more about his life after the novel, is still up in the air - unless you already Ice Cold, in which case, don't tell me.

I look forward to reading the final novel (thus far, anyway), but will be reluctant to ever read this one again. Well, until next time, keep on huntin'.

*aha experience - A descriptive term for the emotional reaction that typically occurs at a moment of sudden insight after a long process of problem solving, learning or psychotherapy; it is the moment when various elements of a problem situation come together and seem to make sense. (via: The Encyclopedia of Mental Health)

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