The Keepsake: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel Mass Market Paperback – Aug 25 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Gerritsen's at times lackluster series heroines prove they can shine in her solid seventh thriller to feature Det. Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles (after The Mephisto Club). When medical examiner Isles studies an X-ray scan of Madame X, which everyone assumes is a newly discovered Egyptian mummy, at Boston's Crispin Museum, she realizes the mummy isn't a priceless artifact but a recent murder victim, gruesomely preserved. Rizzoli focuses the police investigation on Dr. Josephine Pulcillo, a young archeologist recently hired by the museum who may have something to hide. More victims soon turn up, including a tsantsa (shrunken head) in a hidden museum chamber and a corpse resembling a well-preserved bog body in Pulcillo's car. After Pulcillo disappears, Rizzoli and Isles must scramble to find her before she becomes another trophy in the killer's growing collection. As usual, Gerritsen delivers an intricate plot that will keep readers guessing. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A frighteningly effective stunner from one of the most versatile voices in thriller fiction today.”—Providence Journal
“Disturbing and intensely mesmerizing . . . It’s shudder inducing!”—Romantic Times
“An intricate plot that will keep readers guessing.”—Publishers Weekly
“Wraps readers in a web of evil that is hard to shake . . . Once you pick up this novel, there’s a good chance you won’t be good for much else till you’ve reached its satisfying conclusion.”—Nashville Scene
“The Keepsake reads at a reckless pace, drawing the reader into a twisted world of well-preserved vengeance.”—Madison County Times
“Dark, creepy and a great read.”—Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
“The Keepsake is a superb suspense novel, with twists galore . . . a beautifully constructed suspense novel with a great story.”—Toronto Globe and Mail
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Top Customer Reviews
The mystery in this book focuses around a "Mummy" which turned up in the basement of a decrepit old museum. Where did it come from and how long had it been there? Was it really two thousand years old? Did it come from Egypt? Isles gets to go to the CAT scan which they hope will help them find out more about "madame X". What they discover is that Madame X has modern dental work and a murderer is somewhere about. More bodies turn up and a young archaeologist working at the museum seems in some way to be a target of the murderer.
I enjoyed the twists and turns and did find some surprizes at the end. I'll try and read others in the series before I forget the main character details I learned in this book.
P.S. Tess, it is time for Mephisto to be spun off!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Into the investigation steps the team of Detectives Jane Rizzoli and Barry Frost, familiar from Gerritsen's previous books in the series, and before long there are other grisly discoveries for the duo to delve into. Soon there is evidence that they have a serial killer on their hands and indications that Dr. Pulcillo is very intimately tied into this macabre mystery.
Now I must confess that I was a little concerned at the beginning of the book that, between a mummy, the dottering museum director and secret hiding places in dusty basements, I might have stumbled into a game of Clue with Professor Plum in the Conservatory with a candlestick. But fear not, very quickly things took on Gerritsen's customary fast paced, suspense filled and yes, quite creepy pace. Creepy is a very entertaining thing in her skillful hands.
One sign of good suspense story is that we, the reader, are kept on our toes. Just when we think we have it figure out, the rug is pulled out and we are happily dragged around another series of twists and turns. And be assured there are ample twists and turn in this latest appearance of the excellent characters of Isles and Rizzoli to keep we reader on the edge of our seats. The Keepsake is a taut, action packed, suspense story that will not disappoint Tess Gerritsen's many deserved fans.
Unfortunately, these elements are really just window dressing for a pretty standard 'obsessive stalker turned serial killer' tale. The object of a killer's obsession is driven into hiding with her young daughter. Years later, the daughter, now fully grown and working in an obscure Boston museum, finds herself the object of a killer's obsession and the body count rises - except the victims were all killed decades earlier, their bodies preserved in bizarre ways. The bog bodies, shrunken heads, and mummy's that are found add an intriguing element when they are first introduced, but about mid way through the novel, these elements are largely abandoned as the traditional cat and mouse game plays itself out. I would have liked to have seen these elements integrated into the story in a less superficial way - but, at least they were there.
I found the characterization a little light. As can always be expected with series novels, a certain amount of time must be devoted to update regular readers on the personal lives of central characters. The ME's doomed romance with a priest had no bearing on anything else and is touched on so briefly it barely seemed worth mentioning. Thankfully, the author does show restraint here as well, avoiding the inevitable tendency most series authors have to fill their novels with the mundane details of a character's personal life.
The plot had the requisite twists and turns, all of which can be anticipated by veterans of crime fiction. I had actually anticipated a few extra twists that didn't come to fruition, something that arguably showed admirable restraint on the author's part. I did find that when the pieces all came together, not all of them fit very well. There are a few holes in the plot that I think the author probably could have addressed with small changes to the story. The plotting just wasn't as tight as it could have been.
Despite the fact that I sound like I didn't like this novel, the truth is, I found it pretty entertaining. Mostly I think I just see how much better it could have been. How the characters could be fleshed out a little more, how the plot could have been tighter, and how the archeology elements could have been integrated more fully into the story. I think this could have been an excellent novel, and instead Gerritsen opted to play it safe.
To play on the archeology theme: I think she could have dug a lot deeper and discovered something remarkable. 3 1/2 stars.
After a CT scan reveals a bullet in the mummy's leg and modern dental work in the jaw, medical examiner Maura Isles and Boston PD Detective Jane Rizzoli have a murder investigation on their hands. The mummy was recently discovered in an unlabeled crate in the basement of the Crispin Museum, a small family-run museum in the Boston area. When Jane and her partner Barry Frost uncover more preserved human remains in the museum's storage area, they realize they have a very intelligent and unorthodox serial killer on the loose.
The discovery leaves them with more questions than answers. What is driving the Archaeology Killer (as the murderer is dubbed by the press)? Why does he go to such lengths to preserve his victims? What is his connection to Egyptologist Josephine Pulcillo -- a woman who, like Madam X, is harboring many secrets of her own? Most importantly, how do they stop him before he claims another victim?
As someone who has had a lifelong love of archaeology (in particular, Egyptology), I greatly enjoyed the archaeological elements in The Keepsake. The book was so vividly atmospheric and creepy that I found myself looking over my shoulder more than once during my reading - just in case.
Tess Gerritsen has created another chilling, fast-paced thriller that is sure to delight fans of the Rizzoli/Isles mystery series. Readers new to Gerritsen's writing will also find The Keepsake very accessible and enjoyable.