Tess Gerritsen

The Silent Girl

".. a mix of Chinese myths and superstitions, together with present day crime. "


In the murky shadows of an alley lies a female's severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand. A red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair - not human - cling to her body. They are Rizzoli's only clues, but they're enough for her and medical examiner Maura Isles to make the startling discovery: that this violent death had a chilling prequel.

Nineteen years earlier, a horrifying murder-suicide in a Chinatown restaurant left five people dead. But one woman connected to that massacre is still alive: a mysterious martial arts master who knows a secret she dares not tell; a secret that lives and breathes in the shadows of Chinatown. A secret that may not even be human. Now she's the target of someone, or something, deeply and relentlessly evil...

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Rizzoli is my favourite of Gerritsen's characters, and in the Silent Girl she is as fiery and dogmatic as ever. I am disappointed that her husband, Gabriel, seems to have taken a back seat as I think they work well together and he is another character I enjoy. The Silent Girl has a slightly strange feel about it, a mix of Chinese myths and superstitions, together with present day crime. Although at times I found it hard to follow and work out who was who. Indeed, some characters are never fully identified, which I find a little off-putting. Also the mythical monkey and whether it was a real creature or an imagined being I found to be a little tiresome and somewhat unconvincing. The plot itself is based around a current murder, and also a shooting at a restaurant some years earlier. When investigating, other crimes come to light, and there is an unexpected turn at the end of the book. Gerritsen has a great style of writing, but if I have to be honest, although I did enjoy this book, it certainly isn't one of her best.

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