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Rizzoli & Isles #12

I Know a Secret

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In the twelfth gripping novel featuring Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, the crime-solving duo—featured in the smash-hit TNT series Rizzoli & Isles—are faced with the gruesomely staged murder of a horror film producer.

The crime scene is unlike any that Detective Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles have ever before encountered. The woman lies in apparently peaceful repose on her bed, and Maura finds no apparent cause of death, but there is no doubt the woman is indeed dead. The victim’s eyes have been removed and placed in the palm of her hand, a gesture that echoes the terrifying films she produces. Is a crazed movie fan reenacting scenes from those disturbing films?

When another victim is found, again with no apparent cause of death, again with a grotesquely staged crime scene, Jane and Maura realize the killer has widened his circle of targets. He’s chosen one particular woman for his next victim, and she knows he’s coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Jane and Maura catch the killer.

But she knows a secret. And it’s a secret she’ll never tell.

319 pages, Hardcover

First published August 15, 2017

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About the author

Tess Gerritsen

216 books17k followers
Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, "Adrift", which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess's first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), and The Bone Garden (2007). Her books have been translated into 31 languages, and more than 15 million copies have been sold around the world.

As well as being a New York Times bestselling author, she has also been a #1 bestseller in both Germany and the UK. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon.) Critics around the world have praised her novels as "Pulse-pounding fun" (Philadelphia Inquirer), "Scary and brilliant" (Toronto Globe and Mail), and "Polished, riveting prose" (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the "medical suspense queen".

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,824 reviews
Profile Image for Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings).
1,521 reviews155 followers
August 27, 2017
Tess Gerritsen is onto another sure winner here with "I Know A Secret" the 12th in the Rizzoli and Isles thrillers!
You can read this as part of the whole series (recommended) or as a standalone novel (also recommended) but you won't be disappointed either way as this is a cracking book that has a fantastic storyline, is easy to follow and will have you flipping the pages as quickly as you can turn them.
Half way through the book I had it all worked out, who it was and why, but oh no, Ms Gerritsen had other ideas and I was completely thrown off track - excellent ending I didn't see coming that truly fitted the story.
I love the relationship homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and forensic pathologist Maura Isles have, true friends, dedicated work colleagues and their banter at times is just brilliant. The Rizzoli & Isles duo has inspired the American TV series of the same name which is also a huge hit and reflects true to the books.
What I like about Tess Gerritsen's writing is that she incorporates her forensic knowledge into the story but doesn't overdo it like another famous forensic crime writer whose books I always seem to struggle with when it comes to the terminology.
I've loved reading a lot of Tess' books over the years, I've read many though sadly not necessarily in the right order but that hasn't spoilt the series, they are all so easy to follow and pick up in whichever order you read them and I guarantee if you like crime thrillers you will love this one!
5 stars.
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,378 reviews7,089 followers
July 5, 2017
Before you take a peek inside the book, take time to savour that beautiful cover ( I absolutely love it ) and whilst a cover does not indicate a great read, fear not, because the storyline certainly lives up to this alluring work of art.

Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli, and Medical Examiner Maura Isles are back for the twelfth instalment of this ever popular series from Tess Gerritsen.

The opening chapter takes us straight to the crime scene of a horror film producer found dead in her apartment. Though there are no obvious signs of the cause of death, the victim's eyes have been removed and placed in her hand. Another murder soon follows and again the body is displayed in a grotesque manner, and so the race is on to discover a link between these murders in order to prevent further victims. However, this proves to be an extraordinarily difficult case to crack.

Eventually clues lead to a 20 year old investigation of ritual child abuse at the Apple Tree Nursery and the case of a missing 9 year old girl whose whereabouts still remain a mystery.

Interestingly, Maura's biological mother features initially in this particular storyline, and she certainly adds plenty of interest in quite a sinister way! Jane's personal life too interrupts proceedings, but of course it all adds to an already gripping read.

Rizzoli and Isles give this case everything they've got, and it's both gripping and disturbing. I actually thought I had this one figured out about half way through, but I was SO wrong - wasn't even close, so what do I know? ( not so clever eh? )

Avid fans of this series,( and newbies alike ) will find this an utterly compelling read

*I was offered an advance copy by the publisher Penguin Random House UK, Transworld and have given an honest review in exchange*
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
381 reviews1,645 followers
June 11, 2017

This is the twelfth book in the Rizzoli & Isles Series. This is one of my favorite series. I have read every book in this series and Tess Gerritsen does not disappoint. I loved every book in this series and I was so ecstatic when I received this copy of the book. This book was the bomb! It just rocked. I just loved it. This book is filled with suspense and rich in character development for characters we have come to know and love over the course of the Rizzoli and Isles series, this book is a true page turner with dark and disturbing plots. and one that should not be missed.

The book starts out with a girl found dead in her apartment, her eyes gouged out and placed in her hands. As the cause of death goes unanswered, another body is found, this one with arrows through his chest. I loved the back story of Maura and her evil serial killer birth mother Almathea, definitely keeps things interesting. This centers on a twenty year old case involving children abused at a day care center known as the Apple Tree Nursery. "The Apple Tree" mystery was very intriguing and had me quickly turning the pages. A female character has a secret! The book goes back and forth between this character and Rizzoli and Isles.

I highly recommend this book for those that love a dark thriller and suggest that you read them in order.

I want to thank NetGalley, the publisher and Tess Gerritsen for the copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,065 reviews3,607 followers
May 24, 2017
Fantastic addition to the series!

Detective Jane Rizzoli and colleague, Medical Examiner Maura Isles are once again called into action. This being the 12th installment of the highly successful series. So successful in fact, it’s become a long running TV series. (Might be cancelled now?) Though I must confess I’ve never watched it. I much prefer reading the books.

So away we go! The first victim is found in her own bedroom with her eyeballs in her hand (ewww!). The second victim has 3 arrows straight to the heart. Finding the cause of death or a connection between the killings is not as easy as it may have first appeared. But someone out there knows how and why these murders are happening. The past may have finally caught up to her. She’s also aware she may be next on the list!

Rizzoli and Isles chase down the leads, attempting to piece the clues together before the killer strikes again. Valuable personal time is spent away from the hunt, addressing the drama in Jane's family, and Maura's troubled personal life. Equally important to the series as the murders themselves…in my opinion!

I really thought I had this one figured out half way through. Not even close! Best in the series in a long time and finished it in 2 sittings. (OK, reclining by the pool!)

4.5* highly recommend for fans of the series.

Thank you to NetGalley, Tess Gerritsen and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,732 reviews14.1k followers
August 20, 2017
I have watched the television show featuring these two women, off and on. Enjoyed the actresses who played Maura and Jane. It also added to my reading enjoyment, since now I picture these two in my head, while reading the novel. Like a episode of the teller show playing in my head. Luckily I did like them because ever since Tom Cruise has played the lead in Lee Child's books, I can no longer read them, and they had been among some of my favorite reads. I apparently have a very strong, pictorial imagination, and as I'm sure you gathered, I dislike Cruise, immensely.

Many twists in this one, which will eventually blend with a scandalous twenty years old. Dead bodies, killed in gruesome ways, a selective circle of victims, with ties to the Catholic saints. A good blend of Jane's life, her parents and brother Frankie, always interesting. Maura, and her mother, the murderous family she was born into, but thankfully not raised by, will make an appearance. Something old will be reawakened. These pages fly by, so much is always happening, either in the case investigation or on the personal front. A worthy addition to this series.

ARC from Netgalley.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,718 reviews12.8k followers
September 14, 2017
Returning with the twelfth novel in her popular series, Tess Gerritsen shows that she is still able to captivate audiences with her Rizzoli and Isles police procedurals. When the body of Cassandra Coyle is discovered, her eyes surgically removed, Detective Jane Rizzoli is concerns that there is a new and sadistic killer on the loose. The detail of the bilateral globe enucleation has even Dr. Maura Isles baffled, especially with no real clues as to who the killer might be. When another body is discovered a few days later, Rizzoli and Isles wonder if Timothy McDougal’s arrow riddled body could be the work of the same killer. With nothing linking the two victims, Rizzoli and her team try to find anything that might prove similar, finding a scrap of something in their funeral attendees. When Isles mentions the cases to a close personal friend, he makes the sweeping suggestion. Might these killings be tied in that both victims were killed in a way by which certain Catholic saints met their demise? Rizzoli cross-references the murders and makes some disturbing parallels, only further exacerbated when she makes another connection between them from decades past. Could there be a degree of retribution at play here and, if so, how might they locate the next victim? Meanwhile, Isles must come to terms with the realisation that her birth mother, Amalthea Lank, is a sadistic serial killer whose days are numbered as she suffers with end-stage cancer. Forced to come to terms with her feelings on numerous levels, Isles must face the reality that this is the last connection to her bloodline, real or adopted. As the case heats up and suspects emerge, Rizzoli and the rest of the Boston PD Homicide DIvision race to find a killer with deep-seeded resentments, but nothing is quite as it seems. Gerritsen returns to her former glory with this captivating piece that taps into the depths of the cat and mouse game found in superior police procedurals. Series fans will surely be pleased to see the caliber of writing is back and the plot is filled with twists to keep the reader guessing.

I have long been a fan of Gerritsen’s work, particularly with this series. I was a fan of the television programme when it aired as well, though did find myself trying to place the two protagonists into a small box as I watched or read, which might have hampered my ability to enjoy the characters in these two mediums. The banter between Rizzoli and Isles usually proves the most interesting aspect of the novels, working together and yet in their own sphere to solve these murders. What some might consider the greatest secret of all is how Gerritsen took a series that was beginning to turn stale and breathe new life into it. I was forced to play a little mental catch-up to reacquaint myself with the characters (not helped by the alternate development made on television) before I could feel entirely comfortable with the larger plot, remembering how I skimmed through the lesser quality novels preceding this one. Gerritsen does well to pace this story and keeps the reader wondering, while plucking breadcrumbs from the early narrative to spin wonderful branch-offs throughout. The story’s development is slow and methodical, taking the reader on a few major twists before revealing what seems like the true path towards the killer. These literary forks in the road serve to advance the story and keep the reader unsure what awaits them. While some past novels fell flat, Gerritsen seems to have found her groove and one can hope this will continue for as long as the series remains an active project.

Kudos, Madam Gerritsen for a wonderful novel that keeps the reader guessing and shows that you have not lost your writing spark.

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,219 reviews2,049 followers
November 10, 2017
I know this was a good read because I finished it in one afternoon and evening! It was too interesting to put down!

I enjoyed the way the book was written from different POVs as it was nice to get into the head of one of the key players as well as knowing what Maura and Jane were thinking. I was a little annoyed that no one thought to look at the victim's pasts as the school link seemed pretty obvious to me, but that is only a tiny criticism.

As usual Tess Gerritson delivers an exciting murder mystery with lots of clever police work and some very interesting forensic science. Well worth a read especially if you are already a Rizzoli and Isles fan.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,211 reviews133 followers
April 13, 2022
Gerritsen’s well-written mystery series just continues to deliver chills, thrills and five-star reads.

So many threads in this one and a number of characters— how many victims and how many villains? Gotta admit that answer changed as the pages practically turned themselves.

Besides some great movement in the personal lives of our Boston detective and medical examiner, a new adversary has been created.

No spoilers so I’ll stop there but if you love old crimes that come back to haunt those still alive— but complete with twists— I highly recommend this installment!!

Rizzoli and Isles continue to kick a$$ and strengthen their partnership!!
Profile Image for Sarah Joint.
445 reviews984 followers
August 16, 2017
This is my first Rizzoli and Isles book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have seen a few episodes of the tv show, so in my head I'm picturing those two characters as the talented and lovely actresses who portrayed them. It really added something to the experience of the book, the ability to picture them so vividly. I Know a Secret absolutely works as a standalone. It's quite impressive how the author fills you in on little details of the history of the characters without doing it in an overly obvious way that could annoy readers who have read the entirety of the series.

I really enjoyed my introduction to book Jane, Maura, and their cohorts. Their relationships with their family and co-workers seem to be well-developed. I wish we had gotten more of Maura's chilling biological mother, but I think I would find that in earlier books. One more reason to look into this series more!

The body of a young, promising horror film producer has been found lying peacefully in her bed. At first glance, you might not even notice something was amiss... until you notice she's holding her eyeballs in her hands. That's a brutal message to send... who is it for, the police? Or is the killer mocking the young woman's taste in feature films and fledgling career, emulating the bloody posters she had framed and hung in her house?

This first death is chilling enough, but it's not long before they find another victim staged in a highly unique way. Medical examiner Maura Isles finds both victims were subdued in the same manner, and Detective Jane Rizzoli connects the two victims and thinks she may have the killer in their sights... but can it be proven?

We also get a prospective from a young publicist, who may be in danger from the murderer but seems exceptionally unconcerned. She's hard to figure out, but endlessly entertaining.

Digging up old cases from twenty years ago, searching for connections, and trying to keep some semblance of a normal personal life... we have Rizzoli and Isles. Great characters, great plot. This wasn't a five star for me because I predicted quite a few things and my interest started to wane a little bit towards the end but it picked back up. Solid four stars.

I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
Profile Image for PattyMacDotComma.
1,430 reviews810 followers
October 12, 2017
‘This guy was so clean he would’ve squeaked.’

‘Or so everyone believes.’

Jane shrugged. ‘You never know what the truth is.’ Every human being had secrets, and too often it was Maura who uncovered them: The upstanding citizen found dead with child porn clutched in his lifeless hand. Or the perfect society wife with the syringe of heroin and a needle still embedded in her arm.

Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles are the popular duo who inspired the TV series “Rizzoli and Isles”. Jane does the policing, Maura the scientific evaluation. I’ve not read others in the series, but this works fine as a stand-alone.

A macabre killing followed by another macabre killing has them puzzled. Is there a connection and if so what? As they question and investigate, they find a possible link to an older murder.

Points of view change with various chapters narrated by them or by another character. Holly works in PR, promoting the ghosted autobiography of a popular actress.

“Hundreds of brainiacs, the future leaders of the free world, have come to worship at the feet of Victoria Avalon, who, and I swear this is true, once asked me: ‘How do you spell IQ?’ The large crowd has made Victoria very happy tonight.”

Holly hates her job and has plenty of reasons to drown her sorrows and find pleasure where she can. She’s pretty free and loose and quick to judge.

“He’s a few years older than I am, in his mid-thirties, with a lean athletic build, blue eyes, and wheat-colored hair. I deduct a few points because he’s drinking a latte, and at this time of night, real men drink espresso. I’m willing to overlook that flaw because of those gorgeous blue eyes.”

So, one thing leads to another and he becomes a bit unexpectedly clingy. Hmmm. . . .

“It has been my experience that 90 percent of men my age don’t want to wake up with a woman. They’d rather hook up with a girl they found on Tinder, enjoy their quickie, then go their merry way. No dinner, no date, no need to rack their poor little brains for topics of conversation. We’re all like billiard balls these days, briefly bouncing up against each other and then rolling away.”

Maura and Jane probably wouldn't share Holly's opinion! Jane has a small child, and Maura visits her evil, estranged biological mother in hospital, which deeply affects how she views the grim facts of this case. Her kindly adoptive parents (Mr and Mrs Isles), have died, so she's got no family support.

“Through the cubicle window, Maura saw Amalthea’s eyes slowly open. One bony finger beckoned to her, a gesture as chilling as the command of Satan’s claw.

Her mother says Maura has inherited her interest in death (autopsies, etc) from the dark side of her mother's nature. She sure hopes not, but it's a frightening thought.

Needless to say, this is a who-dunnit, but I have to admit that I didn’t really much care who did what, and I also pretty much guessed, but I’m sure fans of the series will enjoy it. Perhaps it is more enjoyable for those familiar with the back stories of Rizzoli and Isles.

I really enjoyed her stand-alone mystery Playing with Fire a couple of years ago, and you might, too. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for the preview copy from which I’ve quoted.
Profile Image for Emma.
972 reviews975 followers
June 16, 2017
Despite some thrillingly gory deaths inventively used, this book felt formulaic and lacked any real tension. The family drama was all stuff we'd seen before and the main plot, while having a solid foundation in the mix of child abuse scandals, moral panic, and psychological testing, failed to live up to its promise thanks to the hugely unsurprising and unsatisfying ending.

It's good enough to fill a few hours, but it's not her best, and I wouldn't rush out to get it.

ARC via Netgalley
Profile Image for Labijose.
957 reviews416 followers
July 8, 2020
Mi segunda lectura de esta serie, de momento. De la primera (“The surgeon”) ya me gustaron cosas. Con esta decimosegunda entrega me ratifico en que esta serie puede merecer la pena. Tengo algunas intermedias para leer, y las iré intercalando entre otras lecturas.

De la presente, tengo varios motivos para no calificarla con mejor puntuación. El más importante sin duda es haber “adivinado” antes de la mitad al malvado de turno. Y que la trama te engancha, pero no te electriza. En la parte positiva destacar la química entre las protagonistas. Que se puede leer sin haber seguido la serie, y a eso sí que le doy bastante importancia, pues somos muchos los que nos subimos al carro en los vagones finales, para ir recorriéndolos a la inversa. Y, como ya dije al principio de este párrafo, que la trama ha mantenido su interés hasta el final.

Resumiendo, un thriller casi “liviano”, aunque el término dependerá del tipo de lector (las descripciones forenses no serán plato de buen gusto para según qué tipo de lectores). Interesante pero no memorable (el estilo de narración es correcto, a secas), y muy recomendable entre lecturas de mayor calado.

Profile Image for Brenda.
4,094 reviews2,662 followers
August 7, 2017
When medical examiner Maura Isles was called to the murder site, homicide detective Jane Rizzoli was already on the scene. She was pale and Detective Frost, Jane’s partner looked ashen. The sight of the young woman, lying as though peacefully sleeping was only broken by one thing – and that was horrifying…

When the autopsy was conducted, Maura could find no cause of death – and her puzzlement was to continue with a second victim discovered only a few days later. His staged body was decidedly grim; but once again, she could find no apparent cause of death.

The suddenness of the revelation that connected the cases had Rizzoli and Isles scrambling for facts. The circumstantial evidence was strong – the actual proof; the evidence they needed to convict – was missing. And when another woman who could well turn out to be the next victim refused their protection, Jane and her team struggled to know what to do next.

Would the secrets and lies being held tightly to the chest of one particular person be brought to the surface before it was too late? Or would there be more deaths before it was all over?

I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen is the 12th in the Rizzoli & Isles series and another brilliant thriller! It’s been a long time between books and I devoured this one – the twists, the intrigue and the usual interaction between the two main characters was excellent. It was great to catch up with Rizzoli and Isles, Detective Frost and Daniel once again. I have no hesitation in recommending this fast paced, intense thriller to all fans of the genre.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy to read and review.
Profile Image for Gary.
2,614 reviews369 followers
July 9, 2017
This is the 12th full length novel in the popular Rizzoli and Isles series by author Tess Gerritsen. I enjoy both the novels and the TV series but although there are a lot of similarities the books in my opinion are so much better. Like most series the more you read the more familiar you get with the characters and 'Rizzoli and Isles books are no different, each character is so much more interesting once you get used to their manerisms.
In this novel a young woman's body is found in a house decorated with horror movie poster. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.
Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?
One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him. But she has a secret that she has to keep.
A very good read that is well paced,full of twists and away from the plot has a good balance of family issues. Another success and probably the best book in this very good series for a while.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Daniel Balici.
100 reviews20 followers
September 2, 2017
Imagine the exhilaration I felt when I noticed on Goodreads that a new installment of the Rizzoli & Isles series was due to get published this summer, considering that I have said countless times that Tess Gerritsen is one of my favourite contemporary authors of mystery/thriller. The Rizzoli & Isles novel series also served as a source of inspiration to the popular TNT police procedural and crime drama starring the talented Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander, which, sadly, concluded last year. However, I am happy because it seems that Tess Gerritsen has no intention of ending the novel series at the moment.

As anticipated, Tess Gerritsen returns with yet another installment of the long-running Rizzoli & Isles series with a well thought out plot and excellent writing. I Know a Secret features the well known eponymous characters police detective Jane Rizzoli and her colleague and friend, medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. Initially, the two are faced with an interesting and odd homicide case: a horror film producer is found dead in her apartment with her eyeballs cut and placed in the palm of her hand. The problem is that Maura cannot determine the cause of death as there are no obvious signs of the manner in which the perpetrator committed the murder. Subsequently, Jane and Maura are examining another bizzarely staged crime scene. This time the victim is a man and his body was stabbed with arrows. The two murders appear connected and lead the Boston PD homicide unit to a notorious case of child abuse and presumed child abduction which took place 20 years ago.

In addition to the homicide cases that must be solved, some chapters focus on the personal lives of the main characters: the complicated relationship between Maura and her dying and villainous mother Amalthea Lank who featured for the first time in Body Double; the on-again, off-again relationship between Maura and her love interest, the Catholic priest Daniel Brophy; the funny drama of the Rizzoli family; the romantic reconciliation between Frost and his ex-wife, Alice.

In I Know a Secret, Tess Gerritsen proves that she is well versed not only in forensic medicine and police procedures, but also in filmmaking, religious symbolism and child psychology. She is able to readily transpose her vast knowledge into writing and this is the reason why all of her books in the mystery/thriller genre are so well-documented and credible at the same time. In my opinion, one aspect that differentiates each installment of the Rizzoli & Isles series from the ever increasing number of other crime fiction novels is the graphic and informative description of the medical procedures Maura has to perform in order to determine the cause of death of a certain person who was involved in a crime scene. This type of description unquestionably abounds in I Know a Secret, as well.

While I definitely enjoyed and quickly read this 12th installment, I found the mystery and the twist and turns of I Know a Secret a little weaker and less thrilling as compared to some previous books of the series, such as Last to Die or Die Again. Due to this, I am going to rate Tess Gerritsen's newest novel at 4 stars instead of 5.

All in all, I Know a Secret is a valuable addition to the Rizzoli & Isles series and it leaves you eager to encounter once again the great characters you have been constantly rooting for, over 12 books.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,202 reviews917 followers
December 5, 2019
Homicide Detective Jane Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Maura Isles are called to a gruesome murder site of a horror movie filmmaker. As they consider whether they’re looking at life mimicking art, another murder occurs where Maura makes the unusual connection to the first scene. And, the connection between the victims leads them to a notorious case dating back twenty years.

I really liked that this was the type of story where you had no choice but to follow the superb procedurals as the subject was that unpredictable. I never would have guessed where it ended up leading, though I had strong suspicions as to the who in the story. It was a fascinating case that just got more exciting as it progressed to a thrilling climax. In addition to the case, Jane and Maura’s personal lives had quite a bit of turmoil, both involving their mothers. I had just as much invested in those storylines as the main one.

I’m glad I chose to listen to this series after book #2, despite the changing narrators as they were all exceptional, especially after it settled in with Tanya Eby. This is the last book in the series for now, though the author hasn’t yet determined if this is a pause or the end. No matter as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the entire series and am comfortable where it landed if this is the end.
Profile Image for Fred.
572 reviews73 followers
October 24, 2019
Tess Gerritsen Fans Group Link

2017 Group Read Discussion

Holly Devine (27) Is the book's first person ("I"). Holly has seen Dr. Maura Isles & Det. Jane Rizzoli on Boston's TV news which allows her to recognize them when seen in the story in many chapters.

20 years ago, Holly & 4 other children were lead by lawyers as witnesses to "prosecute" the Starnek family for child abuse - in their "Apple Tree Day Care".

The Stanek parents died in jail. Martin Stanek(son) was 22 at the trial, now 42, had his life beaten out of him by others in jail & is out.

Maura & Jane find 2 recent murders were "Apple Tree Day Care" students.
1. Cassandra(26) found dead holding her eyeballs - was killed Dec 13 - correlates to St. Lucy of the blind.
2. Timothy(25) killed Dec 24 by 3 arrows - St. Sebastian patron saint of archers & policemen.

Father Brophy helps research murder dates to the Liturgical calendar & Martyr Saints for method of murder used.

3. Billy(31?) is missing - Apr 28 is his birthday, St. Vitalis was buried in the ground.
4. Lizzie(9) - her skull is found buried for 20 years behind Billy's old house. They don't know the date killed hence cannot associate to Saint.
5. Holly(27) needs to be protected.

20 years ago...Holly was 7, Cassandra 6, Timothy 5, Bill 11 & Lizzie 9 years old.

A great end, they have found Cassandra, Timothy & Lizzie - 3 out 5.
Will Martin Starney (released from jail) kill Holly?
What happened to Billy's body?
Who buried Lizzie's skull - 20 years ago?

- In "Body Double" (#4 in Rizzoli & Isles series) Jane swore she would never see her crazy mom again (Amalthea Lank) for killing 2 pregnant woman - let her rot in Framingham's MCI (Massachusetts Correctional Institute). But she visits her in a ICU hospital (Intensive Care Unit) where she is sick & dies.
Profile Image for Thomas.
726 reviews175 followers
December 26, 2017
This is book 12 in the Rizzoli and Isles series. The book starts with a first person woman narrator who is cold and manipulative. Then it switches to a scene with Maura Isles and her dying mother. The third chapter has Detective Jane Rizzoli and Doctor Isles at a gruesome murder site. These three threads do come together in a very satisfying mystery that I devoured in two days. There are enough twists and turns in the plot to keep you interested until the end.
Gruesome murder quote:
"Bilateral globe enucleation" said Maura softly.
"Is that some kind of fancy medical talk for someone cut out her eyeballs?"
4.5 stars
Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for sending me this ebook.
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews148 followers
October 9, 2017
Tess Gerritsen writes her characters very well. I would think sociopathy comes in varying degrees, and as you read this book, you will know which characters I’m talking about. The two main characters, Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, are true to form as they have been in previous books. Even Jane's family is still in turmoil. Maura's life just might be on the verge of a major change. For the life of me, though, I can’t recall which bits of history are in previous books or from the television show.

The murder investigations here are related to past crimes and someone already convicted for them. There are some twists that had me changing my mind a few times, and I happily followed where the author wanted me to go. This was an easy, evenly paced read.
Profile Image for Jean.
731 reviews20 followers
March 30, 2019
Who is this person, this narrator who in the opening chapter of Tess Gerritsen’s I Know a Secret lists funerals she has attended? She states that she does not cry at funerals, even though she somehow knows that is what is “normal” behavior. That first funeral was for an uncle, whom she barely liked, but she was there because she was only seven, and her mother required her to attend. Later, as a young adult, we see her attend other funerals. Who are these dearly departed, and what is this narrator’s relationship to them?

This person’s name, we learn, is Holly. Her chapters alternate with the third-person narrative that describes the events surrounding the strange, sadistic killings of several individuals. These crime scenes are attended by forensic pathologist Dr. Maura Isles, Detective Jane Rizzoli, and Detective Frost. The deaths appear peaceful enough, but the post-mortem mutilation is bizarre. What message is the killer trying to send, and to whom?

Ms. Gerritsen pulls out all the stops. She has her dynamic duo of Rizzoli and Isles – this is the twelfth time these women have paired up in a suspense novel – pursue some rather unorthodox sources in seeking answers. The first victim was a young woman whose passion was making horror films. Her three close friends and collaborators could be key to finding answers. When another murder occurs, Maura has a flash of insight and turns to someone from her past who may be able help with his knowledge. The detectives also turn to another source, Dr. Lawrence Zucker, a forensic psychologist.

Eventually, the investigators figure out a pattern and think they have identified the killer – and the next victim. They hope to lure him into a trap, but will their bait cooperate?

The plot moves along quickly. It raises questions and, as Tess Gerritsen does so well, there are red herrings, symbols (it might help to be Catholic –maybe), and ghosts from the past. Maura Isles faces her genetic past once again. Could she have some of that darkness within herself? As she is wont to do, she brushes those thoughts aside. But when Amalthea is dying, she cannot stay away. And what about that other ghost? Daniel Brophy? Yes, what about him? That remains to be seen, she said with a slight smile.

Jane has family drama of her own. Same old, same old. Her mother Angela has gone back to Frank, but is it a second honeymoon? Don’t bet on it. Jane’s little Regina is old enough to talk now – I wish we were seeing more of her home life with Gabriel and Regina, but that’s the life of a homicide detective. Not enough time with family.

The final chapters are quite revealing, and there are a few tiny surprises near the end. Does it all wrap up in with a big fancy bow? Let’s just say that not everyone is satisfied at the outcomes of these mysteries. I’ll just let that sit there. I enjoyed this book. I look forward to the next one. I am not ready for this series to end. Ever.

4 stars
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,430 reviews989 followers
August 1, 2017
I can’t believe there is any avid crime reader out there who has not yet dipped into the Rizzoli and Isles series from Tess Gerritsen but if that is you then you might want to take a look – I have yet to read one that disappointed me (and I’ve read them all sometimes more than once) right from way back when “The Surgeon” was published.

The two main characters have such a fascinating story arc throughout the series (maintained and intriguingly expanded once again here) and in “I Know a Secret” they have a strange and unpredictable case to deal with, a new possible nemesis for Jane Rizzoli that opens up the series beautifully and the usual brilliantly insightful medical detail layered into the cleverly plotted mystery element.

The author has a medical background that makes that side of things oh so authentic (and often horrifyingly thought provoking) and the storytelling is simply divine – I read this, as all the others, in one sitting – starting it yesterday morning and finishing yesterday evening, emerging breathless from an ending that just made me desperate for the next novel. Waiting. I HATE waiting.

Even the usually stoic and unshakable Maura Iles gets thrown a curveball or two in this instalment – I’ve always loved her for her tough outer shell hiding an inner emotional turmoil, her friendship with Jane is solidly reassuring and endlessly addictive – as a reader you can’t really ask for a better pair to head down into the darkness with.

Darkness is right too – these two see the worst of human frailty and come in contact with some dangerous, erratic people – The secret being hidden here is classically engaging and I was very taken with the other voice, Holly, she was captivating and kept me on my toes. Overall a genuinely excellent addition to the Rizzoli and Iles hall of fame and one that has just confirmed my love for them.

Top notch quality crime fiction always tells. Tess Gerritsen delivers every single time.

Highly Recommended.
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,744 reviews1,617 followers
August 31, 2017
This is the twelfth book in the Rizzoli and Isles series and I have read everyone of them and enjoyed them all. They have also been made into a T.V. series. I have not watched the T.V. Series as I find it spoils the books for me. I like to have the plot unfold in my head and have my own version of the characters, plot etc.

The book is fast paced, tense, cleverly plotted, dark and gruesome read. Tess Gerritsen never disappoints. This book can be read as a standalone but whither you have read all the books in this series or just want to read this one I do recommend this book. I look forward to reading more in this series or one of her other novels soon.
September 6, 2017
‘Boston’s First Ladies of Crime’ are back for a fascinating twelfth outing and the chill of a bitter winter isn’t the only unpleasant aspect of this investigation. Tess Gerritsen drops her readers straight into the unfolding drama from the get-go and catches readers attention with a gruesomely staged crime scene and the discovery of twenty-six-year-old independent horror film producer, Cassandra Coyle, found fully clothed, dead in bed in her swanky loft apartment. The victim has been brutally mutilated post-mortem and her eyeballs cleanly removed and placed in her hand, but without an obvious cause of death, Medical Examiner, Dr Maura Isles finds herself frustrated. The seemingly best guess as to what has motivated the crime is the victims filmmaking, inspired by something straight out of Horror 101. Naturally, the symbolism of the eye removal fascinates Maura, but the cause of death proves harder to pinpoint, with a stomach full of alcohol, Rizzoli and Isles find themselves thrashing around theories as to why the subjects eyes might have been removed (windows to the soul, something the victim has seen etc) and along with hugely satisfying medical know how, this duo never skimp on the psychology behind the crimes.

Just two weeks later the discovery of another victim mutilated post-mortem sees Dr Maura
Isles start to make some connections between the murders and finally uncover the cause of death in both cases. Timothy McDougal, an accountant who seems to have no connection to Cassandra also fails to give up its secrets easily, with his body found pierced by three arrows in his chest and with a belly full of alcohol. To a girl raised in a Catholic household and with an obsession with ritualistic staging of crime scenes, Dr Maura Isles finds herself discussing her theories with old flame, Father Daniel Brophy, and former chaplain of Boston PD. Through her endeavours she is able to offer up a possible answer to the very different forms of post-mortem mutilation in the two cases. Linking the crimes back to a earlier death in Newport, believed to be the result of an accidental fire, the connection between the victims becomes clear and all points towards the unsolved disappearance of nine-year-old Lizzie DiPalma and the Apple Tree Daycare abuse scandal of twenty-years earlier.

A dual narrative runs through this story and the novel opens with a narrator, identified as Holly Devine, attending the funeral of a fellow schoolgirl from her days growing up in Brookline. Despite not having seen the deceased, twenty-six-year old Sarah Balterash, for the last decade, Holly, has come to Newport to discover how her one time acquaintance perished. She suspects that the cause of death hinges on a shared memory from their childhood of a group that rode the after school bus together everyday, hence with bated breath she is on high alert for more reprisals. Holly is a real enigma and her response to the events is puzzling, but her headstrong refusal to approach the police and her reticence to offer assistance is food for thought for Jane, leaving a niggling concern that the case just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.

This is a series that I have dipped in and out of and it never fails to reward, with Gerritsen covering all bases and addressing Rizzoli and Isles personal lives, their friendship and working relationship, all on top of providing a gripping and frequently gruesome murder element. The excellent rapport and familiarity between not only Rizzoli and Isles, but also Rizzoli and homicide partner, Detective Barry Frost, greases the wheels and adds a warmth and quick wit (usually from Rizzoli) to Gerritsen’s prose. Jane Rizzoli wears her heart on her sleeve and speaks her mind, yet despite her bluntness there is an innate goodness to her meddling, whether that be in the personal lives of her colleagues, family or breaking down of her suspects. Together with Dr Maura Isles and her propensity for withdrawing and mulling over her theories, the contrast in the pairing is what makes their highly successful partnership tick. The story is cranked out at a rate of knots and it is the fast and furious unfolding twists that will keep readers hooked. Succinct chapters, a puzzling investigation which catches readers attention with its origins two decades earlier, all topped off by bona fide and authoritative medical knowledge and rigorous psychology. A complicated case wth but as usual Gerritsen leads her readers through the unfolding drama by making child’s play of the complex medical specifics and adds a nonchalance that only someone truly adept with their subject matter can command. One of the particularly rewarding aspects of this novel is seeing Gerritsen draw in real life examples to illustrate her rationale which is in evidence in this stellar novel.

A pulse-pounding twelfth instalment for Rizzoli and Isles which offers exceptional bang for your buck. An enthralling case, with a solid reasoning and logic and two storming protagonists at the helm. I loved it!

With thanks to reviewer, Miriam Smith, for sharing this book.
Profile Image for Seda.
541 reviews78 followers
May 7, 2018

📚Maura mideyi açtığında dışarı sadece morumsu bir sıvı sızdı.
“Kokuyu alıyor musun?” dedi Maura.
“Almasam daha iyi,” dedi Jane.
“Bence şarap bu. Rengin koyuluğuna bakılırsa tahminen cabernet veya zinfandel türü, ağırlardan.”
“Nasıl yani? Üretim yılını söylemeyecek misin? Peki, markası?” diye söylendi Jane. “Formunu kaybediyorsun, Maura.”

Tess Gerritsen kalemiyle, ilk kez 13 yıl önce Cerrah kitabıyla tanıştım ve ilk kitabıyla polisiye gerilim yazarları arasında vazgeçilmezim, gerilim kraliçem oldu. Rizzoli&Isles serisi dışındaki kitaplarının bir kısmını ortalama bulsam da bu serinin her kitabını ayrı sevdim.

Kitapla ilgili spoiler olmaması için genel olarak seriden bahsetmek istiyorum aslında. Seri şu ana kadar yayımlanmış 12 kitaptan oluşuyor. Her kitap dedektif Jane Rizzoli ve adli tabip Dr. Maura Isles’ın yaşadığı olaylar çevresinde dönerken, ikili bu sırada işlenen cinayetleri çözmeye çalışıyor.

İlk iki kitap, Cerrah ve devamı niteliğindeki Çırak, yazarın tıp diplomasının etkilerini sonuna kadar taşıyor. Cerrah ve Çırak, serinin gerilim dozu en yüksek kitapları bence. Ondan sonraki kitaplarda, ana karakterlerin hikayeleri hariç, farklı ve birbirinden bağımsız konular işleniyor. Yazar antropoloji eğitimi aldığı için, büyün kitaplarında hikayelere gerçekçilik katacak kadar çok detay veriyor. Aynı zamanda polisiye-gerilim okuyabilen herkesin şans vermesi gereken bir seri ortaya çıkarıyor.

Jane’nin zeki, sert, hazır cevap ve maskulen karakterine, Maura’nın kırılganlığının yanında güçlü duruşuna, en zor olay yerine bile topuklu ayakkabılarla gidecek kadar kadınsı zerafetine, yazarın karakterlere yazdığı zekice diyaloglara, genelde katili ya da olay örgüsünü tahmin etmeyi zorlaştıracak anlatımına, her kitabın çok kısa sürede okunacak kadar akıcı diline bayılıyorum.

3 yıldır beklediğim bu kitap da beni hiç hayal kırıklığına uğratmadı, klasik bir Tess kitabıydı ve serinin en iyilerinden biriydi. Holly karakterine öyle gizemli bir hava katmıştı ki mağdur mu, suçlu mu son ana kadar anlayamadım. Bir yandan Jane ve Maura’nın cinayetlerle ilgili ipucu toplamasını okurken, diğer yandan Holly’nin anlatımıyla cinayetlerden sonra yaşadıklarını, korkularını, gizlediği sırlarını okudum. Bu çift yönlü anlatım hikayeyi daha da zenginleştirmişti. Veee tabii ki sonu... Bir sorun olduğu çok belli olsa da katili ve olayları tam olarak çözemedim. Tess yine tahmin yeteneğime meydan okudu ve hakkıyla kazandı ki yazarın bu seride en sevdiğim yanı tahmin edilememe özelliğiydi.

Polisiye-gerilim sevenlere gözüm kapalı tavsiye edebileceğim bir seri Rizzoli&Isles. Doğan Kitap, Tess Gerritsen’ın bütün telif haklarını aldı ve özellikle serinin bazı kitapları piyasada bulunmadığından, bütün kitaplar Doğan Kitap etiketiyle yeniden basılıyor.

Son olarak belitmek isterim ki serinin, aynı isim ve karakterlerle, 7 sezon süren bir de dizisi var. Ama hikayeler, cinayetler ve karakterlerin yaşadıkları kitapla paralel gitmiyor. Hatta kitapları okuyup diziye aynı beklentiyle başlayanlar hayal kırıklığına uğrayacaktır. Çünkü kitaplar tam anlamıyla polisiye-gerilim türündeyken, dizi senaryosu ise daha çok polisiye yönü ağır basan, gerilim unsuru az, komik/eğlenceli diyalogları olacak şekilde yazılmış. Dizi ve kitaplar birbirinden bağımsız, sadece karakterler ve mesleklerinin aynı olmasıyla değerlendirildiğinde hayal kırıklığı yaratmayacaktır.

📚”Umarım sormamın sakıncası yoktur...”
Doktor bakışlarını kaçırdı; açacağı konudan rahatsızlık duyduğu belliydi. “Framingham’dan gelen tıbbi kayıtlarında neden hapis yattığı belirtilmemiş. Korumasıyla görevli memur, sürekli yatağa kelepçeli kalmasında ısrarcı. Pek barbarca geliyor bana.”
“Hastaneye yatırılan mahkûmlarla ilgili protokolleri öyle.”
“Bu kadın pankreas kanserinden ölüyor ve ne kadar zayıf olduğunu herkes görebilir. Kalkıp kaçacak hali yok. Ama koruma memuru göründüğünden çok daha tehlikeli olduğunu söylüyor.”
“Öyledir,” dedi Maura.
“Neden hapiste?”
“Cinayet. Bir sürü.”
“Bu kadın mı?”
“Kelepçe o yüzden var. Kapısında bekleyen memur da.”
“Üzüldüm,” dedi Dr. Wang. “Sizin için zor olmalı... Yani annenizin...”
“Katil olması mı?” Evet.” En fecisini de bilmiyorsun ayrıca. Ailenin kalanını bilmiyorsun.

📚Azrail’in izinden sürekli giden Bostonlu adli tabip Dr. Maura Isles, bir seri katilin kızıydı. Ölüm, aile meslekleriydi.
“Beni görmeye geldin sonunda,” diye fısıldadı Amalthea. “Gelmeyeceğine yemin etmiştin.”
“Kötü durumda olduğunu söylediler. Konuşmak için son şansımız olabilir. Görebiliyorken göreyim dedim.”
“Benden bir şey istediğin için mi?”
Maura inanamazcasına kafa salladı. “Ne isteyeceğim ki senden?”
“Dünya böyle, Maura. Aklı başındaki yüm yaratıklar fayda kovalar. Yaptığımız her şey kendi çıkarımızadır.”
“Senin için öyle olabilir. Benim için değil.”
“Niye geldin öyleyse?”
“Ölüyorsun diye. Bana yazıp ziyaretine gelmemi istediğin için. Biraz şefkat hissim olduğunu düşünmek hoşuma gittiği için.”
“Bende yok ondan.”
“Niye yatağa kelepçeli olduğunu sanıyordun?”

📚Kadının iki göz çukuru da boştu. Oyulmuştu gözleri; geriye iki kanlı çukur kalmıştı.
Afallayan Maura’nın bakışı kadının sol eline, açık avucuna iki iğrenç bilye misali yerleştirilmiş gözlere kaydı.
“İşte bu sayede gecemiz eğlenceli oluyor, baylar ve bayanlar,” dedi Jane.
“Bilateral glob enükleasyonu” diye mırıldandı Maura.
“Biri gözlerini oymuş’a havalı tıp dilinde öyle mi deniyor?”
“Her halta kupkuru bir klinik laf takmana bayılıyorum. Kadıncağızın kendi gözlerini elinde tuttuğu gerçeğini daha az manyaklıkmış gibi gösteriyor.”

📚Jane, Maura marangoz misali kestikçe sıçrayan kemik parçaları karşısında yüzünü buruşturdu. Cassandra’nın kalbi ve akciğerlerini koruyan göğüskafesi artık içindeki sırların görülmesini engelleyen kemik çitten ibaretti. Jane, kemik sesi karşısında Frost’un yüzünü buruşturduğunu gördü. Morgun koku ve sesleri Maura’nın anavatanıyken, hassas midesi cinayet masasında efsaneleşen Frost için yabancı bir ülke gibiydi.

📚Maura, morg görevlilerinin evden iki sedyeyi çıkarışlarını izlerken, böyle sonlandı demek, diye düşünüyordu. Açık kapıdan içeri buz gibi hava doluyordu ama taze hava, evdeki şiddet kokusunu silecek güçte değildi. Cinayet, kendi kokusunu bırakırdı. Kan ve korku ve saldırganlık havaya kendi kimyasal izlerini salarlardı ve Maura, can verdikleri odada hepsinin kokusunu alıyordu. Sessizce dikiliyor, kokuyu içine çekiyor, suç mahallini okuyordu.

Profile Image for Scott.
423 reviews48 followers
August 27, 2017
I have been reading Tess Gerritsen’s “Rizzoli & Isles” mystery series for long time, even before the television show starting airing. I have watched the show and enjoyed it; however, I have always liked the books much better. There is a darker tone and more focus on suspense surrounding the procedural work of solving crimes. I enjoy the strong friendship between the two main characters – detective Jane Rizzoli, and medical examiner Maura Isles – and their related family situations. I also appreciate the detailed Boston setting and history that Gerritsen uses as a background for telling their stories.

One of the interesting things about this series is that Gerritsen was consistent in publishing a book every year from 2001 – 2012, keeping the series active in readers minds and in the forefront of the mystery sections in the bookstores. Since then, she has only published two books in the series – “Die Again” in 2014 and now “I Know a Secret” in 2017. She has not been as active with the series, so it’s nice to have a new book to read.

“I Know a Secret” is the 12th “Rizzoli & Isles” outing and Gerritsen hasn’t lost her writing touch. Jane and Maura are mature characters, comfortable in their skin, yet still growing and developing their emotional and philosophical sides. Once I started the book, I found myself right back in their world without missing a beat. This time the story starts out with two separate homicides in two different locations. Although the victims appear unrelated, investigating the crimes leads to an independent horror film, several martyred saints, a missing girl from 20 years ago, and a shocking abuse scandal in a small town.

As Jane and Maura work through their investigation, personal challenges also play a key part. Jane’s mother, who recently returned to her husband, is facing a crumbling marriage, and Maura is dealing with the imminent death of her own mother, an infamous serial killer dying of cancer in prison. In addition, the investigation draws in a religious expert who also happens to be Maura’s long-time lover and local Priest.

Gerritsen is a focused and detailed writer, moving from one exploratory scene to another, laying down the clues and unfolding the investigation like peeling a raw onion. The side characters and family members are interspersed in the right amounts and timing throughout the book. There are no unnecessary scenes or wasted prose, as the mystery builds to a satisfying conclusion. Multiple connecting threads come together in a fluid and sensible outcome. In this case, there are multiple climaxing moments which provide depth and strength to the story. Without giving anything away, I can say that I found the last page to be very chilling.

This was worth reading if you like a well organized, fast-paced mystery. While you keep analyzing the clues and think you have it, Gerritsen stays one step ahead with the surprises. “I Know a Secret” is a strong return by Gerritsen to her bestselling “Rizzoli & Isles” mystery series. Jane was her assured, headstrong self, and Maura was her self-conflicted, but rise above it all self. Reading this book reminded how much missed my annual outing with them. I hope that next time, Gerritsen won’t make use wait so long for a follow-up.
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,400 reviews763 followers
April 26, 2017
This book won't be released till Aug. 15, but I was way too excited about the opportunity to read an advance review copy that I just couldn't wait to read it. That's because the author's "Rizzoli & Isles" series has been a favorite from the start (for the record, this is the 12th). While this one somehow seems a bit darker than most of the others I've read, it's no less well written.

The "darkness," I suppose, comes in part because medical examiner Maura Isles must come to terms with issues that haunt her past, such as her seriously disturbed (and long estranged) birth mother, who's in jail for life after being convicted of multiple murders. Still other characters, including police detective Jane Rizzoli, her uber-Italian mother and her police partner deal with issues of their own. Only Jane's hunky FBI special Agent husband, Gabriel Dean, seems to be home free in the issues department, and perhaps that's why he doesn't get much play here (drat).

At the beginning, Maura reluctantly has a meeting with her birth mother, whose parting words are cryptic as Maura gets a call from Jane that she's needed at the scene of a gruesome new case. A dead woman - a producer of indie horror films - has been found with her eyes removed and placed in her hand. But the eyes don't have it - the cause of death, that is. In fact, it isn't even clear even after Maura's initial autopsy. Could it be simply a case of life impersonating art? Jane and Maura hold that thought - that is, until a second victim turns up amid a similar scenario. Solving those two crimes moves ahead slowly even after Maura finally determines the very unusual COD; the police can find no connection between the two victims, no motive and no clues as to who the killer might be.

But wait, there's more. Another female character is intently watching the goings-on; she's got a big secret from her past, and it's one that just may put her life in jeopardy as well. Chapters shift from the investigation to her point of view and back, all adding layers to the story that build up to a pretty scary conclusion (and non-conclusion, but I won't get into that here except to say it could provide interesting fodder for another book).

My conclusion? Loved this one as expected. Now please, Ms. Gerritsen, don't keep me waiting so long for the next installment!
Profile Image for Robin.
1,700 reviews60 followers
May 19, 2019
The body of a young filmmaker is found in her bed. Her eyes were removed post-mortem, but Medical Examiner Maura Isles cannot find the cause of death. Days later, another body is found lying on a dock. The victim has arrows sticking out of his chest. Again, no cause of death is found. Detective Jane Rizzoli cannot find a connection between the two victims. The only clue that ties the two victims together is a young woman seen on surveillance cameras at both of their funerals. Jane and Maura work together to discover just what killed these two people.

The twelfth book in the Rizzoli & Isles series was hard to put down. There were several twists in the plot that I didn't see coming. I highly recommend this book. My rating: 4.5 Stars.

Profile Image for Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling.
1,133 reviews117 followers
August 28, 2017
My View:
Let me tell you a secret; it was a few days after Christmas, the busyness was over, the fridge was full of leftovers and all the visitors had returned home, the house was quiet. Over the course of a few days I sat and read eight or nine Tess Gerrritsen novels – a standalone or two and most of the Rizzoli and Isles books that had been released at that point in time. This was the start of my love of reading a series one book after the other – what a fantastic way to get to know the characters, the setting, and the writing. I was hooked.

Now I must read every “next” book that Tess Gerritsen writes! I love the characters; Jane, Maura, Jane’s mum… feel like old friends. This new “next book” had that same wonderful familiarity that I enjoy so much, that allows me to easily slip into this “other world” of crime and autopsies. The narrative is complex and interesting, the back stories are very satisfying and as always the writing is excellent.

I can’t wait for the new “next book.”
Profile Image for Vivianne.
338 reviews64 followers
October 26, 2017
Actual rating 3,5 stars!

The books by Tess Gerritsen are one of the only murder mysteries/thrillers I follow. After a while I think this genre books really blends together and I don’t enjoy them anymore. But I love the books by Tess Gerritsen, I love that it follows the same characters throughout the books and that you can see them grow and make more connections and get children, build relationships etc. I also love her books because of the scientific approach she always takes on them.

Contains spoilers!

This book interested me from the first page. I wanted to know who killed Sarah and who this mystery woman was. I loved reading from her perspective because I wanted to understand her and to know this secret she was holding. The whole plot about the martyrs murders that they are based on was really intriguing, and I love finding this out step by step with Rizzoli and Isles. I do have to say that the first 20 till 50% where a bit boring, I mean nothing much happens and the investigation was more on hold and things like personal relationships were more focused on. I didn’t mind it because that was something I really loved in Tess Gerritsen’s book, although here the tension with the murders was so high that I just wanted to read about that.

What I didn’t like about this book was the holding back information. I know this book is called I have a secret and that it would be stupid to tell this on this first page. But it got procrastinated so far in this book that it got boring after a while. I also noticed small things that are kept from the reader, like Maura finding out about something and instead of telling Rizzoli (and the reader) she wants to do some research first. This annoyed the crap out of me after a while, just tell me already.

Another thing that annoyed me, but I always think that with this genre, is that there is soooo much repetition. A character goes through the things they now know in their head, they question another character, they tell the whole story to a suspect, they go over the case with their partner. It was just so much of the same all the time, and this book was only 317 pages, so it was kind of annoying.
How the whole book unfolds was really amazing the tension gets higher and higher towards the end. And I did not see what was coming, the murderer was a complete surprise for me. But I did guess the secret although not with the right person.
Profile Image for Sherri Thacker.
1,234 reviews245 followers
September 18, 2017
I made it to page 183 and just can't finish it. It is just dragging so much I have a lot more books I'd rather read.
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