Tess Gerritsen has said that this story draws more on her own personal experience and background than any other she has written. It certainly shows, and this is the most absorbing Gerritsen I have read since The Surgeon. I imagine that once she had the plot outline clear in her mind this story really flowed from her pen. It certainly reads that way.
And quite a plot it is too. The starting point is a murder/suicide in Chinatown nineteen years ago that was neatly tied up by the police at the time. However it becomes clear that not everyone feels that the truth was uncovered or is prepared to let the past rest in peace. There are plenty of twists and turns as both Rizzoli and the reader exercise their deductive skills in trying to get a grip on what really happened.
This is not a short book, but it's one that I read through very quickly. It's an absorbing tale and if you like Gerritsen's style then The Silent Girl will not disappoint.
"Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house." -- Proverbs 17:13 (NKJV)
I found The Silent Girl to be one of the very best books in the series. Let me explain why.
The novel has a strong sense of place. I often walk through Boston's Chinatown and the story evoked just the sort of thoughts and emotions that occur to me while regarding people there.
There are many mysteries here, each of which has to be exposed to the light of truth before anyone can know what really happened. I found that storytelling style to be intriguing.
By drawing on Chinese culture, there's an exotic element that makes the characters and story seem more exotic, almost like finding a hothouse flower unexpectedly in winter.
The story also grabbed me emotionally more than most police procedurals and suspense stories do.
Sometimes Dr. Gerritsen's stories don't completely ring true to me. This one allowed me to successfully suspend disbelief throughout.
The only aspect of the story that didn't appeal to me (other than what the villains did) was the brief involvement of Dr. Maura Isles. It seemed almost like a leftover from a different story than an essential part of this one. If it had been edited out, I suspect many readers would have liked the book better. But die hard fans of Dr. Isles will be disappointed, I'm sure, with the little they find of her here.