Rizzoli & Isles #13: Listen to Me – Tess Gerritsen

“Did I mention a homicide?” “No, but you’re Detective Rizzoli. Everyone knows who you are.”

Can you believe this is the first Rizzoli & Isles book published since 2017? That was pre-pandemic, so by my calculations it’s been 142 years since I read the twelfth book, give or take.

I’ve missed Jane and Maura so much and I loved being able to catch up with them again. Even though it’s been so long since I was able to tag along during one of their investigations, it took no time at all to reacquaint myself with them.

I was able to read from Angela’s perspective for the first time and if you know Angela, you know she’s going to be spending a considerable amount of time getting into someone’s business. And their business and maybe theirs as well… She absolutely delighted me as I followed her around her neighbourhood.

“I’ve lived on this street for forty years and I try to keep an eye on it, that’s all. You can’t prevent bad things from happening if no one notices those things.”

Angela spends her time investigating the mystery of why the new couple renting number 2533 aren’t being neighbourly and the case of a missing teenager, all while facing off against her archenemy and checking out the man across the street. Basic what I’m saying here is that Angela did more than enough to convince me she needs her own spin-off series.

I’m guessing all of my training with Rizzoli over the years has started paying off as I figured out one of the mysteries straight away and got another one half right.

Something I’ve always loved about the Rizzoli & Isles books is how all of the puzzle pieces end up fitting together, even when some of them originally look like they belong in separate pictures. This was the case here as well.

Some books in the series have more of a focus on Jane and others spend more time with Maura. With more page time dedicated to Jane this time, I’m hoping next time I’ll get to hang out in the morgue some more, “reading the language of death” with Maura.

I feel like I’ve just caught up with some old friends I haven’t seen in years and I’m tempted to reread the entire series and binge the TV series (again) while I wait to be invited to join their next investigation.

Bonus points for the ringtone allocated to Angela on Jane’s phone and the reveal of Maura’s secret talent.

Content warnings include domestic abuse and mention of sexual assault.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Bantam Press, an imprint of Transworld Publishers, Random House UK, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Mothers know best … But who will listen?

Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are newly plagued by what seems like a completely senseless murder. Sofia Suarez, a widow and nurse who was universally liked by her neighbours, lies bludgeoned to death in her own home. But anything can happen behind closed doors, and Sofia seemed to have plenty of secrets in her last days, making covert phone calls to traceless burner phones. When Jane finally makes a connection between Sofia and the victim of a hit-and-run from months earlier, the case only grows more blurry. What exactly was Sofia involved in? One thing is clear: The killer will do anything it takes to keep their secret safe. 

Meanwhile, Angela Rizzoli hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in all the years since her daughter became a homicide detective. Maybe the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree: Nothing in Angela’s neighbourhood gets by her – not the gossip about a runaway teenager down the block and definitely not the strange neighbours who have just moved in across the street. Angela’s sure there’s no such thing as coincidence in her sleepy suburb. If only Jane would listen – instead she writes off Angela’s concerns as the result of an overactive imagination. But Angela’s convinced there’s a real wolf in her vicinity, and her cries might now fall on deaf ears. 

With so much happening on the Sofia case, Jane and Maura already struggle to see the forest for the trees, but will they lose sight of something sinister happening much closer to home?

Rizzoli & Isles #12: I Know a Secret – Tess Gerritsen

I adore the Rizzoli & Isles TV show and have watched every episode at least once and sometimes about five times. I love the friendship between Jane and Maura. I love the stories about their families and the crime scenes they attend and the murders they solve. I love that I get to observe Maura doing the job that should have been mine.

I adore Rizzoli & Isles books even more. You’d think after 12 books, the whole Rizzoli & Isles things would be stale. I’m delighted to tell you it’s not! I’ve been waiting so long for this book and now begins the wait for Rizzoli & Isles book 13. After not being completely overjoyed by the last Tess book I read, Playing with Fire (please forgive me Tess), I was approaching I Know a Secret with some trepidation. However I needn’t have worried as this book instantly reminded me of the Tess whose writing I fell in love with, admittedly after I’d already fallen in love with her TV characters.

I don’t want to discuss the plot for fear of accidentally giving something away but I couldn’t wait to find out how it was all going to unravel. I’m pleased to report that I got some of the big reveal correct but I’m equally pleased that I was completely wrong about some of it too. I hate books where the ending is telegraphed from about page 6 but I’ve never encountered that problem with a Tess book.

The only person I know who’s about to read this book is my mother (also a huge Tess fan) but she’s got half a book to go before she starts this one and I may well explode before I get to discuss it with her and find out what she thought about the things that surprised me and what didn’t, and all the things I loved about this book.

So, here’s the information you need to remember. If I’m found as an icky, explodey jumble of splatter in the next couple of days, please tell Maura when she does my autopsy that I couldn’t hold in my excitement about this book any longer and accidentally detonated myself, and I’m very sorry about the mess.

Bring on book 13!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

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.