Tess Gerritsen






Random House Australia, Oct 2006
Reviewed by Kerrie Smith

When Dr. Peter Saul and his wife Amy took their young nephew into their family soon after his father's death, they had no idea what they were letting themselves in for. Twelve years later a family friend Lori-Ann Tucker is found dead, dismembered, victim of a macabre killing. This new case for Boston PD detective Jane Rizzoli and pathologist Maura Isles will test their beliefs as well as strain their friendship.

The victim is discovered on Christmas Eve. Maura has just been to Midnight Mass conducted by Daniel Brophy, an out-of-bounds Catholic priest to whom she is very attracted. When Maura is called to the crime scene, she and Jane quickly realize that this is no ordinary homicide. Apart from the dismemberment of the body and the distribution of body parts in various rooms of the house, the murderer has also left ancient symbols daubed on walls and it seems as if this may be a Satanic killing.

Jane Rizzoli is definitely out of her comfort zone in this investigation. It is bad enough to have to handle this sort of investigation at Christmas. When a young policewoman is found butchered outside the home of the leader of the Mephisto Club, with the same sort of symbols on the door of his house, Jane is confronted by evil. Jane refers to one of the members of the Mephisto Club, whom she has met before, as a vampire. And worse, at the post-mortem, Maura discovers that the dismembered hand found at the first murder scene does not belong to that first body.

I found THE MEPHISTO CLUB an engrossing page-turner. There are those who will not like the aspects of this story where Gerritsen invites readers to think about the historical origins of evil and refers to apocryphal texts and ancient Hebrew and Christian beliefs. However Gerritsen's fans will welcome this addition to the Jane Rizzoli/Maura Isles series. There is nice development in our knowledge of Jane's family life, and her friendship with Maura is tested. This is the sixth novel in this series and, if you have never read anything by Tess Gerritsen, it will send you off to find more.

October 2006 review originally posted on Murder and Mayhem

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