Book Reviewer Kristopher Zgorski is an avid reader devoted to crime fiction who presently works as a Production Coordinator for Johns Hopkins University Press located in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and is also the founder of the mystery and crime fiction book review blog BOLO Books (http://www.bolobooks.com).
Gerritsen’s series featuring Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles now numbers ten
novels along with a successful television series. As with any series featuring
recurring characters, there is always the chance of the chemistry starting to
fail or for the plots to go stale. This is not a problem that is likely to
figure into Rizzoli and Isles’ journey. This is credit to both Gerritsen’s
talent at mining the deepest and darkest of human behavior, as well as the
complexity she imbues into both the main characters.
Die Again is the tenth
book in the series and this time out, Jane and Maura find themselves facing off
against a true predator. As so often happens in their dynamic, they also find
themselves butting heads with each other. Any time a friendship spans both the
professional and personal sphere, tensions are bound to erupt.
When Jane Rizzoli and her partner Frost are called
investigate the hanging and gutting of celebrated taxidermist, Leon Gott, it is
quickly obvious that someone with a very large grudge and a vicious nature was
responsible for the horrible crime scene before them. However, once Maura Isles
starts to see some similarities with other seemingly unrelated crime scenes,
the real troubles begin.
The team determines that the cases are linked to a
tragedy that occurred deep in the bush of Botswana six years prior. In that
case, a group of tourists went on an African safari, but only one returned
alive. A killer stalking their tour group was determined to be responsible and
a trip to South Africa causes Rizzoli to think she may be dealing with the same
killer now in Boston.
The dynamic between Rizzoli and Isles is again the
star of the show in Die Again. These two women have such a strong bond
and a committed work ethic that it is always a pleasure to watch them work
through their differences without any real risk to their mutual admiration for
The Botswana set flashbacks are addictive and
fascinating. In a lesser author’s hands, this case would have been the basis
for an entire novel rather than just a piece of a much larger puzzle. Tess
Gerritsen has written plenty of successful novels, so she skillfully navigates
these past events while never losing the focus of the current investigation.
Fans of the Rizzoli and Isles television show could
easily start reading the series with this novel. There is enough backstory
included to help orient those unfamiliar with the characters current story
arcs. Once readers give Die Again a try, they will join the queue of
those waiting for the next Tess Gerritsen adventure.