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Audiobook Review – Ice Cold – Tess Gerritsen

Ice Cold
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Series: #8 in the Rizzoli and Isles series

Narrator: Tanya Eby
Run Time: 9 hrs 51 minutes
Producer: Brilliance Audio

Book Description:
In Wyoming for a medical conference, Boston medical examiner Maura Isles joins a group of friends on a spur-of-the-moment ski trip. But when their SUV stalls on a snow-choked mountain road, they’re stranded with no help in sight.

As night falls, the group seeks refuge from the blizzard in the remote village of Kingdom Come, where twelve eerily identical houses stand dark and abandoned. Something terrible has happened in Kingdom Come: Meals sit untouched on tables, cars are still parked in garages. The town’s previous residents seem to have vanished into thin air, but footprints in the snow betray the presence of someone who still lurks in the cold darkness—someone who is watching Maura and her friends.

Days later, Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli receives the grim news that Maura’s charred body has been found in a mountain ravine. Shocked and grieving, Jane is determined to learn what happened to her friend. The investigation plunges Jane into the twisted history of Kingdom Come, where a gruesome discovery lies buried beneath the snow. As horrifying revelations come to light, Jane closes in on an enemy both powerful and merciless—and the chilling truth about Maura’s fate.

Review
I figure after greatly enjoying the last few books in the series, I was about due for a dud. But even saying that, Ms Gerritsen’s dud’s are still better than a good majority of other fiction out there (oh the irony). I can’t even really describe what it was about this one that made it only ehhh for me – I think it was because I had pretty much figured out the who done it early-ish in the book (like not long after the introduction of said character). I also think that it might be the fact that one of the things I love the best about the series is the interaction between Jane and Maura and that was decidedly lacking in this series as they spent 90% of the series separated by several thousand miles. It made me realize how much Jane is the dominant character in the series – while Maura has this quiet strength and perseverance, which was highlighted in this book – Jane is like the gun powder – explosive and on the go. Which is what I prefer – maybe because she is opposite to me – I definitely identify more with Maura than with Jane, which is why I like reading about Jane’s antics. The one interesting thing for me in this book was how various cult’s and the development of Cult’s were discussed. It made me want to read more about some of the ones that have become famous in history (Jonestown specifically), so I am on the look-out for books (if anyone has any ideas – let me know).

Going into the narration, I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of Tanya Eby’s work. I had heard a few negative reviews about some of her work and I was a bit worried – but I was pleasantly surprised. I can’t say that this was my favorite narration ever, because its not, and it definately wasn’t my favorite of the series (Anna Fields has that spot all tied up), but it was enjoyable. One of the comments other listeners had made was on a lisp – but I didn’t hear anything that wasn’t easily gotten used to in listening. However, I wasn’t a fan of how Jane sounded in her parts – she didn’t have the Boston Irish accent that I had gotten used to in previous narrations, so that was lacking. However, I didn’t mind her narration of Jane and thought that she did a pretty good job with the narration of the various males voices that occurred through-out.

Overall, I would give both the book and the narration 3 stars. I liked it, but didn’t love it. It will be interesting to see how I enjoy the narration in future books, as it appears that Tanya Eby may become the primarily narrator (she has done the two most recent books).

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Audiobook Review

 

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Review – The Keepsake – Tess Gerritsen

The Keepsake
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Series: #7 in the Rizzoli and Isles series

Narrator: Diedre Lovejoy
Run Time: 10 hrs and 51 minutes

Book Description:
For untold years, the perfectly preserved mummy had lain forgotten in the dusty basement of Boston’s Crispin Museum. Now its sudden rediscovery by museum staff is both a major coup and an attention-grabbing mystery. Dubbed “Madam X,” the mummy–to all appearances, an ancient Egyptian artifact– seems a ghoulish godsend for the financially struggling institution. But medical examiner Maura Isles soon discovers a macabre message hidden within the corpse–horrifying proof that this “centuries-old” relic is instead a modern-day murder victim.

To Maura and Boston homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, the forensic evidence is unmistakable, its implications terrifying. And when the grisly remains of yet another woman are found in the hidden recesses of the museum, it becomes chillingly clear that a maniac is at large–and is now taunting them.
Archaeologist Josephine Pulcillo’s blood runs cold when the killer’s cryptic missives are discovered, and her darkest dread becomes real when the carefully preserved corpse of yet a third victim is left in her car like a gruesome offering–or perhaps a ghastly promise of what’s to come.

Review:
Of all the books in the Rizzoli and Isles series that I have listened to this year, The Keepsake is one of my favorites. I loved how a museum, a place where many people wouldn’t necessarily choose to visit (unless you are a history dork like me!) as an option when visiting a new city. And yet, Ms Gerritsen wrote this book in a way that I hope will cause more people to choose to visit them. And added to that, there was the egyptology twist with mummies and artifacts. The various dead methods that the author choose to incorporate into the plot with the Archeology killer were particularly gruesome and unique from all the other books in the series. After finishing this book, I wanted to pick up a book about egyptian burial methods to read up on my history. To me, that is a sign of a good book, when I want to find a non-fiction book about something that was featured in a fiction book.

After listening to most of the books in the series so far, and playing the musical narrators for most of the books (I think Deidre Lovejoy is the 5th different one maybe), I have come to appreciate the different narration skills out there. For me, this was a solid performance. I can’t say that it completely blew me away, but I rather enjoyed it and it made my commute go a lot quicker for the 4 and a half days that it took me to complete it. I downloaded this from my library via the overdrive app, so I have no complaints about the production of it and didn’t notice any issues with the recording.

The Keepsake: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel (Rizzoli & Isles Novels) (Paperback)
The Keepsake: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel (Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles) (Kindle)

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Book Review

 

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Review – The Mephisto Club – Tess Gerritsen

The Mephisto Club
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Series: #6 in the Rizzoli and Isles series

Narrator: Kathe Mazur
Run Time: 11 hours 14 minutes

Book Description:
PECCAVIThe Latin word is scrawled in blood at the scene of a young woman’s brutal murder: I HAVE SINNED. It’s a chilling Christmas greeting for Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and Detective Jane Rizzoli, who swiftly link the victim to controversial celebrity psychiatrist Joyce O’Donnell–Jane’s professional nemesis and member of a sinister cabal called the Mephisto Club.

On top of Beacon Hill, the club’s acolytes devote themselves to the analysis of evil: Can it be explained by science? Does it have a physical presence? Do demons walk the earth? Drawing on a wealth of dark historical data and mysterious religious symbolism, the Mephisto scholars aim to prove a startling theory: that Satan himself exists among us.

With the grisly appearance of a corpse on their doorstep, it’s clear that someone–or something–is indeed prowling the city. The members of the club begin to fear the very subject of their study. Could this maniacal killer be one of their own–or have they inadvertently summoned an evil entity from the darkness?

Delving deep into the most baffling and unusual case of their careers, Maura and Jane embark on a terrifying journey to the very heart of evil, where they encounter a malevolent foe more dangerous than any they have ever faced . . . one whose work is only just beginning.

Review
This past year, I have read or listened to all of the books in the Rizzoli & Isles series up to this point. In each and every one of them Gerritsen has taken the reader/listener for a ride. Sometimes I can figure out who the killer is ahead of times and sometimes not. While I enjoyed the Mephisto Club, I didn’t love it as much as I had previous books. Maybe it was the use of religious symbology and demons, maybe it was something else. I can’t quite put my fingers on it. It was good, don’t get me wrong, just not great…I did figure out early on that it was one of the members of the club that was responsible for the crimes being committed, but the original person who I thought it was, it definately wasn’t (mostly because he was killed early on…) – I also wasn’t surprised to see the psychiatrist Joyce O’Donnell killed in this installment – she had appeared in several of the previous books, but her character always just seemed to be on the periphery to annoy Jane and Maura and not really contribute. I did enjoy the character of Anthony and hope that he shows up in later books.

When it came to the narration of the audiobook, I was glad to see Kathe Mazur return to being the narrator – although, I believe that this is the last time in the series that she is the one (unfortunately). After Anna Fields, she definately has developed Jane’s voice into one that reflects her Boston Irish character, as well as Maura’s dark wit. Her diversity of character voices makes for an entertaining listen and I didn’t manage to confuse any of the characters – they all appeared to be individuals and it was almost like I was listening to a couple of different people narrate the book. I do know that I need to check her out narrating some other books to see how she does. I’m definately going to be following her as a narrator in the future.

I’ll definately continue to seek out Tess Gerritsen’s books and look forward to seeing what Jane and Maura get up to in the future

 
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Posted by on July 9, 2012 in Book Review

 

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