Die Again by Tess Gerritsen
When Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are summoned to a crime scene, they find a killing worthy of the most ferocious beast—right down to the claw marks on the corpse. But only the most sinister human hands could have left renowned big-game hunter and taxidermist Leon Gott gruesomely displayed like the once-proud animals whose heads adorn his walls. Did Gott unwittingly awaken a predator more dangerous than any he’s ever hunted?
Maura fears that this isn’t the killer’s first slaughter, and that it won’t be the last. After linking the crime to a series of unsolved homicides in wilderness areas across the country, she wonders if the answers might actually be found in a remote corner of Africa.
Six years earlier, a group of tourists on safari fell prey to a killer in their midst. Marooned deep in the bush of Botswana, with no means of communication and nothing but a rifle-toting guide for protection, the terrified tourists desperately hoped for rescue before their worst instincts—or the wild animals prowling in the shadows—could tear them apart. But the deadliest predator was already among them, and within a week, he walked away with the blood of all but one of them on his hands.
Now this killer has chosen Boston as his new hunting ground, and Rizzoli and Isles must find a way to lure him out of the shadows and into a cage. Even if it means dangling the bait no hunter can resist: the one victim who got away.
Tess Gerritsen is a talented writer with a long history of success and her latest Rizzoli & Isles book, Die Again, proves she remains at the top of her game. Die Again takes you on a ride from Boston to Botswana and keeps you guessing the entire way.
Rizzoli and Isles are established characters both in print and on television. While I’m familiar with some of Gerritsen’s stand alone work, this was my first Rizzoli and Isles story. Gerritsen does a good job of painting her characters so that you feel like you know them whether you’ve followed them from the beginning or are meeting them for the first time.
Along with a strong cast of characters, the story really shines here. A gruesome murder that leaves a big game hunter and taxidermist displayed like one of his own projects is the entry point to the mystery. As the investigation begins and further bodies are uncovered, ties to a safari gone horribly wrong years earlier in Botswana begin to develop. Rizzoli and Isles bring their respective skills as a detective and a pathologist to bear developing leads that seem to take one step backwards for every two steps forward.
Gerritsen does a great job of keeping both the Boston and the Botswana storylines exciting and terrifying. She also keeps the reader doubting his or her own conclusions much like the doubt that Rizzoli and Isles feel from their colleagues and each other. Personal drama in each of their lives adds further stress to the situation. Events build steadily towards an exciting and satisfying conclusion. Strong characters, great development and intricate and exciting storytelling all come together into a terrific book. Die Again will please current fans as well as win new ones. Great read. Highly recommended.
I was fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book.