When a human skull is dug up in a garden near Boston, Dr Maura Isles is called in to investigate. She quickly discovers that the skeleton – that of a young woman – has been buried for over a hundred years. But who was the woman? And how did she die?
I haven’t read Tess G before – and ordered this book in a large print edition because I was so intruiged by the premise. Then I read disappointing reviews of it on Amazon US.
I read it anyway – and was glad I did so. No, it’s not really a page-turning mystery. And the ending is up to the individual reader to judge on its effectiveness.
The real suspense came from the depiction of the true medical horrors which existed in 1830. Doctors arriving straight from autopsy suites after handling diseased cadavers – then inspecting women in childbirth wards. Madness and ignorance. Tess G really handles this aspect of the book brilliantly.
Though it is not Charles Dickens – nor meant to be – she also gets across the poverty, pain and squalor in which her characters live. I was really moved by Rose Connolly’s plight throughout.
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About the author
Born: June 12, 1953
Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.
While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift”, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.
Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), The Bone Garden (2007), The Keepsake (2008; UK title: Keeping the Dead), Ice Cold (2010; UK title: The Killing Place), The Silent Girl (2011), and Last To Die (August 2012.) Her books have been published in forty countries, and more than 25 million copies have been sold around the world.
Her books have been top-3 bestsellers in the United States and abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.
Her series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the TNT television series “Rizzoli & Isles” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.
Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.