Sometime ago, I was introduced to Tess Gerritsen's novels. Jane Rizzoli piqued my interest. Later, Maura Isles left me head over heels with the Queen of the Dead. It wasn't an easy journey. Tess Gerritsen's history of writing romance novels featured heavily in the first few novels, and, at times, it overshadowed the main plot.
The tenth novel in the Rizzoli & Isles series hit shelves last Tuesday, and I received my copy in the mail Thursday. I drove right into it, using my Labor Day weekend to devour all 338 pages of it. I entered the book still feeling the buzz from the previous novel, but I left feeling hungry still. Is it just me or has Gerritsen lost her "edge?"
Some will argue that she never had an edge, but I don't let the naysayers deter me from enjoying a book - unless, like Fifty Shades of Grey, it's godawful. I'm not ashamed that I like the series. Not even ashamed that I own all the novels in it. But the books felt too quick. And the ongoing insult of her very intelligent characters still stabs at me. How is that Jane Rizzoli is well respected, yet she always finds herself on the wrong side of the suspects blade in the end? Sure, one or two books might not have her falling victim, but Maura does. It gets knackering, you know?
I understand that's the whole point of a mystery novel, but I feel cheated. I felt cheated after reading this novel. The subplots - as usual - are left open-ended. The mystery traveled all over the place - c'mon, Tess, you had me with the NASA conspiracy, why'd you let me down, girl?
But the book isn't bad. It's good. It's a Jane Rizzoli book, and the series might continue on the path it originally set off on. However, I get the feeling that with the success of Rizzoli & Isles, the writer is only writing for a television audience who are devouring the books motivated by the lack of episodes on TV. The only plus side is we get to see the going-on's within the walls of Evensong. And the Mephisto Society also plays a minor role in the plot. And because these two factors play roles (Evensong plays a major role), I can't help but to make a plea to Gerritsen to make spin-offs following the Mephisto Society and the children of Evensong. Can you see them on their own adventure? There's money there, Tess. You know it's true.
All in all, if you're a fan of the series, you know you have to read this. If you're not, then it's best you start at the beginning.