TITLE: LAST TO DIE
AUTHOR: TESS GERRITSEN
Details: no. 10 Rizzoli & Isles
Three young teenagers from different parts of America survived two years ago when the rest of their family was murdered. Now they are survivors again while their foster families are being killed. In order to keep them safe, the three young teenagers are brought to Evensong, a boarding school for traumatised children run by the Mephisto Club in a remote part of Maine.
But, the police in Boston who are investigating the last of the killings don’t know about the similarities between the three kids and their families. And even Detective Jane Rizzoli, who has serious doubts about the direction the Boston investigation is taking and does spot that the three kids histories are eerily alike can’t find any common link between them. But, when it seems that the murder case in Boston may be solved, she does get permission to continue digging, be it unofficially.
Maura Isles has a connection with Evensong. Julian (Rat), the boy she survived her ordeal in the previous book with, is boarding there now and she is about to spend two weeks with him in the school.
While Rizzoli continues her investigation and gets closer to exactly what it is that links the kids, Maura is at Evensong where it soon becomes clear that whoever is threatening the kids is not going to be stopped by a school build like a castle, with state of the art security in the middle of nowhere. Because the three youngsters won’t be safe until something that started before they were born is at last brought to an end.
Tess Gerritsen writes good mysteries. She is a master at keeping the reader guessing, while relentlessly pushing the plot forwards. It isn’t until the last few pages that it becomes clear what exactly is going on or even who can and can’t be trusted.
The writing itself is very good as well. This book was very easy to read, the descriptions were vivid and the characters - both the returning and the unique ones - all come to life with a voice of their own. In this book I was especially touched by young Claire, a girl whose gunshot wound to the brain means that she doesn’t react or behave like the other teenagers around her. The way she is described in this book is very realistic and all the more heartbreaking for it.
I liked the way small sections in this book gave the reader an idea of what lay at the root of the horrific events in this story while refusing to give away who exactly the narrator was or even whether that person was good or bad. I also like that certain characters make return appearances in this book. Maura’s uneasy relationship with Sansone and her developing one with young Julian make both her character and the story more interesting.
Series like this one make me wonder exactly what the difference between a mystery and a thriller is. While this book certainly centers around a complicated mystery which is thoroughly investigated, the story reads like a fast paced thriller with cliff-hangers and shocking and unexpected revelations. And I guess that brings the reader the best of both worlds; an intriguing story that is almost impossible to put down.
The Rizzoli and Isles books are one of a few series I can’t imagine ever missing an instalment in. A new title is published and I rush out to get my hands on it, secure in the knowledge that I won’t be disappointed.