When I first picked up The Surgeon - mostly because Amazon recommended that I should read it - I didn't know if I could make it through. The romantic aspect of the story nearly killed it for me - echoing Harlequin romance. With The Apprentice, my gut told me that I was reading the chick lit version a mystery - but I ignored the romance and stuck to the plot (which made it enjoyable). The Sinner nearly killed me because of the triangle that was introduced and Rizzoli's defiance against falling in love with Agent Dean. With Body Double, being the fourth book in the series, I've come to accept the romantic aspect.
Tess Gerritsen's writing is marvelous. She has the power to suck you into the story and not let go. While it took me longer to read than I expected - mostly due to other reasons - the book was hard to put down the moment I picked it up (and if i wanted to do any writing, I had to force myself to put it down).
Maura Isles returns from France to find a crime scene near her neighborhood. Her neighbors are shocked to see here. Her friends stare at her as if she's a ghost. Even her friend Father Brophy seems taken aback by the sight of her. Someone was shot and killed in front of her house. She doesn't know why people are acting so surprised to see her standing before them. That is until, the victim is revealed to her. Slumped in a car, a bullet hole against her head, sits Anna Jessop. While Maura has never met Anna before, her face is nevertheless familiar. It's the face she wakes up to every morning - Anna Jessop could be her twin sister.
When DNA confirms it, Maura sets out to learn more about her twin sister, leading her to a family with dark secrets. Secrets that would very much leave her dead.
Unlike the other novels - with the exception of The Surgeon - this one seemed to focus more on Maura Isles than it did on Jane Rizzoli, even though the latter is supposed to be the main character. It's understanding, considering the content of the book - why would something clearly about Isles focus solely on Rizzoli's findings?
The story is gritty and dark. It leads you to believe several things at once, and keeps you guessing. Even though revealing evidence is presented, it doesn't turn out quite the way you expect it. From being misled on who killed Anna Jessop to the pivotal ending, the book is a page turner. Even the most astute probably didn't see the ending coming. I know I suspected the wrong people, and I'm usually good at these sort of things.
Once again, the forbidden desire for Father Brophy (who was introduced in The Sinner) keeps Maura at bay relationship wise. She knows nothing can come of it, even though there are signs that his affection for her is almost mutual. New character, Detective Ballard, on the other hand, gives her hope that she can find love again. Nearly absent character, Gabriel Dean (first introduced in The Apprentice) doesn't play a role in the story at all. He's mentioned to be out on a mission, leaving a pregnant Rizzoli behind.
Gerritsen's voice is resonating. No one before her has captured my attention like this. As I read on, her voice grows more established. She's gone from guilty pleasure to the top of my list. Can't decide if I want to continue on with Vanish or give Moxyland a go before continuing on with Rizzoli & Isles.