Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The silent girl by Tess Gerritsen

It begins with a Jane Doe found in Chinatown with her hand cleanly sliced from her body.  The body is the beginning of a bigger mystery, one that began nearly 20 years earlier with a murder/suicide in the Red Phoenix restaurant.  It is a mystery that will test the skills of Detectives Frost and Rizzoli as they try to make sense of the murder, but also try and navigate their way through the insular world of Chinatown - where they are separated from the people around them by language and culture. 

Detective Tam joins their team temporarily to try and help them navigate this new world, and is able to offer some insight into the world they are entering, but even he may not be able to help them find the answers before it is too late.  At the centre of the current mystery is the secret of what happened in the Red Phoenix so long ago, and the secrets kept by Mrs. Iris Fang and the people who surround and protect her.  While Rizzoli is battling to solve the mystery, Maura is struggling to work in an environment where she has suddenly become the enemy, the medical examiner who dared to speak out against a cop and testify at his trial.

From reviews of this book I have already seen, and from the blurb it is apparent that this is a personal exploration for Tess Gerritsen, a chance for her to explore some of her Chinese heritage through her writing, which also gives all of her readers the chance to experience some of that culture as well.  The traditional aspects of the different Asian cultures always seem to have so much to offer to todays societies, teaching that we should respect those who came before us, and respect those who live with us.  They also teach about the importance of respecting the world around us, as so many other cultures do too. 

In this novel Gerritsen seamlessly blends together two worlds, the traditional world of Chinatown with all its mysteries and heavy layer of cultural norms, and blends it into the modern almost corrupted world of Boston where the outside world has very little understanding of what is going on - where the mysticism of the East almost becomes a supernatural affair.

There is great respect for Chinese history and culture, and what could easily have become an over-the-top kung fu inspired story that bends the ability of the reader to accept the truth instead becomes a book that is almost impossible to put down because you want to know what happens next, to see what other aspects of Chinese culture of mythology will be woven into the story next.  While you can jump straight into this story without having read the other books in the series, in many ways the Rizzoli and Isles books are best read in order so that you can experience the building of their relationship and the beginning of this amazing series.  I can't wait for the next one in the series.

If you like this book then try:
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • The apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
  • Virals by Kathy Reichs
  • Now you see her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment