Slick thriller from one of America’s top women crime writers – Last to Die by Tess Gerrisen

Posted by Justine Solomons on 20 August 2012, in Recommendations

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Review by Tracey Sinclair

For those unfamiliar with her work, physician and author Tess Gerritsen mines much the same seams as Kathy Reichs, Karin Slaughter and Patricia Cornwell, her own medical knowledge combining with an easy-to-read storytelling style in both standalone books and the best-selling Rizzoli and Isles series, which have now been turned into a TV show.

Her latest novel sees us once again joining no-nonsense female cop Jane Rizzoli and glacial medical examiner Dr Maura Isles as a series of murders leads them to a mysterious school where all of the pupils have been victims of violent crime – and where the ugly secrets of the past refuse to stay buried. Although marred by a series of flashbacks which, to my mind, gave away too much of the plot too early, it’s a tense and page-turning thriller and the characters of Jane and Maura are as well-rounded and engaging as ever.

Existing fans of the series won’t be disappointed but, although it works relatively well as a standalone story, if you’re not familiar with the series, it’s not the best place to start. The action heavily references events in earlier books, particularly The Mephisto Club and The Killing Place, so I imagine could be confusing if you’re not up top speed. For newcomers who like their thrillers with strong female leads and a medical slant, I’d recommend checking out this excellent series from the start, with the first Rizzoli and Isles book, The Surgeon.

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