Homicide detective Jane Rizzoli has seen some unusual and gruesome crime scenes over the years, and she has worked many of those crimes alongside Medical Examiner Maura Isles. There latest case is one that is both mind boggling and disturbing, a taxidermist has been found in his home several days after his murder, hung from the rafters and gutted like an animal. It is a disturbing scene, made even more gruesome by the fact his pets have fed on the remains. When Maura discovers there are more viscera than there should be the investigation takes a more sinister and confusing turn - an animal was also killed and the pelt has been taken.
The course of the investigation will lead Rizzoli and Isles to a murder that happened in the African bush six years previously. Seven people wandered into the African bush for an authentic African safari experience, but the wonder and amazement soon turns to terror as the group is picked off one by one in a calculated hunt in a land that offers no mercy and no second chances. There was only one survivor, and she has refused to leave the small piece of South Africa she calls home, haunted by memories of that fateful trip. As the number of bodies and remains begins to mount up, Jane travels to South Africa to try and convince the survivor to face her fears. She is the only witness to have seen the killers face and live - but that makes her an even more tempting target to the killer.
I was really looking forward to another book in the Rizzoli and Isles series, and when it arrived at the same time as the latest James Patterson it was a difficult choice about which one to start first. I am glad that I picked up Die again first because I spent a few hours thoroughly wrapped up in the story in undisturbed enjoyment. Die again was a pleasure to read, a blending together of two stories on opposite sides of the world that lead towards a stunning conclusion, the two stories blending together seamlessly into a believable conclusion that was very very satisfying.
I loved the way the two stories were written, one from the first person perspective of Millie and what happens in Africa, and the other in the more common "voice of god" perspective - this approach made Millie's voice that much more powerful and made the story more gripping. Gerritsen also showed an amazing sense of timing about how much to reveal about Africa while keeping the tension taunt in present day Boston. By switching the perspective you think you know who the killer is, then you doubt yourself because of something new you learn about Africa, and then you think you have it sussed again, and then you learn something new that has you doubting yourself all over again!
Unlike some of the other books in the series Die again is one that you can pick up and read on its own without too much difficulty, I read the series as it comes out so it is usually a year between books and it can take a while to remember the personal details of Rizzoli and Isles because there are so many other books read. The characters were still important in Die again, but there were no insider stories here, the essential elements were carefully worked into the story in a genuine way - so even if this was your first ride on the Rizzoli and Isles rodeo you could ride out the story with no problems.
I think it is quite clear that I am a fan of Rizzoli and Isles, not only because of the skill with which Gerritsen has breathed life into the police/procedural side of the series, but also because she has her cast in the real world. Nothing is perfect in the world of Rizzoli and Isles, there are family troubles, marriages, children, and the challenge of balancing professional and personal lives. Hopefully we will see many more books from this series, and hopefully they are just as gripping and slippery as this one.
If you like this book then try:
- The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
- The apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
- The silent girl by Tess Gerritsen
- Last to die by Tess Gerritsen
- The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
- Look behind you by Sibel Hodge
- Kill switch by Neal Baer & Jonathan Greene
- Eeny meeny by M.J. Arlidge
- Now you see her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
- Vodka doesn't freeze by Leah Giarratano
- One step too far by Tina Seskis
- The survivors club by Lisa Gardner
- The edge of normal by Carla Norton
Reviewed by Brilla