It starts with murder - not one, not two, but three teenagers survive the cold blooded murder of their foster parents. Three teenagers that have already survived the death of their natural parents, teenagers who find themselves brought together at a special school in Maine called Evensong, a school where they can begin to heal from what they have been through, where they can learn to cope. But there are dark forces stirring in the background, someone wants these kids dead, someone who will stop at nothing to get to them and finish what they started - a dark force that is very good at hiding in the shadows. Drawn into the murder and the mystery are homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and forensic pathologist Maura Isles.
It is a difficult time for both Rizzoli and Isles. Rizzoli is working on a team with the charming Detective Crowe as the lead detective, and right from the start it is a "fun" investigation with Crowe using her motherly charm to try and reach one of the victims. Crowe also fixates on one suspect, something that doesn't sit right with Jane. At home, things are going from bad to worse as her father has decided that he wants to come "home" and live with his wife again - just as his wife is about to marry another man. Although getting caught in the middle is the last thing she wants, Jane finds herself trying to keep everyone on an even keel despite all the emotions and drama that are being stirred up.
Things are just as complicated for Maura Isles, she has finally called off her affair with Daniel Brophy, but there is still a sense there, a connection that she misses. She is still also feeling the cold shoulder from most of the police force after she testified against one of their own, an act that has also driven a wedge between her and Jane. A break in Maine seems like just the thing, a chance for her to spend time with Julian at Evensong, but she turns up at the school just as all hell breaks loose.
Last to die is another fine addition to the Rizzoli and Isles series, although like some other people who have reviewed the title, I found it a little hard to get into the story in the beginning because I had trouble remembering some of the "relationship" things mentioned - but that could just be because I read so many books each year and the memory has gotten a little hazy. Once I was into the story however, I was really into the story and resented every moment that I had to put the book down to do other things. The story was not predictable, and the ending was a nice surprise, which is a rarity in these days of mass produced pulp fiction where thrillers and murder mysteries are pumped out at a rapid rate of knots.
Gerritsen writes very strong characters and has a very firm grasp of how people interact with each other and the genuine emotions that people have. At times the dialogue seemed a little wooden which didn't sit very well as her books are usually so well written - and there was the odd editing mistake that jarred a little. There has been a shift in the books since The Mephisto Club that adds a darker, more "fantasy", element to the series, but it has also added another dimension to the novels which could have gotten quite formulaic or "stale" with just a straight forensics/cop premise. Not the best book in the series for me, but it was a great read and held the mystery and suspense right to the end.
If you like this book then try:
- The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
- The silent girl by Tess Gerritsen
- Low pressure by Sandra Brown
- Worst case by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
- A deeper darkness by J.T. Ellison
- Swimsuit by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
- Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
Reviewed by Brilla