Book Review: Die Again (Gerritsen)

Title: Rizzoli & Isles: Die Again

Author: Tess Gerritsen

Publisher: Ballantine Books © 2014

Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense

Subgenre: Medical, Medical Thriller & Suspense


Reviewer: Sara

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In the wild of Botswana, a safari group sets off into the bush for the trip of a lifetime. Within a week, all but one have fallen victim, not to a wild animal, but a hunter amongst them. She disappears into Africa, but cannot escape the anxiety or knowledge that her hunter may still be on her trail. A murder in Boston brings the predator to the attention of Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Maura Isles. After connecting several murders in areas of wilderness across the U.S. and a visit to Africa, a suspect comes into the crosshairs. Rizzoli and Isles plan to draw him out with a hunter’s irresistible bait: The one that got away.

Die Again takes off at a heart-racing pace and never lets up. Who wouldn’t have palpitations, finding a lion print in the dewy grass outside their tent? Never mind when your fellow travelers go missing or are found slaughtered? The characters are riveting and settings vivid, bringing the reader into safari camp with Millie, and inviting them along on the investigation with Det. Rizzoli and Dr. Isles. She introduces a first-person narrative for this book that amps up the tension as Millie attempts to avoid the hunter and escape in Africa in addition to the third-person viewpoints of Det. Rizzoli and Dr. Isles.

One of my biggest pet peeves when reading medical and/or crime stories is when the practitioner (or law enforcement officer) does something incorrect or blatantly make a bad decision. In previous books both Det. Rizzoli and Dr. Isles have had moments that left me thinking “Bad cop (or doctor)!” or “Come on, woman!” It was a relief that I found no such episodes in Die Again. There’s value to increasing the tension through the course of a story, which can easily be accomplished by a mistake or bad decision, but when it’s a repeated habit, I often won’t read more by that writer. A favorite T.V. show in my household suffered that fate this year after repeated unrealistic bad decisions by the female LEO lead.

This is a great book for the busy mom who enjoys a good medical thriller. It’s palpably suspenseful and difficult to put down. The “who-done-it” mystery is intricately woven with several possible suspects and culminates with a great final capture-and-arrest. Tess Gerritsen may have crafted my favorite Rizzoli & Isles story yet with this book. I was grateful to be on vacation when reading it so I had ample opportunity to stick my nose in the book. Even with little kids and bunches of family around, I finished it in a matter of days. Happy reading and happy trails! (And beware the stealthy hunter in the trees.)


Reviewers note: Are you a fan of Tess Gerritsen? How do you feel about her development as a writer and the direction of her books over the years?


Jacket Design: Scott Biel
Jacket Image © Lauren Bates/Flickr/Getty Images

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