Monday, August 27, 2012

Book Review: Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen

I’ve really enjoyed Last to Die by Tess Gerritsen for more than one reasons. The plot is great, the characters masterfully drawn, the subject matter difficult and deeply humane, and when it comes to the sort of unusual family of the Rizzolis, absolutely funny.

This is the story of three children who are connected in a unique way: their parents have been killed some time ago, and so did their foster parents recently. This is the story of Claire, a girl of thirteen, who took a bullet in the head and survived, and “did not know where she belonged”; of Teddy, who’s kind of weird, but that’s only because he has Asperger’s syndrome; and of Will, who likes doing nothing more than looking at the night sky and searching to find a new comet, which he’ll name Neil, to honor the memory of his late father.

These three children were hit by tragedy twice and somehow they survived, but as it seems whoever is responsible for the murders will never rest until he kills them too.

So in come Dr. Maura Isles and detective Jane Rizolli of the Boston PD, who are called in on the scene of a crime, in a rich neighborhood of the city. A massacre took place there, during which only a kid survived; one of the three. Rizolli is not running point in this case but detective Darren Crow does, someone whom the former really not likes. He’s too arrogant for her taste, too fast to jump to conclusions and he’s in love with the TV cameras. He seems to be more interested in showing his face to the public than fighting crime.

As Maura is getting ready to depart for the wilderness of Maine where she’s to meet, Julian “Rat” Atkins, a boy with whom she’s been through a lot just a year earlier, Jane is left behind to solve the crime under the supervision of Crowe, who seems to think that he knows who the perp is right from the start.

However, things are not exactly as simple as they seem. The leads could be misleading and it’s obvious that there’s more to the story than a robbery that has gone wrong. Jane has to follow her gut feeling to sort things out, a gut feeling that will make her travel far and away time and again, while she’ll also have to cope with some of the problems created by the return of her father into their lives, take care of her now two year old girl, and help Maura out with some questions that arise concerning the place she’s visiting.

In this story we have a blood-thirsty avenger, secret societies, brilliant kids, tortured psyches, secrets and lies and plenty of action, which keeps the reader’s interest alive from beginning to end, and it’s exactly then that it poses a question that more often than not arises into the readers minds too: Who’s going to protect us from the protectors?

One of the best thrillers of the year.

Reviews of books by the same author:

John Doe
The Silent Girl

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