Ray Palen's Reviews > Last to Die

Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen
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Aug 19, 2012

really liked it

Tess Gerritsen has been enjoying enormous success with the hit-TNT series “Rizzoli and Isles” based on her two most prolific characters. Detective Jane Rizzoli and her best friend, medical examiner Maura Isles have a great relationship full of witty banter and constant needling. They also make a formidable investigative team and typically get the more nasty assignments from Boston homicide.

In LAST TO DIE, the 11th novel in Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series features a highly disturbing premise as its central plot point. Someone seems to be targeting children. In particular, three children --- seemingly unconnected to each other --- have had both their birth families and now foster parents wiped out by a killer or killers who seem intent on ending the lives of these orphans.

Rizzoli and Isles have their own personal youngster who is overcoming his own double-tragedy. Teddy Clock survived a massacre where his entire family was murdered and now finds himself the lone survivor of the slaughter of his foster family. Rizzoli is called into action on the investigation side of the case. Meanwhile, Isles is tasked with taking Teddy to an exclusive boarding school called Evensong.

Evensong is no ordinary boarding school. All of the students enrolled have survived some sort of personal tragedy. Once Isles realizes this fact she begins to delve deeper into the ownership of Evensong. She is alarmed and surprised to find that the mysterious Anthony Sansone and his notorious Mephisto Club (themselves the subject of a prior novel) are at the heart of this unique school.

Meanwhile, Rizzoli and her team’s investigation lead them down the path of a killer on a relentless killing mission. Three children --- all students at Evensong --- seem to be connected in some way and have become the targets of this killer. It is revealed in earlier chapters that the killer goes by the name of Icarus and his motives for wanting to annihilate these children and anyone who protects them is a mystery.

Slowly, both stories begin to converge and things eventually lead to a showdown at Evensong. After a few mysterious deaths occur at Evensong, Rizzoli and her team recognize that Icarus may already be there --- and the killer’s identity may be right under everyone’s nose!


What makes LAST TO DIE such a pleasurable read is the fact that Gerritsen features all the regular characters both loyal readers and new fans of the TNT series have come to know and love. For me personally, it is heartening to see a fiction series that remains consistent with its TV series. Other series based on hit novels like DEXTER and TRUE BLOOD have strayed so far from the books that it just makes watching the TV series confusing for fans of the book. Not Tess Gerritsen --- I am pleased to report Rizzoli, Isles and all the other series regulars are still here bringing a great story to life!

Reviewed by Ray Palen for New Mystery Reader

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