The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (315 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams. The grisly display homicide cop Jane Rizzoli finds in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.

In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand, a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair—not human—cling to her body. They are Rizzoli’s only clues, but they’re enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.

Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell, a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she’s the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil.

Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning—and a swift, avenging blade.

A grisly murder in Boston’s Chinatown leaves Detective Jane Rizzoli feeling a little out of her element. Unacquainted with the people and their culture, she finds herself relying on a new addition to their team, Detective Johnny Tam. But will the newcomer to homicide be enough to unravel this mystery with roots in ancient China? Jane Rizzoli, with medical examiner Maura Isles by her side, is bound and determined to see this one through to the end.

Jane Rizzoli is a hard character to like sometimes. She’s brusque and bold and puts a lot of people off, mostly other detectives. But I really like her. You knew from book one that she was a darn good detective and would do anything to prove herself. Even now, in book nine, she’s still pushing to do her best and make her name. Pairing her with Barry Frost was the best thing Boston PD could have done.

Detective Barry Frost, on the other hand, is likable from day one. Sweet and possessing more tact than Rizzoli could ever dream of, Frost is the perfect foil to Jane’s abrasive nature. I was happy to see some of the focus turn towards him during this novel because he’s the kind of guy you want to get to know better.

I wasn’t exactly sure why the author introduced Johnny Tam into this novel, but as we got deeper into the mystery, it made more sense. He’s Chinese and knows the people and the history of those living in Chinatown, easing the way for the rest of the Boston Police Department. His knowledge of Chinese folklore and ability to apply it to what was happening around them was fascinating. Folklore and mythology have always been an interest of mine, so being treated to a ton of stories I’d never heard before only engaged me further.

The Silent Girl ups the intensity of the Rizzoli and Isles series, cranking the tension up to eleven. One of the most engrossing novels of the series, I found myself unable to stop reading. If the characters continue to grow and evolve like they have been, this is going to end up being one of the best mystery series ever written. I finish one novel and find myself anxiously waiting for the next. I cannot get enough of Jane Rizzoli and her cohorts at the Boston Police Department.

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