Book Title and Author: I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen
Series: Rizzoli & Isles #12
Publication date and Publisher: August 15, 2017 by Ballantine Books
Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 336 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: July 30, 2017
In the twelfth gripping novel featuring Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, the crime-solving duo—featured in the smash-hit TNT series Rizzoli & Isles—are faced with the gruesomely staged murder of a horror film producer.
The crime scene is unlike any that Detective Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles have ever before encountered. The woman lies in apparently peaceful repose on her bed, and Maura finds no apparent cause of death, but there is no doubt the woman is indeed dead. The victim’s eyes have been removed and placed in the palm of her hand, a gesture that echoes the terrifying films she produces. Is a crazed movie fan reenacting scenes from those disturbing films?
When another victim is found, again with no apparent cause of death, again with a grotesquely staged crime scene, Jane and Maura realize the killer has widened his circle of targets. He’s chosen one particular woman for his next victim, and she knows he’s coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Jane and Maura catch the killer.
But she knows a secret. And it’s a secret she’ll never tell.
Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli and Doctor Maura Isles, Boston’s medical examiner and forensic pathologist are back in I Know a Secret, which is book 12 in Tess Gerritsen’s highly successful and thrilling novels in the Rizzoli & Isles series. This is one of my very favorite book series, and I must say even though I’ve been reading Gerritsen’s books for twenty years now she has never disappointed me with her amazing storytelling skills!
I was thrilled to receive an ARC of I Know a Secret prior to publication since Gerritsen is an incredible crime fiction writer, which is one of my all-time favorite genres. Reading her books is like watching an especially macabre, gruesome, twisted, and grisly episode of Law and Order (or fill in the blank with your favorite crime drama) only 1000% better since it is a book, and you get to use your imagination for all the gore and disturbing details! And wow, does Gerritsen have one crazy, twisted, and sick, but glorious imagination at times! And that is meant as a compliment in the best possible way—Tess Gerritsen you are a genius! For example, the synopsis for I Know a Secret tells the reader there are multiple, gruesome murders in the novel—in my opinion, the more the merrier for the sake of fiction! It also tells how the first victim is found dead, lying peacefully with her eyeballs literally scooped out from under her eyelids and placed within the palms of her hands with no other sign as to how she had been murdered. Just thinking about that scene again makes me shiver, slightly freak out, and want to close my eyes as tightly as I can—and go make sure my front door is locked and no one is lurking in my living room as I write this sitting alone while everyone is in bed! What a stroke of brilliant but twisted imagery right in the first chapter that just pulls you in because who doesn’t want to know more about a murder this shocking and chilling! It’s terrifying, powerful, and captivating at the same time. I could not put this book down until I was done with it and read it from start to finish in about 3 hours. Just That Good!!
The investigation into the murder of the first victim, Cassandra Coyle, a young woman who produces horror movies, at first seems like the work of a deranged horror movie fan until another murder victim, Timothy McDougal, is also found terribly mutilated after death, his body riddled with arrows. Again, there is no obvious cause of death. But it doesn’t take long until Maura finds the cause of both their deaths (which I found such an intriguing and ingenious way to kill someone and not leave any signs), and she and links the two victim’s deaths together. Jane is now on the hunt for one murderer.
And it is Maura who sees the pattern in victim’s mutilations—the eyeballs in the girl’s hands, the man pierced with arrows are not just random acts of violence. They are specific attacks and the victims are staged to represent deaths of certain Catholic Saints. Maura’s eye for details opens the case wide open and leads Jane on a manhunt that goes back 20 years to a missing 9-year-old girl and a case of child sexual abuse that both of the murder victims were victims of. Is someone now killing all the children who were victims of the daycare child abuse case? Jane’s investigation leads to more questions, more victims, and a witness who is in hiding because she knows not only what happened 20 years ago at the daycare but who the killer is today. But is there more to Holly than meets the eye?
This was such a cleverly plotted book with different storylines that all come together in a very disturbing and stunning ending! I admit that I was completely wrong about who the real killer was or and was only partially correct about what happened 20 years ago with the daycare abuse. I love it when I can’t figure out the whodunit! That means Gerritsen did an outstanding job writing her story and keeping her readers in the dark until she chose to make her big reveal! Brava! Not only was the ending compelling, but Gerritsen has given Jane, and the readers, a new antagonist to hopefully look forward to in upcoming books!
If you are a huge fan of Tess Gerritsen’s books like I am, then I highly recommend you read I Know a Secret! If you are new to Gerritsen and love disturbing, clever suspense novels, then I still recommend I Know a Secret! Either way, you won’t be disappointed! Oh, and it may be book 12 in the series, and I do recommend you read them all since there are many parts of Jane and Maura’s personal lives and personal growth that occur in books 1-11, but book 12 can be read as a standalone without any problems!
**Thank you. NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and Tess Gerritsen for an ARC copy of I Know a Secret in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.**