From Publishers Weekly
A grisly murder at a convent baffles Medical Examiner Maura Isles and Det. Jane Rizzoli at the start of this assured, richly shaded seventh novel from bestseller Gerritsen (The Apprentice; The Surgeon, etc.). The popular duo are called to Boston's Graystones Abbey when two nuns are discovered in an abandoned chapel, one dead and the other near death, both brutally bludgeoned. Red herrings are everywhere: Isles's discovery that one of the murdered nuns had recently given birth (followed shortly by the discovery of the baby's body in a pond near the convent); the murder of a homeless derelict with her face and extremities removed by her killer; and the lurking menace of a multinational chemical company. Complicating matters further is the sudden arrival of Isles's ex-husband, Victor, a celebrity humanitarian with his own suspicious connection to the case, and Rizzoli's old flame, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, who's responsible for the baby now growing in Rizzoli's belly. The investigation is rather low-key, but Gerritsen gives atmospheric depth to her tale with descriptions of snowbound Boston and an exotic past tragedy. Isles's pleasantly bitchy coldness ("Go ahead and pass me, idiots. I've met too many drivers like you on my slab") gives a welcome edge to the proceedings, and the struggles of both Isles and Rizzoli to balance their tough professional acts with romantic drama are satisfyingly gritty.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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When two Boston nuns are found brutally beaten--one fatally and one with a scintilla of life left in her--it's up to homicide detective Jane Rizzoli to find the perpetrator. Medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles, nicknamed the Queen of the Dead, has the unlucky fortune to discover that the murdered nun, a young woman about to make her final vows, hid untold secrets from the rest of the aging convent. Both fallen Catholics, Rizzoli and Isles seek to reconcile the viciousness of the crimes with the seeming blind faith of the victims. Another dead body turns up, and the investigators must rely on their clinical analysis, lest they be sucked in to the drama unfolding before them. Each woman immerses herself in her work rather than face the outside world; Rizzoli refuses to face the truth of what her future holds, and Isles denies her own loneliness. Woven within the horror of this gruesome story is the old allegory of good versus evil, but by relating it through these two fascinating individuals, Gerritsen avoids cliches. Another captivating, horrific thriller in her extremely popular canon. Mary Frances WilkensCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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