Mini Review Monday: The Rizzoli and Isles Edition

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Remember that one time where I was obsessed with the Rizzoli and Isles series by my favourite author of all time Tess Gerritsen?

I know you do because I talk about them ALL. THE. TIME.

Sorry not sorry.

After hoarding them on my bookshelf for nearly a year, I was able to binge read all remaining books in the series last month in preparation for the newest release, I Know A Secret (which I reviewed here with my CJS reads counterparts).

I don’t even need to go over the fact that I believe this fast-paced stories are well written and filled with twists and turns because that is a given.   And, I will say one thing for sure, I feel like this series is getting better and better. Each installment is better than the last.

Keep reading to see my mini-review thoughts on Last to Die, John Doe and Die Again.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 3.03.59 PM.pngLast to Die, by Tess Gerritsen, is the tenth book series. The concept alone was super creepy. It follows a young boy, Teddy, who barely escaped when his family was slaughtered. Two years later, the same events occur, this time killing his foster family and making him, once again, the only survivor. Jane Rizzoli enters the case and is determined to protect him from whoever is making him a target and she discovers a coincidence that links him to some other children with a similar past.

One of my favourite features of this series by Gerritsen is that she makes her novels sequential and builds upon their storylines but they also can be read easily as standalone.   The character development in this one is on point; between Teddy and the creepy Evensong boarding school as the backdrop, I felt the ominous tone throughout and was on the edge of my seat.

I did find the ending to be a little random and I wasn’t one hundred percent sold on the resolution but I did like the cat and mouse game that Gerritsen set up.

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Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 3.04.56 PM.png John Doe is actually a part of the series that takes place in short story format and it contained just enough “pop” to keep my interest. Maura is at a party in a museum when a handsome man approaches her, they flirt, she drinks and then nothing. Maura wakes up the next morning without any recollection of the night before. Only two things become clear to her upon talking to the police: this man is now dead and her phone number is in his pocket.

At 44 pages, I wasn’t expecting there to be many layers to this story but Gerritsen proved me wrong. This is how a short story is supposed to be written!   Perfectly paced and easily wrapped, I found myself completely satisfied by the last page. A perfect story for when you want some serious interest and lack serious time.

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Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 3.02.25 PM.png Die Again, the eleventh in the Rizzoli and Isles series, is, by far, my favourite novel in the entire Rizzoli and Isles series.   Rizzoli is on the case after a big game hunter is found dead in his apartment, alone with the body of a snow leopard that he had been commissioned to stuff. Medical examiner, Maura Isles, connects the case to a number of seemingly unrelated deaths where the victims have been found hanging upside down, the same way a snow leopard would hang their prey. Into the world of big cats, Rizzoli and Isles find themselves connecting their trail to a sole survivor of a tragic trip to Botswana to find out who, or what, is behind these deaths.

The opening of this one was amazing. I was completely engaged right from the start. It was so completely different from other works in the series, and really different from anything I have read recently.   My favourite parts of this novel were the sections of the safari and I could have read those chapters as a book by themselves. I absolutely loved it.

Like the other books in the series, this book could be read as a standalone but I absolutely recommend the series in their entirety. When I read Rizzoli and Isles , they end up feeling like old friends, catching up over a coffee, as I settle down easily into their narrative. I love reading what they have been up to and how their personal characters are developing.

Another smash hit for me by Gerritsen.

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Well, there ya have it?  My mini thoughts on the last few books in the Rizzoli and Isles series.  Have you read these before?  What did you think?





5 thoughts on “Mini Review Monday: The Rizzoli and Isles Edition

  1. This is a series that I keep wondering should I start. But my tbr pile is out of control and I read so many different series as it is. I’m still tempted though.


  2. I’ve read every single one & love them 🙂

    I met Tess Gerritsen after a signing event, and she kindly stayed later to speak to me alone as the event had just ended, and urged me to try her first two books (this was quite a few years ago and she might have had less than a handful written at that time). She waited while I purchased them and then signed them for me. Long story short, she blew me away with her easy-going attitude, kindness for a newbie reader, and the humorous story she told me about taking her family on a European vacation, only to bring them to a torture museum in France, lol. I haven’t missed a book yet, and love them all to some degree. Highly recommended for suspense fans.

    an aside: I’ve never watched the tv series, because I have a firm image in my head of what Jane and Maura should look/act like, and it’s nothing like the show.


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