Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Legend of the Monkey King by Tess Gerritsen

Okay. Okay. The books called The Silent Girl - can you blame a monkey lover for renaming it in his post? Isn't that what the books mostly about, though? Forget the "silent girl" character in Tess Gerristen's novel, the ninth book in the Rizzoli and Isle series, the Monkey King steals the show!

A Jane Doe, murdered on a roof top, starts off this mystery. What irks Boston PD most is how she died. Not a gun shot - though the victim was holding a weapon. And not quite a knife, either. Her severed hand and slit throat indicates that this woman killed on the roof tops of Chinatown bit more than she could chew. And it leads Rizzoli and gang down the alleyways of this district into the land of mythical - and historical - China. But when Jane starts searching for clues, it leads her to the grips of a murder-suicide case nineteen years old. And if anyone knows that seeing isn't exactly believing, what she unearths is far more than any woman, mother, detective can take.

Of course, there are personal drama at hand, as well. Maura Isles begins her side of the tale in the midst of a trial. A vigilante cop indited on taking the law into his own hands by brutally beating and killing a cop-killer. The once beloved pathologist is now public enemy number one within the Boston police department, placing her at odds with long-time friend - and semi-partner - Jane Rizzoli. Still recovering from her relationship with Father Brophy and her near-death entanglement, there's no telling what lies in Maura's future. Only that Rat - the child-hero who saved her life in the snow-capped mountains of Wyoming - still offers her comfort, and let's it slip that Anthony Sansone talks about her a lot.

New on the team is Detective Johnny Tam, an Asian-American who joins Rizzoli and Frost in the Chinatown investigation. He adds the reminiscent of Jane's own fight to prove herself, which sparks admiration from both Rizzoli and the reader. 

Like a few other books in the series, Gerritsen mixes reality with fantasy by introducing the lore of the Monkey King, Sun WuKong. Because as the story gets deeper, a humanoid figure steps in to take matters in his hands.

It's a fantastic read, though I expected nothing else from the writer. I can't wait for what she has in store for us next. Until next time, keep on huntin'.

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