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Jackie K. Cooper

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The Silent Girl Features The "Real" Rizzoli And Isles

Posted: 08/10/11 06:26 PM ET

Tess Gerritsen created the characters of Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles many years ago. Now her books featuring those characters have become the basis for the hit TV series Rizzoli & Isles starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander. The show is fun and the characters are entertaining and full of charm, but they are not the characters Gerritsen created other than in name and with similar career choices.

The real Rizzoli and Isles are front and center in Gerritsen's new suspense novel The Silent Girl. Like all of her books the story is full of mystery and drama with only small interludes of humor. In this one Boston Police Detective Jane Rizzoli is front and center with her partner Frost in investigating a murder in the Chinatown district of Boston.

The medical examiner who is called to the scene of an apparent murder is Maura Isles. Maura is in a fairly awkward position because she has been testifying in a murder case against a Boston policeman. Even her good friend Jane appears to have doubts as to Maura's loyalty to the police force.

The murder Jane is investigating occurred in Chinatown and involved a woman whose hand was severed from her body before she died. The murder draws up memories of a famous shooting in the Red Phoenix Restaurant located in Chinatown. It occurred several years before and in that case five people were killed. Now it seems the investigation into those murders will have to be reopened because of some questions raised by the latest murder.

The widow of one of the men murdered at the Red Phoenix Restaurant is Iris Fang, a middle-aged woman who is handy with a sword and knowledgeable about Chinese martial arts skills. Ms. Fang is mysterious and ominous. She believes her husband's murder was blamed on the wrong man but doesn't know who the actual guilty party is. From the start you know she is still seeking justice for her husband.

Tess Gerritsen is brilliant at creating characters who brand themselves on our minds. Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are both unforgettable, and now we add Johnny Tam and Iris Fang. Tam is a newcomer to the Boston police and one who wants to work in homicide alongside Jane and Maura.

When you start a Tess Gerritsen novel you give yourself over to her completely and you have no doubt you are in capable hands. Gerritsen involves you from the first few pages and keeps you enchanted until the end. Her books feature complex stories, never more so than in The Silent Girl, but they are always resolvable.

In the world of mystery writers Tess Gerritsen is a master. The Silent Girl is another of her masterpieces.

The Silent Girl is published by Ballantine Books. It contains 336 pages and sells for $26.00.

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