Book Review Crime Fiction

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

Book Summary

In the murky shadows of Boston’s Chinatown lies a severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed in black, her head nearly decapitated. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are homicide cop Jane Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel. Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. One woman connected to that massacre is still alive—a mysterious martial arts master who is now the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil. Cracking a crime with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade.

What I Thought

Now we’re talking! After feeling somewhat let down by my first foray into a Rizzoli & Isles novel from author, Tess Gerritsen, I was somewhat reluctant to buy this one. But prevail I did at the insistence of my partner, ‘Go on, they can’t all be boring!’ And, you know what, she was right.

The Silent Girl is a fairly fast-paced, enjoyable read, that weaves a little bit of Chinese myth and magic into the mean streets of Boston. Giving and lending the story a whole other dimension. Gerritsen said she had fun writing this one, inspired by tales told to her by her mother, and it shows. The twists and turns and goings-on of the Chinese community, past and present, have Jane and Maura chasing ghosts from the past, while trying to solve a grisly set of mysterious murders of young women, stretching over a number of years.

This, I think, is Gerritsen at her best. The characters are ardent, fickle, illusive, subtle, and even those on the side of good are not without their mysterious dark shadows. I especially love the narrator, seeing the story unfold from her point of view, interspersed between Jane & Maura chasing down the obvious leads.

A very satisfying read all-round!

Tess Gerritsen
Ballentine Books, 2012
Paperback, 464 pages

4 comments on “The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

  1. Avatar

    I can’t even remember but appearantly I read #10 (so the next one) and I gave it 4 stars and said that I really enjoyed it (even though I didn’t understand what happened between Maura and Jane and other past history). At least that’s what Goodreads tells me :-). I only gave 3 stars to another novel so it seems there are some really good ones and some okay ones to read, but if you ask me you’re fine for the next one now :-). Great review Alex!

    • Alex

      Yeah, I’ve enjoyed a couple of Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles books, and others, well, not so much. This one, as it happens, was one of the better ones and had a really engaging story that sucked me right in.

      And thanks, Inge, I didn’t exactly go ‘all’ in with the review as sometimes it’s hard to capture our thoughts into more than, well, I liked or loved it. Ha! Ha!

  2. Avatar

    Fast paced and amazing characters always make for an excellent read for me Alexandra!

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